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Thread: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

  1. #1
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    Default OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Well hello all. I am certain you will all laugh and grimace as you read this but....here it goes.
    Husband's company (consists of only 3 employees - 1 office, 2 forklift operators) had the A4 setup by a person who no longer here. I am computer literate but NOT database literate. We do not recognize a profit to us in this company but do keep 3 employeed in the small community. I know THAT info does not means nothing to noone but us. We have NO money to hire someone to help us get A4 to A5 (SO we are relying on my NON database skills to make this happen). We have to buy new computer which is why we are needing A5. I am literate with Excel - but only dabble once/twice in databases.
    THAT being said...I attempting to "create a test A5 of our business" here at home to "get it just right" before the old computer totally crashes and we are without any backup. Testing on my home computer because it has Vista (new one we ordered is Vista). I copied the dbf files from the A4V7 into the same folder that A5 is found. I have already opened A5 created a blankdatabase and added all the dbf files as tables. NOW I AM STUCK.

    What on earth do I do next? I know how all the menus appear on the old, how all the menus acted on the old....but I AM LOST as to what to do, in which step, in order to make the menu (and its actions) happen here in the new!!!

    I have read alot thru the threads, other's woahs - and worked with this 8 hours on Weds, 15 hours yesterday, and now 5 hours today...feel as if I am going around in circles. HELP?????? Just what can I do to get ONE of the old menu options to work like did on the old......If only???

  2. #2
    "Certified" Alphaholic Stan Mathews's Avatar
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    What version of A5 are you trying to move to? I believe A5V8 is the first Vista compatible.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    a5 V9

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    I have the dbf files in the same folder as A5V9, I opened the program, looked at the tutorial briefly, looked at the existing database - the promptly created a blank database named it TCS, then added the tables to the new TCS database. That is as far as I have gotten. From getting the dbf files into the TCS database - I began to "study" how the old A4V7 menu worked, didn't work - looked into how he configured things, he has A LOT of macros written to do many of the stuff we just clicked on the menu to accomplish.

    I have taken the 5 hour tutorial online at Alpha - but still stumbling on my processes or my first step to actually work on. I just am not sure "in what order" to do things (knowing that the tables will need to have some fields set with parameters and properties, knowing the "old menu" driven creature we had in dos will need reconstructed (and see all his macros I am not certain I will be able to KNOW the precise item to choose for the tables in order for all to go smoothly).

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    Moderator Peter.Greulich's Avatar
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    There are no macros in A5. Specifically, what would you like to do?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    well I have gotten familiar with creating the BASIC form. Now I am attempting to make the NewInput form work as it did in the A4v7 (disregarding the fact I know I will have to go back an create the Menus that were before - just for sanity's sake I will work on 1 thing at a time).

    Ok, this is how A4V7 Input acted:

