A Record of Innovation with Alpha Anywhere



Over the last few months,  we have received a lot of comments from customers indicating how they appreciate all the innovation and continuous improvements that they are getting with Alpha Anywhere. It then occurred to us that it would be worthwhile to summarize the features and innovations since the release of Alpha Anywhere just 6 months ago.

Alpha Anywhere: A Record of Innovation and Continuous Improvement

Alpha Software is committed to making Alpha Anywhere the most complete, the fastest, and the most cost effective way to build secure, scalable, robust, and responsive web and mobile applications.

To this end we are constantly innovating. When you become an Alpha Anywhere customer you are assured a stream of new releases and updates giving you access to the latest and greatest capabilities that we have to offer.

Below we've outlined a small selection of some of the many new features that have been introduced since the initial Alpha Anywhere launch (as well as upcoming capabilities that are already available for you to try out in the pre-release build).

In addition to everything listed below, coming soon to Alpha Anywhere you'll be able to build offline (disconnected) mobile apps very easily.

January 2014 Pre-Release Update Powerful new features and capabilities added, such as...

  Support for the PhoneGap Build service is now tightly integrated into Alpha Anywhere! PhoneGap is an open source product that allows you to build native applications for mobile devices. With Alpha Anywhere's PhoneGap integration, you can easily create a native application that has access to all of the native features of the phone that are exposed by PhoneGap.Learn more →

New Styles: iOS7 and Android
  With this update comes three beautiful new styles for iOS7 and Android. These new styles feature the sleek, modern design that mobile users have come to expect—plus support for CSS icons! (More info on using CSS icons below.)

CSS Icons (Icon Fonts)
  Icon fonts have become very popular—especially for mobile applications—because they scale smoothly, and are smaller than bitmaps. Support for CSS icon fonts is now tightly integrated into Alpha Anywhere, with the Font Awesome icon library—a popular open-source icon font library—pre-installed! Plus, downloading 3rd party CSS icon font libraries is incredibly easy.Watch the video →

Pre-Defined 'Split-View' Quick Start Templates
  A common pattern in mobile apps is the 'split-view' which shows a menu on the left and a work area on the right. On a phone, the menu is hidden and only shown on demand, but on a tablet, the menu is always shown. Now, with Alpha Anywhere, you can simply select a pre-defined split-view quick start template to automatically generate the outline—complete with CSS icons—of a stunning menu for your mobile apps!
  Watch the video - Part OnePart TwoPart Three

Security Framework: Automated SQL Databases
  The Web Application Security framework allows you to store the account information for the users and groups in your security framework in either .dbf tables or a SQL database. Previously, configuring the Web Security Framework to use SQL tables was a manual process, but now a new genie makes it easy for you switch a previously configured Security Framework from .dbf tables to SQL tables without losing any of your data.

Remember: This is just an overview of some of what's included in the late January 2014 pre-release update. To see a complete list, along with more videos, screenshots, and documentation, please check out the pre-release notes.


November 2013 Software Update 30+ new features and capabilities added, such as...

Responsive Layout Genie
  Quickly and easily build Responsive Web Apps that run on a single codebase. Using the Responsive Layout Genie, your web and mobile apps will automatically adjust to the screen size, window size, and orientation differences of the various devices your users are accessing them from.Watch the video →

AbsoluteLayout Container
  Alpha Anywhere developers can now place controls at absolute positions on the screen using an astoundingly simple WYSIWYG drag-and-drop interface. Especially useful for creating complex forms using an image as the background.Watch the video →

Absolute Positioning of Objects in Reports
  After an extremely positive response to the pre-release of the AbsoluteLayout Container, we've added absolute positioning of objects in reports. Layout Table reports now offer the ability to use an image of a form as the report background and to then position the report fields directly over the 'fields' on the background image.Watch the video →

Custom Styling: Radiobutton and Checkbox Controls
  The standard way in which browsers render checkbox and radiobutton controls is pretty drab. Now, in Alpha Anywhere, the UX component allows you to apply a rich set of styling options to radiobutton and checkbox controls.Watch the video →

