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Thread: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

  1. #1
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Overview of what to expect in the new and upcoming Alpha Five v8:

    What’s Ahead in Alpha Five v8

    Alpha Five v8 is a major new version of Alpha Five that has been in development for over 2 ½ years.

    It represents the culmination of a passionate and innovative pursuit, on the part of our development team, to ensure that Alpha Five is the program of choice for creating state-of-the-art database solutions for both non programming professionals and developers.


    Even though we were gratified by the selection of Alpha Five v7 as database of the year in December of 2005 we were not satisfied. In designing Alpha Five v8 we set ourselves the task of looking at every aspect of both the desktop and web functionality of Alpha Five and asking ourselves – "How can we make Alpha Five even better for our customers?"
    We think that when you start using Alpha Five v8 you will agree that our developers have taken their mission to heart – and have succeeded!
    • Operates and "feels" significantly faster. [video]
    • Lets you build applications that run significantly faster.
    • Offers a modern interface and new design tools that lets you build very professional and contemporary looking applications. [picture]
    • Offers powerful new browse features. [picture]
    • Includes new tools such as dockable "action panels" for added convenience and productivity. [picture]
    • Delivers very powerful yet easy ways to explore, manipulate and work with all flavors of SQL databases through the "universal database explorer" and Alpha "Data Access Objects" or DAO. (Think of it as ADO on steroids.)
    • Includes reporting on enterprise data.
    • Takes rapid web application development to the next level through innovations in Web Components and major performance boosts in the operation of Xbasic on the web.
    • Affords you new levels of security for your web applications through the new web application security framework.
    • Has important enhancements to Xbasic, Xdialog and Action Scripting.
    • And much more...
    For a limited time, Purchase Alpha Five version 7 from today onward and receive a full credit on your purchase when version 8 is released later this year.
    Richard Rabins
    Co Chairman
    Alpha Software

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    Member René Stout's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Coooooooooooooooool!!!!!
    René
    Windows 7, V11

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    I also recieved the e-mail about alpha five version 8. Is it known what the upgrade policy and prices will be for just the simple upgrade to version 8. In the email it made it sound as though the person will own a copy of version 7 and 8.

    Now is an exceptional time to purchase Alpha Five v7:

    * If you don’t already own Alpha Five v7, this offer allows you to start using it right away, knowing that your investment will be credited back to you when you upgrade to Alpha Five v8.
    * If you already own Alpha Five v7, this gives you a unique chance to get additional licenses (or activations) for Alpha Five v7 and benefit from excellent savings now, AND get your investment fully credited back to you when you upgrade to Alpha Five v8.
    * Once version 8 comes out, your Alpha Five v7 licenses will of course remain valid for your continued use or you can then choose to pass them on to colleagues, friends and family members.


    What if I just want to upgrade to version 8?

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Shawn,

    1) You can buy the 'extra' copy of V7 for the amount indicated in the mailing and have that amount credited to your purchase of V8 when it is release, or
    2) You can wait until V8 ships and buy it for the full price.

    You pay the same with either option, but with option 2 you end up with an extra copy of V7. You can't loose either way.

    Dave
    Last edited by davej; 10-13-2006 at 10:23 PM. Reason: grammer change
    Dave Jampole
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by davej View Post
    Shawn,


    You pay the same with either option, but with option 2 you end up with an extra copy of V7. You can't loose either way.

    Dave
    As much as the increasing use of "loose" for "lose" irritates me, it is nothing compared to the bizarre logic behind the statement that one can't lose either way. Alpha must be one of a literal handful of sotware makers who do not offer upgrade prices if what you say is true. I have dozens of applications on my PC and EVERY ONE of them offers some sort of discount for upgrades, as recognition of previous purchase. To learn that Alpha "rewards" customers by making them buy each new version at full price is extremely disappointing. While I am at a total loss to understand how you can say that being forced to either buy a superfluous 2nd licence for v7 or buy v8 at full price is a "can't lose" scenario, I am offended by the contempt for customers shown by this bizarre pricing policy on the part of Alpha. I consider such behaviour egregious profiteering, and devoutly hope that Alpha is not so base as to act this way.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Alpha does and always has offered upgrade prices - this is just an extra goodie - when it comes out there will be an uipgrade discount for current owners. But if you don't already own a copy of V7, or would like to get an extra one, then the amount you will pay and thus get credited toward V8 will most likely be much more than the straight upgrade discount, plus you will have an extra license of V7.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by martinwcole View Post
    Alpha does and always has offered upgrade prices - this is just an extra goodie - when it comes out there will be an uipgrade discount for current owners. But if you don't already own a copy of V7, or would like to get an extra one, then the amount you will pay and thus get credited toward V8 will most likely be much more than the straight upgrade discount, plus you will have an extra license of V7.