    We would choose Enter New Load from the menu, which took us to the Storage entry form.
    1. The first box defaulted in "A" for active (that later would automatically be moved/place into the LotHead.dbf )
    2. next Box Defaulted Age (000) for days in the cooler (later this same form return info based on the Calendar date received to number of days in the cooler - fee charge the client ea month in storage). Rec date entry later in form.
    3. Customer #- selected from drop down box which populated into the box for select. Drop down list taken from the customer.dbf file (would not let you leave this box blank, manditory entry)
    4. customer name (once choose in 3,then box 4 showed the name of the customer)
    5. Lot#- manditory number to be entered and will not allow to go to next box without data entry (BUT NOT auto increment, we assigned the number due to type of product - where place etc, this part can not be automated must be chosen by the office personnel entering info).
    6. product - drop down list populated from the product.dbf , manditory entry will not go on with entry.
    7. product type - automatically entered/returned info when chosen in box 6
    8. storage - defaulted "Cold" automatically, no entry required but did have to enter to move onto the next box
    9. Cooler - this was one header for 3 cells(sorry using wrong terminology but similar to that) of entry, manual entry for each cell, each (1) character entry populated drop down selections - but none of the 3 cell drop downs were populated by a database but must have been written into code somewhere. the first cell drop down was numbered between 1-12 (representing the cooler number) and a Header would also show to tell the person what they were choosing - this one said Cooler, next cell drop down was "N,S,E,W", with a Header that said Location, next cell was header Position with drop down choices of "F,C,B".
    10. Temp - manual entry, no drop down. This was designated on the BL from the driver as to the temperature the product to be stored (a prompt showed the person "Enter Cooler Temperature. (10-80)".
    11. Received- Today's system date would automatically drop into this screen, but someone could override this info if they were entering something delivered day before but after she left for the day and fork operators took the load anyway). Once the date populates in and person hits enter, then the "Calendar" would popup (the calendar is it's own database, used to track when received due to the predesignated Calendar week of the year , begin week of month - used as a tool later for monthly billing - this popup is used to verify the date received is accurate to the calendar week of the predefined calendar). If accurate person hits enter and populates into the appropriate boxes Acct, Week, Month, Year - if inaccurate person needs to select correct week from popup then hit enter.
    12. Pallets- manual entry, number of pallets taken from paperwork
    13. Pallet weight- manual entry, taken from paperwork
    14. containers-manual entry, taken from paperwork
    15. net weight-manual entry, taken from paperwork
    16. tare weight-manual entry, taken from paperwork
    17. gross weight- automatically adds up all the weights and returns the value (person entering is to double check the figure on screen to the paperwork)
    18. Loc#- manual entry, taken from paperwork (I am going to add drop down for this). This number is tied to plant.dbf (why no dropdown not sure) but once choose plant hit enter then the plant location Name, City, State defaults in (to allow person to verify correct loc number chosen).
    19. BL#- manual entry (bill of lading number)
    20. SM#- manual entry (sales manifest)
    21. Carriers - drop down, tied to carriers.dbf (choose the company who delivered the product) will allow manual entry without the drop down
    22. Mfg Date1: manual entry, date product produced (may have 2 dates in which case you used both lines Mfg 1 & 2)
    23. Mfg Date2: manual entry, date product produced (if 2 date listed on paperwork). if no second date can leave blank by hitting enter.
    24. Note: area to leave a special notation , 2 lines for memo.
    25. Once you hit enter for box 24, then a WARNING popup will present itself....the warning is Save the RECORD or Continue to adjustments (with two separate buttons listed below it, 1 for SAVE, 1 for Continue) If everything is correct one would hit enter here (since Save was the defaulted preselected button) . 3 beeps sound, then it "posts" or puts the information into the lothead.dbf database. If incorrect one could hit escape and arrow around to make the changes. If need to make adjustments then one would click on Continue.

    At ANY time someone was in this form, the person could hit escape, and it would popup a prompt to say "Are you sure you want to lose all changes to this record : YES NO. This is a great feature for them to have.

    NOW this is just the Inbound input, there is a whole process that goes into the Shipped input. If I get an idea how to do the above, I may be able to figure out the Shipped Form. (one step at a time......). ALL this is long winded, I know - but this is where I am, where I am at in the process. Thank you for asking and any help you give me (I am saying in advance).

    Penny

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Penny:

    I have converted dozens of applications in Alpha Four to Alpha Five.

    I am assuming your Alpha Four Application works fairly well, and is constructed fairly well, or you wouldn't still be using it.

    Here's what you first need to keep in mind.

    1) Marking records in Alpha Four was a common way of filtering records for tasks. Alpha Five will hide all marked records from you, making them deleted.

    2) You MUST use the a4 document tool to print every dbf (include field rules), every set (include field rules), every script involved in your application, and also print the application menu structure, too.

    Using the menu structure printout, highlight the tables and scripts that are actually used in the application.

    3) Now, you can add the tables in use to the New Alpha Five database. Recreate the sets from your set printouts.

    4) Remember that sets and tables in Alpha Four could have different field rules.

    5) Begin reproducing your field rules, then create your forms, browses, reports, labels.

    6) Create your scripts.

    7) Create your application menu.

    The advantage of Alpha Five is having control yourself. If you need online tutoring to get you up and running, please let me know. A few online lessons will get you up to speed quickly.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Penny:

    I have converted dozens of applications in Alpha Four to Alpha Five.

    I am assuming your Alpha Four Application works fairly well, and is constructed fairly well, or you wouldn't still be using it.

    Here's what you first need to keep in mind.

    1) Marking records in Alpha Four was a common way of filtering records for tasks. Alpha Five will hide all marked records from you, making them deleted.

