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Thread: Alpha Five Branding

  1. #1
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    Default Alpha Five Branding

    I just read a post that brought (back) to my attention of something Alpha Software does that I feel it should not....or at least make it easily remedied without additional cost (ie; purchase of the Branding Utility). Post 7 of http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...394#post518394


    I am, of course, referring to having the Alpha logo, image, or name forced upon its users for error messages and such. To reiterate what spurred this "Wish"--
    I know they have the branding utility and I wonder how thorough it is but it still feels like your being held to ransom having to pay a further $199 dollars to remove Alpha 5 references from your application.
    I happen to whole-heartedly agree with this....even though I have no problems displaying the fact that I use Alpha as my development tool---I just think it should not be forced upon its users or make them pay for having their branding removed.

    So my wish?? To provide a way at NO COST...even if having to use totally xbasic...to remove anything that gives away the fact that Alpha is being used as the development tool.
    Mike
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Well strangely enough this wish gets my vote.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    In agreement. Should not have to pay extra for the branding ability. It should be included with the developer. BTW, just for general knowledge, the branding utility was released for V9, does it even exist for V10?

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    I noticed somewhere that the Alpha5 page files presented to the browser are titled starting with "A5". If this is so, wouldn't that give away the development tool you are using?
    My concerns are two:
    1)I wouldn't want to give my competition a heads up on a good development tool.(I realize from Alpha's point of view they want the opposite)

    2)The system users may feel that you are not mainstream enough, using something they never heard of may lead them to question your capabilities or professionalism. This argument may also be exploited by your competition, claiming your system will never handle what is needed.

    Do Alpha5 pages bare the name A5?

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    I must totally agree with the sentiments stated in this thread. After spending thousands of dollars with Alpha, the flashing of the A5 branding remains a constant source of irritation. The only thing worse is explaining to customers to 'ignore' any reference to Alpha in my customized software solutions.

    I would gladly share the fact that some of my apps were developed with A5 somewhere in the fine print, but I remain steadfastly against having it forced onto me and my end users.

    Thank goodness Microsoft and their 3rd party developers have not taken this approach.

    I appeal to the developers at Alpha, to please reconsider charging loyal customers for what seems to be an industry standard.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul View Post
    I noticed somewhere that the Alpha5 page files presented to the browser are titled starting with "A5". If this is so, wouldn't that give away the development tool you are using?
    Alpha5 web pages are .a5w the same as PHP sites are .php. And?

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Somewhere, a long time ago, several versions back, seems like I remember Richard writing about a new feature upcoming in a new version. No mention of a branding tool.

    That your users would not be able to "see the word Alpha" or know that you used Alpha to create your app. Maybe I was dreaming at the time, but I do remember for sure that I thought that would be a good thing.

    I will do a search on Richard's threads, but that will take a lifetime.

    Jerry

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    see later
    Last edited by rleunis; 01-14-2010 at 05:09 PM.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Why would revealing the tool (the solution it was developed with) mean less than giving NO clues to the tool it was written in?

    You are not confident your knowledge added value? Or afraid somebody else goes maintaining your solution?

    If I was a customer and did not know a reference to the tool it was written in, I would just get more suspicious...

    The solution includes the tool, its weaknesses and strengths.

    Any professional developer needs to share the name of the development tool, because the customer needs to make an assessment on maintainability beyond your availability. In fact you should point out it was developed using Alpha so he can make this assessment..

    If your solution with Alpha is at least better and cheaper than any (so called) main stream, you should be able to convince them using it against the drawbacks like finding somebody else to maintain it after you (decided to be) gone.

    Really do not understand this discussion...
    Why hide the tool you are using?
    Do not use it, if you can not defend it...
    Go mainstream MS or Oracle, JAVA or whatever.
    Unless you depend on maintenance of course.

    regards, Ron

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Ron,
    I agree for the most part, as I stated in the first post.....but I think you are mainly referring to a custom application and NOT a generic one. A generic application generally does not show off the programming tool--in fact I am hard pressed to find one that does....I can tell with a bit of research usually but not always as to what tool created what software.