    Thank you. It made no sense to believe that would be no upgrade pricing for those who have no need or desire for an additional copy of v7. I'm sure that I am not the only one in this position, a position in which the total cost of buying an additional copy of v7 then paying the difference for v8 would almost certainly exceed the ocst of simply upgrading to v8.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Stuart,

    Let's look as a simple example of Business 101. Announce a new product and there is a strong chance that your revenue stream on the previous version will dry up as potential customers wait for the new product to be released. Alpha is simply trying to maintain their income while devoting time, enery, effort AND resources to bringing the new product to market. Given that they are not a charity organization, you can certainly see the need for them to continue generating income and this latest offer simply provides that.

    If buying the extra copy of V7 so offends your sensibilities, the answer is simple - don't. Wait until V8 ships with an upgrade price and buy it then. However, don't forget about users of V7 who might want an extra copy at a very favorable price, but do not want to upgrade their entire installation to V8. There are users who are still using two generation, three generation or older versions of Alpha because what they have completely meets their needs and/or they cannot justify the cost of upgrading. I still support a number of users who are quite happy to stay with the older DOS-based Alpha 4 product!

    Dave
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by davej View Post
    Stuart,

    Let's look as a simple example of Business 101. Announce a new product and there is a strong chance that your revenue stream on the previous version will dry up as potential customers wait for the new product to be released. Alpha is simply trying to maintain their income while devoting time, enery, effort AND resources to bringing the new product to market. Given that they are not a charity organization, you can certainly see the need for them to continue generating income and this latest offer simply provides that.

    If buying the extra copy of V7 so offends your sensibilities, the answer is simple - don't. Wait until V8 ships with an upgrade price and buy it then. However, don't forget about users of V7 who might want an extra copy at a very favorable price, but do not want to upgrade their entire installation to V8. There are users who are still using two generation, three generation or older versions of Alpha because what they have completely meets their needs and/or they cannot justify the cost of upgrading. I still support a number of users who are quite happy to stay with the older DOS-based Alpha 4 product!

    Dave


    I have no problem with Alpha's current marketing promotion. However, when Shawwn Mason asked "what if you just want to upgrade?", you replied that there were only two options, neither of which was a straight upgrade price. It was that absence of an upgrade price that offended me, especially given the emphatic certainty of your phrasing, which indicated that there was no upgrade discount available.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Business 101? Is that what you call telling your current customers they can pay full price NOW for the latest release with no mention of an opportunity to upgrade the version they do have? Show me just one other major software company that pulls that kind of crap on it's customer base. Microsoft doesn't, neither does Filemaker. The vast majority of people on this planet could give a damn about getting another copy of yesterday's technology, what they want to know is that they are going to be taken care of when upgrades roll around. That's what loyal customers expect when they invest their time and money in a software company and it's products. I've invested over $600 and have barely got it out of the box and I'm suppose to be thrilled about a new version coming out with no notice of discounts for an upgrade?

  11. #11
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    I am not sure where or how you got the impression that there would not be preferrential pricing for existing customers.

    Just to put your mind at rest.

    Existing customers WILL receive preferential upgrade pricing on version 8.

    Sincerely
    Richard Rabins
    Richard Rabins
    Co Chairman
    Alpha Software

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rabins View Post
    I am not sure where or how you got the impression that there would not be preferrential pricing for existing customers.

    Just to put your mind at rest.

    Existing customers WILL receive preferential upgrade pricing on version 8.

    Sincerely
    Richard Rabins
    Thank you, Richard. That will teach me not to put too much stock in the statements of third parties, and to wait until the equine's oral orifice opens. :o
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Rabins View Post
    I am not sure where or how you got the impression that there would not be preferrential pricing for existing customers.

    Just to put your mind at rest.

    Existing customers WILL receive preferential upgrade pricing on version 8.

