Alpha Software Blog

Alpha Anywhere's Secret Sauce: Productivity and Confidence/Power

power speed "The way you get programmer productivity is not by increasing the line of code per programmer per day. That doesn't work. The way you get programmer productivity is by eliminating lines of code you have to write. The line of code that is the fastest to write, that never breaks, that never needs maintenance is the line that you never have to write. The goal here is to eliminate 80% of the code that you have to write for your app. That's the goal."   Steve Jobs - 1994

Think about it – when selecting an environment for building and deploying business apps for creating both mobile and web solutions, there are a number of considerations to think about, but invariably it comes down to two ​key criteria:

Confidence/Power and Productivity

The first big consideration is "confidence/power."​    Developers want to know if the the platform ​has the horsepower to complete the mission ​(s) that they are tasked with and they want to be sure that there is no real risk that they can wind up  in a situation where  ​the platform's limitations prevent them from completing the mission fully​ (By way of analogy, if  you need to get from   ​New York to London,  getting to ​Dublin is close but  you have failed to complete the mission.) The second big consideration is  ​"productivity." (Getting the job ​ done,  but done ​late is generally not an acceptable option ​ because of business and competitive reasons.​ ) Licensing, support and hosting costs often factor into the decision too, but they are often taken into account after the two big considerations discussed above are dealt with.

Meeting the two key criteria is where Alpha Anywhere shines with its unique  approach which is carefully designed to give developers  ​both high levels of confidence/power and ​high ​productivity

​Because of the depth and richness of  ​the components ​ in Alpha Anywhere (which do not require coding​,) developers are telling us that they can get 90 to 95%  ​(​or more​)​ of complex projects built with the Alpha Anywhere components ​. They also are telling us that for simpler projects you can get the entire application built with no coding.   This ability to get a huge percentage of the job done without coding gives Alpha Anywhere its tremendous productivity!

Ok that's great, but what about the last 10% or 5%?

Here is where Alpha Anywhere’s ​approach gives developers and companies a critical​ competitive advantage​.

​How does Alpha Anywhere's  approach work?.

  1. ​Alpha Anywhere's components are declarative ​- ​you set properties that define the behavior you want ​ from the system and then Alpha Anywhere writes the appropriate back-end and front-end code to achieve this result.​
  2. You can ​ also​ inject code  ​throughout the ​components because the ​Alpha Anywhere ​event model is so rich  ​ and granular​ (on both the client side and the server side)
  3. ​The benefit of this approach is that ​you can constantly go back and forth and refine the property settings in the components and the only code you have to deal with is the code that you write yourself. The code you write on the client side can either be generated through Alpha's Action JavaScript or by writing straight JavaScript. On the server side you can take advantage of Stored procedure, server side JavaScript (coming soon) or using Alpha Anywhere's powerful Xbasic langauge
  4. This approach encourages you to iterate a lot as you build and refine your applications in Alpha Anywhere

How is this different from a code-generation approach?

  1. A wizard gets you started by asking you to specify  properties. It then generates  code.
  2. You can add your own code to the generated code to add customization, but this normally requires that you understand all of the generated code (which is often complex)
  3. Also, should you decide that the properties you set when you initially used the wizard were wrong (or you want to change them for whatever reason,) and you need to go back to the wizard, you will be starting over, and the custom code that you added is generally lost.​

To see the productivity of Alpha in action check this out

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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

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.