    2) You MUST use the a4 document tool to print every dbf (include field rules), every set (include field rules), every script involved in your application, and also print the application menu structure, too.

    Using the menu structure printout, highlight the tables and scripts that are actually used in the application.

    3) Now, you can add the tables in use to the New Alpha Five database. Recreate the sets from your set printouts.

    4) Remember that sets and tables in Alpha Four could have different field rules.

    5) Begin reproducing your field rules, then create your forms, browses, reports, labels.

    6) Create your scripts.

    7) Create your application menu.

    The advantage of Alpha Five is having control yourself. If you need online tutoring to get you up and running, please let me know. A few online lessons will get you up to speed quickly.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Ahem. Penny, thank you for being so specific, BUT. Perhaps I should have said, tell us one specific thing you would like to do. Your detailed description is a little overwhelming, and w/o the context of the actual db, not particularly helpful. I suggest that you ask a specific question on one specific task, not give us a whole process to resolve.

    Also, check out this thread:
    http://msgboard.alphasoftware.com/al...ad.php?t=77309

  10. #10
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Craig:
    A4 worked fine(for what we did). We need new computer or would not do this. I did not setup A4 nor familiar with it (trying to understand it and A5 but decided concentrate learning A5 soley to ease confusion). That being said........your suggestions below that I am unsure what/how to do:

    2) You MUST use the a4 document tool to print every dbf (include field rules), every set (include field rules), every script involved in your application, and also print the application menu structure, too. Using the menu structure printout, highlight the tables and scripts that are actually used in the application.

    All that I did was find all the dbf files in A4 and copied them into the A5 directory. Everything I read on the Alpha forum stated all the other files were not "usable" in A5. How will I find the scripts?

    Guess I am jumping the gun since I started to create the input form before I created any sets (if this has sets). I just do not know.

    Sorry, I had such confidence in myself yesterday but today I just feel that I am over my head.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Peter
    sorry for so much detail. Over zealous I guess. After reading what you have stated as well as what Craig has stated ....I feel perhaps that I may have gotten off on the wrong foot with regard to what to do first.

    You mentioned: "Your detailed description is a little overwhelming, and w/o the context of the actual db, not particularly helpful." I am confused as to what you mean by the content of the database?

    As I replied to Craig - I was confident with this yesterday, but now today I just feel I am in too deep. I worked within my husband's company as the 1 office personnel so I understand the all the steps for all the "things" we used A4 to work the inventory (be it new input, be it to take out of inventory, be it to create reports, be it to clean up history/maintenance). HOW A4 did all this I do not know since I did not develope it. We have since moved to another state so now work my day job only to come home to attempt to "recreate" the A4 into A5 to save the company. If we could I would hire someone we would, but as I mentioned earlier we can not afford to do so (current economy can be thanked for that).

    I just need to gain my confidence back...but fear I am going to just waste my time only to find that I did a step in the wrong order and then just have to start over.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Penny:

    We were all over our heads in the beginning. You are in good company.

    So, are you saying you don't know Alpha 4 development? That makes for a very steep learning curve...

    My earlier response to you is basically saying that, if you have A4 working, you have a framework to follow in designing your A5 counterpart. There will be many, many opportunities to enhance the new application in Alpha Five, but that's icing on the cake.

    Given your timeline, the steps stated above are your best choice.

    The A4 documentor is in the Alpha 4 directory. It is called A4Doc.exe. It is a tool to print your application out. By printing it, you have everything you need on paper to reproduce the app in A5.

    Print everything, one at a time. Staple the pages for each table, set, etc. together, and group them together alphabetically.

    If you want help from the users here, I think you'll need to post one question at a time, each in a new thread. There is no way anyone can help you with the info above. It is too much information.

    One last thing, A4 used macros. A5 is scripting, or more commonly, code. A macro is recorded as clicks on the keyboard. For example CO triggers Change, the Open on the A4 main menu.

    This said, you will need to be able to open and work on A4 while you are transitioning this to A5. You will need to open an offline version of your application to step through the old macros to see what they are actually doing.

    I will not kid you. This will be a challenge for you. I do not frequent this board much, anymore, but I saw your thread and figured I'd give you the basic steps I used to rewrite apps.