    Sincerely
    Richard Rabins
    I don't see why you're confused. You announced the upcoming release of version 8 and told us if we buy another copy of version 7 you will credit the price towards version 8 when it is released. You did not say there would be preferrential pricing for existing customers on an upgrade. For all I knew this was the only offer I would be eligible for as an existing customer (if it wasn't why didn't you say so in the email?). I'm a new customer, I don't know what you've done in the past and I'm not use to paying for the first upgrade that comes out only months after I bought a product.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by roxy View Post
    You did not say there would be preferrential pricing for existing customers on an upgrade. For all I knew this was the only offer I would be eligible for as an existing customer (if it wasn't why didn't you say so in the email?). I'm a new customer, I don't know what you've done in the past and I'm not use to paying for the first upgrade that comes out only months after I bought a product.
    While I'm in exactly the same situation as you, Roxy, and I agree that the promotional email was less informative and helpful than it could have been, I am pleased to have got the situation cleared up. I like Alpha 5, and like what I've seen of v8, so Richard's response has taken a weight off for me.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Stuart and Roxy,

    I was only trying to make the point that the cost of the extra copy of V7 would not be lost. As far back as I can remember, Alpha has always made basically this same offer - pick up an extra copy of the current version IF YOU WANT and the cost would be fully applied to the new release. If a developer has an existing base using (in this case) V7, the extra copy could be a good deal all the way around with a net cost of $0.

    I didn't factor the upgrade price into my comments because I'm so used to Alpha offering an upgrade price to current users, that I didn't even think of it when I was responding to you concern. If I accidently mislead either of you, for that I apologize.

    Dave
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by davej View Post
    Stuart and Roxy,

    I was only trying to make the point that the cost of the extra copy of V7 would not be lost. As far back as I can remember, Alpha has always made basically this same offer - pick up an extra copy of the current version IF YOU WANT and the cost would be fully applied to the new release. If a developer has an existing base using (in this case) V7, the extra copy could be a good deal all the way around with a net cost of $0.

    I didn't factor the upgrade price into my comments because I'm so used to Alpha offering an upgrade price to current users, that I didn't even think of it when I was responding to you concern. If I accidently mislead either of you, for that I apologize.

    Dave
    Dave,

    It remains to be seen but if the past is any indication of the future the current discounts given to Ver 6 users on Ver 7 products are not worth calling a discount. Most companies offer a much greater level of protection in the first year, which is why I didn't give it much thought when including some expensive "add-ons" in my order that I knew I wouldn't be using for awhile.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Don't forget that by buying version 7 under the latest offer, you become existing customers and therefore eligable for not only the credit back and the existing customer discount. Now that is a win-win situation for any new customers waiting until version 8 comes before buying!! but not so good for loyal customers who have stuck with it over several versions.

    I suppose we have had the dubious pleasure in struggling along waiting for the broken product to be fixed, and each time paying 'the upgrade' price in the hope that it would be.

  18. #18
    Alpha Software Employee Richard Rabins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Lance,

    When you refer to a broken product, I have no choice but to take exception with that statement. We have a huge number of Alpha Five v7 Applications in very productive use world-wide in demanding situations. This fact simply doesn't square with your statement.

    Secondly if you have issues with the current product - please email me and we will do our best to look into them and resolve them.

    Respectfully,
    Last edited by AaronBBrown; 10-16-2006 at 11:12 AM.
    Richard Rabins
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    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Simple Richard,

    The Browse. Need I say more? It was promised tha tit would be fixied in V7, its not. Is it going to be in V8?

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    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Gurd View Post
    Simple Richard,

    The Browse. Need I say more? It was promised tha tit would be fixied in V7, its not. Is it going to be in V8?
    Lance

    click the relevant link in the first posting in this thread and you will see a sample of the new browse which to coin a phrase of my teenage son "looks wicked!!"

    I was at the conference (2005) when the browse was discussed as part of v7 or v8 and I cannot recall Selwyn promising delivery in time for v7. I can recall a detailed explanation why it most likely would happen in v8.

    Also although the much improved browse is going to be a major enhancement I would not call v7 a "broken product"

    Just my thoughts

    Regards

    Glen Schild

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    I just purchased V7 2 weeks ago. Will i still have to purchase the upgrade or will this be grandfathered in?
    Tony

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Glen,

    As you know there are problems with the browse and there have been since I started seriously using Alpha in V5. It is the source of most of the complaints about the software. It has driven some customers away, I have looked at both filemaker and access, but find overall Alpha to be better and have resorted in most cases to work-arounds. This is something I as a paying customer should not have to do.

    I agree that the browse looks nicer, the addition of buttons is great, but if the underlying engine is still the same we are still going to have the inherant issues from previous versions. Jennifer Aniston looks great but is she good in the kitchen, can she iron?

    By definition if something is not working, as it should, it is broken.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic glenschild's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Gurd View Post
    Glen,

    As you know there are problems with the browse and there have been since I started seriously using Alpha in V5. It is the source of most of the complaints about the software. It has driven some customers away, I have looked at both filemaker and access, but find overall Alpha to be better and have resorted in most cases to work-arounds. This is something I as a paying customer should not have to do.

