Alpha Software Blog

Alpha Anywhere:Build a Multi-File Order Mobile App in a few hours.


A video of the sample mobile application that ships with Alpha Anywhere can be viewed here.


Below is a Tutorial for Building the Sample Mobile Application that ships with Alpha Anywhere

In this tutorial we will show you, step-by-step, how to create the sample mobile application that ships with Alpha Anywhere.

Some Background Information

Before we start the tutorial, let's just set the stage. The application we are going to build in this tutorial is based on the sample Northwind database that ships with Alpha Anywhere. This is a Microsoft Access database (Northwind.mdb). We chose to build the sample application using Northwind because so many developers are already familiar with the structure of this database.

NOTE: We are using a modified version of the Northwind database. Some image fields have been added to the Customer table.

If you are not familiar with Northwind's structure, don't worry. It's a simple database with tables for Customers, Orders, Order Details, Products, etc.

While Northwind is an Access database, the application we build would work in exactly the same way if your database is a MySQL, MS SQL Server, Oracle, Postgres or other supported SQL database.

In fact, if you prefer to follow along in this tutorial using another SQL database (such as MySQL) simply export the data in the Northwind.mdb file (in the MDBFiles folder where Alpha Anywhere is installed - typically <program files>\a5v12) to your SQL database. For more information about creating a MS SQL version of the Northwind sample database, please see these links:link1link2link3


The application covers tasks that are common to many different types of business applications. In the application we will cover tasks such as:

  • Performing CRUD operations (create, update and delete actions) against tables in the database

  • Searching for records in the database

  • Showing related records (for example, showing all orders for a particular customer)

  • Using the camera to take a picture, upload the picture to the server and store it in a record.

  • Plotting a location on a map

  • Creating a chart to display data

  • Displaying reports.


You will notice that as you work through the initial lessons in the tutorial, we are focused on getting the basics of the application to work, rather than making it look like a mobile application. The initial lessons focus on creating a UX component to display data a SQL table, search for records, and then update records - the so called CRUD (create, update and delete) operations that are common to many business applications.

Once we have these basics all working, we start to 'mobilize' the application in lesson 8.

For the entire tutorial please go here.



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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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The Alpha platform is the only unified mobile and web app development and deployment environment with distinct “no-code” and “low-code” components. Using the Alpha TransForm no-code product, business users and developers can take full advantage of all the capabilities of the smartphone to turn any form into a mobile app in minutes, and power users can add advanced app functionality with Alpha TransForm's built-in programming language. IT developers can use the Alpha Anywhere low-code environment to develop complex web or mobile business apps from scratch, integrate data with existing systems of record and workflows (including data collected via Alpha TransForm), and add additional security or authentication requirements to protect corporate data.