    I think you can do this; the huge post above indicates the stamina required, and the understanding of both the business itself, and the procedures set in the A4 application. But I doubt you can do this in this short a window of time.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    thank you all for your kindness: it will be daunting, but I have to do this - no other solution...

    OK...I have remote access to the current working files on the company computer (I do not have it working here on my local computer). Tried to get it working but his bat file must be running soemthing that I do not have on my local). IN any event I have remote access to the file (and tend NOT to make any changes to the live files, more like extract info). I zipped the entire directory from their computer and unzipped it on my computer but it still does not work properly. I can, however, look at their A4Doc.exe, printscreen, then have the image of the info on this end to "staple" together. It will be more labor intensive but shall work non the less. That is what I am going to do first.

    As for the MANY steps asked in the HUGE post above (again sorry) but I will heed the advise that both of you gave me - - 1 question at a time. I have found, though, to NOT give the big picture and only a small portion sometimes defeats the whole. I merely gave TOO much. I shall prevail - I have to.

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Quote Originally Posted by Penny View Post
    I am confused as to what you mean by the content of the database?
    IOW, your steps are indeed very specific, so specific that w/o seeing the original A4 db, it's difficult, if not impossible, to understand.

    Look at the sample A5 Sports db that comes w. Alpha. Maybe that will give you some ideas.

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Peter - thanks, I see that I need to back up about 100 steps to do more BEFORE I get to the form step. Thank you for your help and I have indeed looked at the A5 Sports "sample" company - it does indeed give direction and step by steps. I need to first get back to even more of the basics before I tackle the form (I can see now). Your guidance has been MOST helpful. If I get past the "stuctural" steps, the relational steps, the set steps - then I will get back to the forms and perhaps "ask" one step at a time the questions (if I can not get it from the tutorial or sample database). I see that I really should just "get" a handle on it - knowing NOW it will be even more involved than I ever imagined.

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Take a look at this website:

    http://www.libertymanuals.com/

    Check out Susan Bush's Alpha Five Made Easy. You can take a peek at the table of contents, plus a couple of chapters. It might be worth investing in?

  17. #17
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Hello to all (Penny, Craig, Peter, Stan)!

    In the same vein as Penny's inquiry, I am in the process of finally upgrading from A4V3 to A5Vx (Version x to be determined - please see question 3).

    I need some clarification on CRAIG's 'how to convert' information. I have found and documented the DBFs, sets, etc. (using A4DOC.exe) Note: My application is simply DBFs and reports - no scripts or application menus. Data entry is achieved simply by the Alpha Four Main Menu's 'View/enter records' option.

    1. Craig, do I manually re-build the DBFs in A5 (typing in the fields one at a time) or is there a way to have A5 'copy' the A4 DBF structures into A5?

    2. Once the DBFs are in A5, I am hoping to be able to 'copy' the existing A4 data into the new A5 DBFs. How do I accomplish this?

    Once the data is in the new A5 DBFs, as I understand all the different posts, I will build the associated indexes, ranges, reports, rules, etc. MANUALLY (there is no 'automatic' 'conversion' tool from A4 to A5).



    3. I am using the Alpha package for very simple tasks - entering and reporting data. I only need one instance (on one PC) of the DBFs, I have no multi-user needs, I have no web needs. I need the simplest, least expensive version of A5Vx out there. The A5V9 offer (for $89.00) looks like it will do the trick. The A5V10 looks like overkill. The A4V3 version I had worked fine for many years and I was only forced to upgrade when I replaced my 10 year old PC. Can I accomplish my simple tasks with A5V9?

    Thanks, in advance, for any help given. I truly appreciate it. Have a great day!

    Dan

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    The A5V9 offer (for $89.00) looks like it will do the trick.
    Unless otherwise indicated in some special offer I believe you will find the $89 price is no longer available.

    The standard new user price is $199.

    Most of the special offers I saw were to expire with the release of v10.
    There can be only one.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Hello all!

    Stan, thanks for replying. I was able to get the $89.00 option, probably just under the V10 deadline.

    I have had no response from Craig yet. I also sent him a 'personal reply' reminder, to please look at this post, as he might not be in this forum too often. If anyone else can answer my questions to Craig, that would be wonderful.

