Updated Alpha Five: App Development for Five Platforms

Alpha Five Version 11 lets developers build business apps simultaneously for smartphones, tablets, the Web, laptops, and desktops.

Note: ESJ’s editors carefully choose vendor-issued press releases about new or upgraded products and services. We have edited and/or condensed this release to highlight key features but make no claims as to the accuracy of the vendor's statements.

The latest version of Alpha Five Version 11 lets programmers build apps for all five of today’s computing platforms without having to use Java, Flash, Silverlight, or other plugins. The development solution uses the power of Microsoft .NET and HTML5 to help developers solve a business problem once, and make their app available to users wherever they are and however they like to work, so developers can stop worrying about platform uncertainty, and focus on delivering apps that won’t become obsolete every few years.

Experienced coders and beginners alike can quickly design, develop, debug, and deploy multi-touch or mouse-driven apps. Alpha Five apps run well on every device available today and on any device that may come in the future in part because it can generate user experiences as HTML5, the lingua franca of contemporary computing. Every PC, smartphone, and tablet must support it. Wherever you find HTML5, you’ll find a platform that can serve up Alpha Five apps. Second, Alpha Five’s Codeless Ajax technology uses persistent server connections to provide low-latency, desktop-like experiences on any device.

Additional Alpha Five Version 11 features include:

  • A comprehensive collection of reusable components that make it easy to assemble applications quickly without having to write a single line of computer code. These include Alpha’s database grid, form, dialog, security, GIS/data mapping, calendar, charting, video player, animation, image gallery, and HTML5 reporting components.

  • A rich professional programming environment for developers who like to (or need to) get their hands on the “metal,” including the highly regarded XBasic object-oriented language, a powerful debugging environment, support for version four of .NET framework, and an extensive client- and server-side event model.

  • GIS/mapping support that makes it easy to build an array of practical applications for industries such as real estate, homeland security, CRM, and military that use GIS data.

  • Calendar and scheduling support that lets users graphically select dates, book appointments, schedule resources, synchronize schedules, and more. Best of all, it takes just a minute for developers to add this functionality to their apps.

  • Video support that makes adding video to any application a snap, with full support for Flash and HTML5, public and private videos, and storing locally or on external services such as YouTube.

  • An image gallery component that simplifies the process of developing highly interactive applications that use images to drive the user experience. The gallery supports pinch zoom, swiping, and other gestures on smartphones and tablets, while automatically adapting to the capabilities of web browsers on desktops and laptops to support similar functionality with mice and touchpads.

  • Expanded charting capabilities. There’s a new built-in charting engine, powered by .NET, that generates charts in forms, report, grid, labels, letters, Xdialogs, and web components.

  • A new grid builder component, dialog builder component, custom- and user-defined components, and web components style builder that make it easy to visually build, define, and customize database grids, application dialogs, and Web styles -- as well as build custom components from scratch. Developers have never had it easier or been given more control over these crucial application design features.

  • Animation capabilities that take full advantage of CSS3 to empower applications with extensive animation and other “eye candy,” making apps more fun for people to use, and making it easier for developers to communicate tasks and information in a contemporary style.

  • A design metaphor that encourages the use of iterative, agile development techniques in real-world scenarios with clients where modifications to applications can be made rapidly.

The solution also includes RESTful Web Services; support for MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2, and other SQL databases; DBF support; an improved Quick Report Genie; easy generation of reports in HTML, Excel, or PDF; a faster and more robust Application Server; a new XBasic Excel API; a more powerful XBasic Class Syntax that supports data hiding; improved auto-complete in the XBasic code editor; substantial improvements to XBasic classes; a rich portfolio of client- and server-side events; a new JavaScript editor with full color coding and auto-complete; and tight integration of jQuery in all Web components.

More information can be found at www.alphasoftware.com.

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