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  1. #1
    afc is offline Novice
    Windows XP Access 2007
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    Question Acess vs Alpha Five


    Please forgive me if this is inappropriate forum

    I have apps developed in VBA using Excel as a base.
    I have to convert to a database.

    Obviously Access is the most logical way to go - should be less of a learning curve.

    Whilst investigating Access I was told of a product called Alpha Five (supposedly way superior).

    Has anyone out there had experience of Alpha and Access?
    What is your opinion?

    Thanks,

    Alan
    PS This same question has been posted on Mr Excel Forum

  2. #2
    June7's Avatar
    June7 is offline VIP
    Windows XP Access 2010 32bit
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    Never heard of it. The website doesn't offer a lot of info (like: is there a file size limit as with Access, what datatypes are supported, etc.?) but does offer a trial kit. You could check it out and let us know.
    How to attach file: http://www.accessforums.net/showthread.php?t=70301 To provide db: copy, remove confidential data, run compact & repair, zip w/Windows Compression.

  3. #3
    afc is offline Novice
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    Question Access vs Alpha Five

    Hi,
    I am busy checking it out. There's no doubt that it habdles the straight forward database aspects better than Access. Regarding setting up of forms, reports, queries and setting definitions rules against fields etc it is fantastic.
    My "problems" thus far is when it comes to what one would have written in VBA it uses xBasic and its own scripting. Whether its better or not I can't say coz I am struggling with the learning curve.
    Where it falls down badly(imho) is the lack of good documentation. Also the huge array of VBA/Access/Excel sites where one can get first class help and support.
    Its not cheap but if ... I repeat IF it can do all they claim it might be worth it.
    I was really hoping to find someone who had tried to makethis transition and either failed or succeeded so as to get a VBA type view on it

    Thanks for the response,

    Alan

  4. #4
    DavidK is offline Novice
    Windows 7 Access 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by afc View Post
    Hi,
    I am busy checking it out. There's no doubt that it habdles the straight forward database aspects better than Access. Regarding setting up of forms, reports, queries and setting definitions rules against fields etc it is fantastic.
    My "problems" thus far is when it comes to what one would have written in VBA it uses xBasic and its own scripting. Whether its better or not I can't say coz I am struggling with the learning curve.
    Where it falls down badly(imho) is the lack of good documentation. Also the huge array of VBA/Access/Excel sites where one can get first class help and support.
    Its not cheap but if ... I repeat IF it can do all they claim it might be worth it.
    I was really hoping to find someone who had tried to makethis transition and either failed or succeeded so as to get a VBA type view on it

    Thanks for the response,

    Alan
    I've been working in Access since Version 1.0 first came out and with Alpha 5, extensively, for the last two years. I stopped developing new systems in Access when MS released a bugged runtime they wouldn't fix for 6 months. I'd had enough. I continue to support and develop existing Access systems, currently converting one massive system from an Access backend to SQL Server and VB.Net. There are 10's of thousands of lines of code in this system and it just would not be cost effective to use anything else.

    So, here are a couple of questions.

    How big is your Excel system... iow, how much code do you have? Would you need to convert all the code? I would think this is the only thing you need to worry about for conversion to any new system. I would also think that some of your existing code would have to be re-written because right now your code is directed towards Excel - data ineracting with worksheets etc. instead of forms. If you could post a sample of some of your more complex code that would help in determining how much effort conversion to Access would be.

    Is there any requirement for web access? I don't think there any really easy MS way to gain web access to your stuff... they say there's a MS solution but I haven't seen anything that comes close to straight forward.

    I also have to starting wondering (just recently) about the Access lifespan. What is MS LightSwitch... and Why? I've used it and can't help wondering what it's for?

    Web development in Alpha 5 is quite wonderful. Ajax, Javascript, HTML, jQuery, Xbasic on the Server side, it's all there. Mobile development is moving fast and is excellent and is getting better and better.

    I would invest the time and aggravation into learning Alpha 5. Of course it's going to be aggravating... it's new to you, it's xbasic is a bit different and you're going to have to learn it. But, everything, every function, data type, method, data access process that you use now, is available in Alpha 5. The Alpha 5 xbasic syntax and statements make sense and are really close to VBA. Again, if you post a routine - a small one - I'll re-write it in Alpha 5 so you can see the difference.

    Alpha 5 supports pretty much any back end you want to use... Access, MySQL, SQL Server, DBF.

    In Access and Alpha 5 there are problems and bugs. MS may choose to fix them, or not. If they do you may find it in a release a year from now. If Alpha 5 has a problem it will most likely be fixed that day and release in the next couple of days. I've never come across a development team and Corporate environment that cares so much about making their system good.

    Anything new I create I use Alpha 5. Access, after all these years, is second nature to me... I just know it. However, I prefer Alpha 5, it's web capabilities and it's support.

    The Alpha 5 forum contains an amazing amount of excellent people and information. Post a question and you'll get answers.

    Help Manuals... Alpha 5 could be better but it's ok and it is getting better. All the basic functions are easily found and examples... just what you'd expect. However, there are walk through Videos that just cannot be beat. And there are tons of them... pretty much anything you want to do there's a video, easily found and really useful.

    All this is just really general. If there's something really specific you're concerned about then post it. I hope this helps a bit.

  5. #5
    njguy is offline Novice
    Windows 7 64bit Access 2010 64bit
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    Hello All,

    The following is from the Alpha Five Blog....you will also find tons of other information on there as well:

    Why a Microsoft Access shop chose Alpha for its web application development - http://blog.alphasoftware.com/2012/0...ose-alpha.html

    Microsoft Access developers revolt against Access 2010 - http://blog.alphasoftware.com/2010/0...rs-revolt.html

    There is also a great whitepaper and video links from the products page of their website:
    http://server2.alphasoftware.com/products/

    As for documentation please check out their WIKI http://wiki.alphasoftware.com/HomePage also built into the application tool there is a way to pull up videos on how to accomplish certain tasks…now that’s cool.

    Is there a large learning curve….sure…but there is with any new development product. Having the ability to create applications that can connect to all different databases and run on any browser makes it a fantastic product.

    I have been doing application development for over 25 years and this is the best product I have ever used.

    Thanks Tom http://www.linkedin.com/pub/thomas-ritter/8/2b9/789

  6. #6
    bobalston is offline Novice
    Windows Vista Access 2003
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    Transition to Alpha Five

    @DavidK

    I have recently started learning alpha five and would love to compare notes and get you experience on how to workaround issues you encountered, given you also came from an Access background. Would you mind providing some advise on problems you encountered and how you got around them?

    also please post your user name on the alpha forum so I can also see some of your posts which may help me out also.

    regards,

    Bob

Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

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