    Thanks and have a great day!

    Dan.

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Hi Dan,

    First question to you have any memo fields? If yes then there will be tables with the suffix of DBT.

    Create a new folder and in the Windows environment, copy from you existing database, all the DBF and DBT files to the new folder.

    Now start V9 and create a new application in the new folder. When this opens you will have a blank Control Panel. On the tool bar menu click on the Green Plus icon. This will open a dialog box, navigate to your new folder and you will see all your DBF tables. Click Add All and then OK. Now you will have all your tables and data in your new application.

    Check through the tables, make sure the data is there. In particular the text in the memo fields.

    Now you will have basic tables with raw data. Add field rules, if required. Add Indexes, if required.

    Create new forms, in the forms Tab and reports in the Reports Tab.

    Next I hope to see you asking questions in the V9 section of this forum.

    Good luck.
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    For your day-to-day Needs, you Need an Alpha Database!

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Keith, hello!

    Thanks, from across the pond. I will follow your instructions and let you know how it works out. I'm sure I will be asking a few questions on the A5V9 forum, once I get things converted from A4V3.

    Have a great day, sir! Cheers!

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter.Greulich View Post
    IOW, your steps are indeed very specific, so specific that w/o seeing the original A4 db, it's difficult, if not impossible, to understand.

    Look at the sample A5 Sports db that comes w. Alpha. Maybe that will give you some ideas.
    Peter - thanks, I see that I need to back up about 100 steps to do more BEFORE I get to the form step. Thank you for your help and I have indeed looked at the A5 Sports "sample" company - it does indeed give direction and step by steps. I need to first get back to even more of the basics before I tackle the form (I can see now). Your guidance has been MOST helpful. If I get past the "stuctural" steps, the relational steps, the set steps - then I will get back to the forms and perhaps "ask" one step at a time the questions (if I can not get it from the tutorial or sample database). I see that I really should just "get" a handle on it - knowing NOW it will be even more involved than I ever imagined.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Ok Penny.... It's been awhile, so whats happened? Dick

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Hi Penny,

    Stumbled across your need for help.

    If you haven't already read this - my 2 cents worth is to download and digest Cal Locklin's 'Alpha File naming Recommendations'

    http://www.aimsdc.net/Tips_Funcs/Alp...onventions.htm

    If I had read this before starting down the A5 trail, I would have saved may hours of regurgitating (?) my tables and file names.

    Good Luck
    Dave Mac

    It's not so much what you don't know that gets you into trouble, but what you know for sure, that just ain't so. - Mark Twain.

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7


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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Craig I read your post to Penny. I started with A3 in the 80's and moved forward to A4v7 but could never get the conversion to A5. I wrote and designed everything myself so far and use it for my trucking company billing program. I bill about 800+ loads per month and the program works great but I realize I need to get onto A5 before the last of my XP computers die. I use Windows 7 and have A5v11 but just can't seem to get the final handle on things. I always made a new empty data base each month and brought forward all the forms and reports. I have designed all the reports in A5 and brought forward some of the data bases but just can't get the hang of taking an existing data base and creating a new one with all of the forms and reports from the old one. I'm close but just getting frustrated. I've tried to convert to A5 for several years but usually give up after a couple of weeks trying. Advice?
    Mike

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    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    can't get the hang of taking an existing data base and creating a new one with all of the forms and reports from the old one
    In A5 you would make a copy of the existing database in a new directory and empty all the tables.
    There can be only one.

  28. #28
    Member
    Real Name
    Mike Breitbach
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Thanks Stan, I'll try that tomorrow.

  29. #29
    "Certified" Alphaholic DaveM's Avatar
    Real Name
    David Mason
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    Hudson, FL
    Posts
    5,815

    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    For all travelers finding this thread.
    I just did a a4v6 to a5 v12 and the best help I had was the videos of his app sent to me that the client made with JIng. He also sent the documentation mentioned before. The videos were the most help though.
    Dave Mason
    dave@aldaweb.com

    Skype is dave.mason46

  30. #30
    Member
    Real Name
    Wadim Korneev
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: OK..NEWBIE HERE...trying to A5 from A4V7

    Look at the sample A5 Sports db that comes w. Alpha. Maybe that will give you some ideas.

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