    It seems that generic applications do "hide" their origins and is apparently the "industry standard" right or wrong. I just feel, as such, Alpha should not mandate their branding is all. It is not worth the hassle to hide it completely IMO, but I would not want it forced upon me when it is rare that other development tools do so. That is my ONLY point of contention BTW!! :)
    Mike
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    The issue for me isn't whether or not the identity of the tool used is revealed. It's the manner in which it is. In the case of Alpha5, the 'Alpha' identity gets randomly displayed by various means such as titles of system generated pop up dialog boxes and error windows within a completed application.

    This makes for a messy, inconsistent user interface in my opinion as well as generates a bit of confusion for end users. The developer should have the complete control within an application to either suppress and/or to replace these Alpha5 references with verbage of his own choosing. If as part of Alpha's licensing on runtimes wants to require some form of copyright or trademeark acknowledgement that would be fine by me - just get rid of the embedded Alpha/Alpha5 references and/or make it easy for me to substitute my own stuff.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Mike, I agree that :
    " I would not want it forced upon me "...

    But want to emphasize:
    You should always share the tool you wrote it in to your client, irrespective whether it's a "a custom application or a a generic one"...

    In my opinion it's always a custom application to your customer, even it's seems to be a generic solution.

    Again: the overall solution includes much more than the application solution sec. It works now in Alpha, but what happens when I scale up, can i find a developer with Alpha knowledge other than the original developer to maintain it?, etc.

    Using Alpha is clearly a choice for the customer and for the developer to be made motivated...
    Both have to defend it against the obvious mainstream - safe- choices..

    Being open about is more a must than using php or java or whatever is safe regarded at the moment.

    But I do agree the tool should give you the possibilities to make it your responsibility to make it hiden. But make sure you can defend that choice or make sure the customer can make the choice.

    regards, ron

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    It ticks me off when my customer refers to my application as the alpha program.

    Alpha didn't write it or come up with the idea. I did! It takes name recognition away from my app.

    I love alpha but come on! $200 more dollars to remove/change the name to be recognized as the actual developer. Maybe they should include that capability in the marketing propaganda instead of office ready or net mailer.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    If you sell 100 copies of your custom Alpha application, what's the amortized cost of the branding utility per copy? What would the amortized cost per copy be for 1 million copies of your application?

    We are already selling unlimited runtime licenses dirt cheap. What more do you want?

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Ok...a big plus is that this is one of the few Wishlist threads that has an answer directly from an Alpha employee!! :) Nice.

    Also, we now know Alpha's thoughts and intentions regarding this type of Wish.....
    Mike
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Martin, thank you for your comments, it's great to see an Alpha5 employee engaging with the community, especially in the wishlist section. Doesn't mean we will agree with one another but it's good to hear the views from a different perspective. Now for a bit of that disagreeing.

    If you sell 100 copies of your custom Alpha application, what's the amortized cost of the branding utility per copy
    First of all Alpha 5 is marketed as a RAD tool. We don't make custom alpha5 applications. We make applications using the Alpha 5 RAD tool. Secondly whether your selling one copy of the application or a thousand the tool you used in developing the application shouldn't be advertising itself. It is a little like having to pay protection money. Give us $200 or we'll plague your application with our branding. That maybe a little over the top but hey its the way it feels. What's most annoying is it makes the application look unprofessional and a little confusing for the end user. They are most likely not interested in the tool that was used to create the software and seeing Alpha5 all the time when the application they bought is called something entirely different is a distraction. It sums up Alphas difficulty in moving forward. They want to be a serious player but struggle with making the leap. Forget about advertising through these methods. What you want to do is create a RAD tool that application developers can use to produce cutting edge performance, stability and high quality user experience via a good GUI. So when developers of other products see the applications they think to themselves how did they do that and what was it written in. This is what will bring them to the table.
    On the web side they are doing a good job in trying to achieve this and should be praised. The desktop side of things has been somewhat dormant in the last two releases with just a couple of interesting features to keep developers appeased. A resource decision apparently. Right or wrong it was one of those decisions business owners have to make but it will mean they struggle to pull in desktop orientated developers. If they can generate some sample db's and videos of implementing some key ActiveX products so Alpha developers have more access to professional level controls it would be a real benefit.