Printing QR Codes
  Layout Table Reports now support printing any cell in the Layout Table that contains a text value as a QR code. To print the contents of a cell as q QR code, simply check the 'Display QRCode for text in cell' property at the bottom of the 'Cell Contents' dialog box.Watch the video →

Displaying QR Codes on a UX Component
  A common requirement, especially in mobile applications, is to display data encoded as a QR code. Now, Alpha Anywhere makes it easy. QR codes can now be shown on a UX component using both client-side and server-side techniques.Watch the video →

New Mobile Theme: Slate
  "Slate," a gorgeous new stylesheet for mobile applications, is now ready for testing. Although not quite ready for official use (it doesn't yet contain classes for Grids or the Tabbed UI) we're releasing this to mobile developers for feedback. Let us know what you think!Download now →

Xbasic Update: Working with XML Documents
  Alpha's own server-side language Xbasic has always had a powerful XML parser, but the new *property_from_xml() function and the new XML document viewer make it ever easier to work with XML documents.Watch the video →

Reports: Creating Custom Style Sheets
  With this new release, it is now much easier to create custom style sheets for Layout Table Reports. Simply select 'New Style Sheet' from the Quick Report Genie and you're on your way.

Session Timeout Warning
  In Alpha Anywhere, the UX component can now be configured to display a warning to the user that their session is about to expire.

Remember: This is just a sampling of the 30+ new features in the November 2013 Alpha Anywhere software update. To see a complete list, along with more videos, screenshots, and documentation, please check out the release notes.


August 2013 Software Update 30+ new features and capabilities added, such as...

Signature Capture Control
  A common requirement in mobile applications is the ability to capture a signature and store the signature in a database. That's why a new Signature Capture control has been added to the UX component.Watch the video →

Printing QR Codes
  There are endless business applications for QR codes. Now, with the new printQRCode() function, you can print QR codes — representing whatever value you'd like — directly in your reports.Watch the video →

AppLauncher Component
  So, you've designed an app that's accessed through a URL. But users will be launching your app from any number of different devices—whether it be an iOS phone or tablet, an Android device, a desktop browser, a Windows phone, etc.—and you want each device to launch a different startup component or page.By using the AppLauncher component, you can automatically detect the user's device and launch the appropriate component, or .a5w page, with the appropriate stylesheet. You can even navigate to a different URL.

Analyze Web Access Logs
  Better understand your users interaction with your app with the new A5W_AnalyzeWebAccessLogs() function. This function provides web access analysis and finds the number of server requests per minute. You'll be able to estimate the load being placed on a server, generate a list of all IP addresses that accessed the system sorted by number of requests, and more

Mobile Login/Authentication
  Protect sensitive data and ensure mobile security with the new Integrated Mobile Login functionality. In addition to previously available authentication methods in Alpha Anywhere, the UX component can now include an authentication layer, allowing for a much richer UI complete with standard mobile elements.
  Watch the video - Part OnePart TwoPart ThreePart FourPart Five

User-Defined Sub-Themes
  In Alpha Anywhere, every control type has a sub-theme of 'base' and this sub-theme is implied if no sub-theme is explicitly set. The sub-themes for a given style (e.g. iOS, MobBlue, etc.) are defined in the style.js file in the folder of the same name as the file (e.g. CSS\iOS\style.js).Now, developers can define their own sub-themes by adding code to the style.js file, (in which case the new sub-theme will be available to all components that use a particular style), or by adding the sub-theme in as a 'locally' defined sub-theme as part of the UX component.Watch the video →

Remember: This is just a sampling of the 30+ new features in the August 2013 Alpha Anywhere software update. To see a complete list, along with more videos, screenshots, and documentation, please check out the release notes.


June 2013 Product Launch Alpha Anywhere officially released...