    I agree that the browse looks nicer, the addition of buttons is great, but if the underlying engine is still the same we are still going to have the inherant issues from previous versions. Jennifer Aniston looks great but is she good in the kitchen, can she iron?

    By definition if something is not working, as it should, it is broken.
    Lance

    I disagree, if something is broken why would you buy it in the first place? The browse has limitations but it works. It may not do everything that you, I and many others would like but that does not mean v7 is broken.

    Who decides if a product is working "as it should"? There are no doubt many people using v7 and previous versions who use the browse without issue.

    Again, referrring back to my understanding. One of the reasons given for the browse improvements not appearing sooner was the fact that this element of the project requires a major re-write of the underlying code that drives the current browse therefore I would expect that the new improved browse is/will be based upon such a re-write.

    However, what if the new browse does not contain a feature that you feel could be of use? Would you then say the browse is broken?

    Kind regards

    Glen

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Glen,

    It is not features within the browse I am looking for, although they are a nice addition.

    The vertical scroll bar not working properly is a major bug, this is a constant problem.

    Here in my company we have different monitors on most desks. My 19" widescreen monitor is the same as my co-directors. I choose to have mine in portrait mode he has his in the more traditional view of landscape. If I design a browse so that it fits nicely in my screen, the browse is off the bottom of his screen. No problem he can scroll down, but when he does it does not refresh correctly with the last value repeating as he scrolls.

    Attached is an example showing 3 (filtered) records in a browse on a form, the selection arrow is at the top, the vertical scroll bar slider is in the middle.

    Is this something that is correct and working properly? I think not.

    While I have been typing this a vertical scroll bar appeared, sizes and alignes itself with where I am in my text, this is working correctly and not broken. Thats what I want.

    I say again you can add all the bells and whistles you want but if the main engine doesnt work then its no good.

    It does make me wonder why you are replying to this post and not Richard, who I originally pointed my comments to. He is the one in the know.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Rich Hartnett's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Just curious if anyone knows if Version 8 will have the ability to easily import XML files? (An "easy" export would be nice too.)

    Richard had mentioned in another earlier post that they were trying to give Version 6 the ability to actually open an XML file as opposed to importing it first, but I don't think either option is available as late as Version 7.

    I know it can be done using Xbasic, but an easy import tool (for those of us whom are "Xbasic impaired" would really be helpful, especially now that XML and GXML are becoming standards worldwide.

    Thanks

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Rich,

    It's seemless in Access 2007, and according to the version 8 helpfile that we should not have there are a couple of new xbasic routines that are limited to the enterprise edition and desktop applications only. That help file is about a month old now though and they may have done more.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Quote Originally Posted by Lance Gurd View Post
    Don't forget that by buying version 7 under the latest offer, you become existing customers and therefore eligable for not only the credit back and the existing customer discount. Now that is a win-win situation for any new customers waiting until version 8 comes before buying!! but not so good for loyal customers who have stuck with it over several versions.

    I suppose we have had the dubious pleasure in struggling along waiting for the broken product to be fixed, and each time paying 'the upgrade' price in the hope that it would be.
    Lance,
    I once remember back to Microsoft Windows 3.0 when Microsoft decided
    to charge for the 3.1 upgrade to fix several prob.

    Just my 2 cents.
    Kind Regards,
    Ray Roosa
    Raylin Micro, LLC.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    I'm not nearly as concerned about the price as I am the features. I've been waiting since Ver 5 for a version of Alpha that COMPLETELY works with other (SQL) data sources. In the meantime I've purchased 5,6 and 7.

    If Ver 8 has finally achieved that goal, I'm buying it. If it still doesn't work for various key compenents of Alpha (forms, reports, operations, etc), then I won't purchase 8.

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    "Certified" Alphaholic Lance Gurd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    Ray,

    I agree companies should charge for upgrades. I don't sit here in my office for nothing, I am here to make money. I disagree when they say the problems will be fixed in the next upgrade and they are not. I only upgraded to version 7 because it was a special deal and I wanted to keep up with some of what was going on. Other than that it was a waste of time, if I take out the local_variables() part of any alpha generated scripts everything I do works on my runtime copy of V6. This looks a fair bit different for V8, but so far all I can see is cosmetics, I hope I am put in my place and it is not just that. The stange/worrying thing is I have not heard anything from Richard to say the browse is fixed.

    Tom,

    Have a look at Access 2007, available in beta format, seamless. If V8 is as good as that you will be happy.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five v8 - Major Release Coming

    What's the release date for V8?
    BB

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