    We are already selling unlimited runtime licenses dirt cheap.
    I haven't performed a cost comparison recently but I suspect this is true. What is the reasoning behind it?

    Possible negative reasons.
    Is it because Alpha are struggling to gain market share.
    Are they worried they are losing revenue with the existing customer base.

    Possible positive reasons.
    They see an opportunity to gain significant market share from their competitors with the new Ajax features.

    They care about the users and are not worried about profit:D.

    What more do you want?
    This is easy. Alpha already have the means to remove the branding so it's not a time or resource issue. The branding tool should be supplied as a free utility or the runtime should automatically remove the Alpha5 branding.

    How much revenue has the branding utility brought in? Would it be a great financial loss? Alpha could look at this from an entirely different perspective. Why don't they just supply a powered by Alpha5 graphic that could be used by the developer if they wish. Maybe for those developers that produce a real cutting edge product Alpha could sponsor it to have their logo on it. This may motivate developers to want to promote Alpha5 instead of spending their time figuring out ways to hide the fact.

    Geoff

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    How many of the run times sold also buy the branding software? How about raising the price of runtime by little bit. Then everyone has it, Alpha5 wiil make the same or more $ in the end and no no feels screwed by have to buy as an extra.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    If you sell 100 copies of your custom Alpha application, what's the amortized cost of the branding utility per copy? What would the amortized cost per copy be for 1 million copies of your application?

    We are already selling unlimited runtime licenses dirt cheap. What more do you want?

    and

    How many of the run times sold also buy the branding software? How about raising the price of runtime by little bit. Then everyone has it, Alpha5 wiil make the same or more $ in the end and no no feels screwed by have to buy as an extra.



    Let Alpha raise the price by 1.00 on each of the many copies they sell and the cost to develope is covered and all is well. I bet it would raise the coffers quicker at alpha.
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Quote Originally Posted by mheller View Post
    If you sell 100 copies of your custom Alpha application, what's the amortized cost of the branding utility per copy? What would the amortized cost per copy be for 1 million copies of your application?

    We are already selling unlimited runtime licenses dirt cheap. What more do you want?
    Hi
    Where is a link to the branding utility so I can purchase it for v10+

    Thanks

    Andrew

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    I could not find one in 10 minutes....so if still there, it is really buried. I will check for an old link I may have, but hopefully Martin will again chime in with a current link or information on this...not even certain if it is offered for v10...
    Mike
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    I had to ask. The V9 branding utility still works, and it is still $199.00

    https://www.alphasoftware.com/shop/i...asp?PRODID=675

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Martin,

    Would that be a good thing to add to the Feature packs?


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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    So adding this to feature packs would bring to mind another issue....that Alpha is now of the nature that you do not really have a complete version of Alpha unless you purchase all the feature packs---which seem to be features that are not possible to create with the "Base" version of Alpha even with time and xbasic expertise. Sounding more and more like other softwares out there I guess that do this as well.....

    I will have to think on this a bit as I have not given this much thought----and actually would be for another thread.....
    Mike
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    sorry Mike,

    I was thinking more along the lines of presenting the availability of the product. I don't think you can find a reference to Alpha in my apps(could be wrong), but for the future, branding could save me a lot of time. Time saved could extend to other features as well.

    VB is very useable, but there are many features it is more cost effective to buy than make.

    AS LONG AS Alpha does not get carried away by not giving the programmer a way to do the code without a feature pack. In other words do not take the functions/methods out of Alpha.


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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    I'm new to Alpha 5 and experienced how costly it is if a devellopment platform is no longer maintained (Paradox for Windows by Borland, later Corel).

    The last thing I want again is to devellop applications using a platform that doesn't bring profit to its owners.

    Knowing this I personally like more paying relatively small amounts for features I use than than a big sum for an all inclusive product.

    Branding is imho also essential for customer acceptance. And I have hardly met any customer who does not ask what platform is used for his new application.

    "Be good and tell it the world" is also essential in this respect. I think nobody complains about the efforts Alpha 5 is making in this respect. I wish they could also do that in Europe :-)

    But they cannot do it alone, I really don't understand that devellopers even consider to turn off branding. The more applications use this platform, the easier it will become to sell them.