What's New in Alpha Anywhere?
  To put it simply; no other development platform comes close to Alpha Anywhere in terms of its ability to produce serious business applications once that can run on all major devices (iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, Android Phones/Tablets, Win Phones/ Tablets, PC's, Mac's,Laptops, Chromebooks). Alpha Anywhere isgetting written about in places like All Things Digital (Wall Street Journal), The Boston Globe and Dr. Dobbs.See new features →

Improvements on the Desktop and Web
  Alpha Anywhere offers massive enhancements whether you are building web and desktop apps and of course if you want to dive into mobile applications. While there has been plenty of focus on the mobile features in Alpha Anywhere, we also want to stress just how much work has been done that directly applies to building web and desktop applications.The brand new UX Component (think of the Dialog Component on steroids!), significant improvements to the Grid Component (such as image upload to new records), a new JavaScript editor that includes auto-complete, lots of very powerful new actions in Action JavaScript, and tremendous enhancements to reports. Alpha Anywhere also has added security, improved visualization and charting, expanded Xbasic capabilities, more throughput on the server, and much, much more.

Build Touch as Well as Mobile Apps
  When we talk about mobile applications, we could also be talking about Alpha Anywhere's ability to build touch applications. Through a new breed of touch enabled computing devices running Windows 8, touch has come to the web. With the introduction of Alpha Anywhere, we've made it simple to update your existing applications to include a touch enabled user experience no matter what device your users are using—from mobile devices 4 inches wide to monitors 4 feet wide.See a customer example →

Alpha Anywhere's New UX Component
  We've taken the Dialog component in v11 and added boat loads of amazing new features—including mobile (while still ensuring that your v11 apps run just fine). Essentially, the UX Component is the big brother of the v11 Dialog Component, loaded with powerful new functionality, sophisticated control types and stunning new features. Everything that we've added to the UX Component for building mobile applications can be applied to your existing desktop and web apps.

New in Reporting: HTML, PDF, Excel, and More
  With Alpha Anywhere, you can display your reports as HTML, PDF or both. With lightning fast performance, HTML reports vastly enhance the user experience. In addition to HTML and PDF, your data can be exported directly to Excel, Word, and ASCII with the full structure of a report definition—including live Excel formulae.Learn more →

What are Alpha Anywhere Users Saying?
  “ Alpha Anywhere is just that good." Imran Riaz, Senior VP & Chief Risk Officer for Equipment Finance/Federal leasing at TD Bank
  “ Alpha Anywhere fills a critical need to let developers like me build serious web and mobile applications fast. Dion McCormick, CEO of GKR Solutions
  “ Alpha Software is a company that knows where they're going. We are delighted with Alpha Anywhere. Anthony Ward, Dir. of Development for Palace Entertainment, owner of 37 theme parks
  “ I get a real competitive advantage because I can develop apps with Alpha Anywhere that will run on all of these platforms. Nils Boje is building apps for major enterprises, including a major shipping company, with Alpha Anywhere


More Alpha Anywhere resources: Rather than list each new feature here, we recommend taking a look around our Features page, where you'll find a detailed overview of everything that's new. You can also check out our product overview page, with 'Getting Started' videos, case studies, and technical resources. Read more about "Why Alpha Anywhere Matters" in this article by Dan Bricklin, Alpha's CTO.
Cross Platform Application Development with a Single System: A Game Changer
Getting up to speed using Alpha Anywhere

About Author

Richard Rabins
Richard Rabins

Co-founder of Alpha Software, Richard Rabins focuses on strategy, sales, and marketing. Richard also served as CEO of SoftQuad International from 1997 to 2001, when it owned Alpha. In addition to his 30 years with the company, Richard played a key role as co-founder, and served as president and chairman of the Massachusetts Software Council (now the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council), the largest technology trade organization in Massachusetts. Prior to founding Alpha, Richard was a project leader and consultant with Information Resources, Inc. (IRI), and a management consultant with Management Decision Systems, Inc. Richard holds a master's degree in system dynamics from the Sloan School at MIT, and a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and master's degree in control engineering from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has served on the boards of Silent Systems, Legacy Technology and O3B Networks, and is co-founder of Tubifi

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