    I'm too new to the product to know whether the branding is done in a great, modern design. If not I will complain about that later :-)

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    My competition has their Logo/Branding all over their Application.
    Nowhere can you tell that it is Access / VB unless you are a programmer.
    Maybe I'll rename my company "Alpha5 WebLogic INC."
    Then I'm automatically Branded.

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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Regarding branding, this is an historical situation, when Alpha was first launched as a product the Company name was every where.

    Since those users were the people who bought the product the messages and headings with the Alpha name were not an issue.

    As the request to remove the Alpha name was requested by only a few developers it seemed reasonable to charge for this Branding Utility. Those who bought it must of thought so too.

    The world has moved on and end users are more aware and astute with the software they are using. It can be a little off putting when using an application for the end user to learn which names to ignore when different messages pop up.

    Unfortunately Alpha itself is not recognised as the market leading product that it is. We are all quite happy to see the Rolls Royce logo on the engines of Boeings jets.

    I'm afraid that I consider Martins statement of:
    If you sell 100 copies of your custom Alpha application, what's the amortized cost of the branding utility per copy? What would the amortized cost per copy be for 1 million copies of your application?
    to be mixing the issue. This could be applied to any given number, I dont see what this has to do with the other.

    Matins question
    We are already selling unlimited runtime licenses dirt cheap. What more do you want?
    Again this this mixing the issue and has been quite clearly answered by Mike and others in this Features Wish list section. My answer, build in the Branding Utility and allow removal of all references with a simple check box in Settings?

    From my point of view I feel that as a product Alpha should drop it, it is not an issue for web development so it should not be an issue for desktop applications.
    Regards
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Hubert View Post
    Regarding branding, this is an historical situation, when Alpha was first launched as a product the Company name was every where.

    Since those users were the people who bought the product the messages and headings with the Alpha name were not an issue.

    As the request to remove the Alpha name was requested by only a few developers it seemed reasonable to charge for this Branding Utility. Those who bought it must of thought so too.

    The world has moved on and end users are more aware and astute with the software they are using. It can be a little off putting when using an application for the end user to learn which names to ignore when different messages pop up.

    Unfortunately Alpha itself is not recognised as the market leading product that it is. We are all quite happy to see the Rolls Royce logo on the engines of Boeings jets.

    I'm afraid that I consider Martins statement of:to be mixing the issue. This could be applied to any given number, I dont see what this has to do with the other.

    Matins questionAgain this this mixing the issue and has been quite clearly answered by Mike and others in this Features Wish list section. My answer, build in the Branding Utility and allow removal of all references with a simple check box in Settings?

    From my point of view I feel that as a product Alpha should drop it, it is not an issue for web development so it should not be an issue for desktop applications.
    Keith:
    I could not agree with you more. This 'branding' thing is absolute nonsense.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Alpha Five Branding

    It has all been said in this thread but ultimately it is about producing a professional application. This cannot be done with error messages and dialogs popping up with different company logos. So basically the standard product that Alpha sells is by definition not for producing professionally finished applications.

    A much better way of advertising for Alpha would be to have a 'Powered by Alpha 5' graphic rather than the current situation of their name being shown on error messages and some of the built in functions that use a dialog box. Subconsciously when users see Alphas name they will be associating it with errors.

    It would be just as much in Alphas interest to change this for a more discreet but professional option of having a powered by Alpha 5 graphic on start-up. Keith's idea of turning this of in settings is good. Remember give your developers the choice as it is much better than forcing something onto them that makes them look at your product in a less favourable light.

    They have been pushing hard to make Alpha 5 the best product out there and in many ways it is but the short comings of the earlier years keeping seeping through. This one should be a no-brainer as they have a solution and yet they drag their heals.

    I suspect this issue will not be resolved more to do with the lack of development time they will put into the desktop side. They could just provide the branding utility for free but it's unlikely.

    A little bit of subject but I haven't had much time to use Alpha 5 this year but I have been following their progress with the new training and plug-in features and have to say IMO they are going in the right direction even if most of it is web based.

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