Alpha Software Blog

Alpha Anywhere Saves Telecom Business Tens of Thousands of Dollars

moving ms access apps to web and mobile saves thousands of dollars

Countless thousands of legacy applications have been built using Microsoft Access, and are still chugging away. In its time, Access was a popular choice among developers who wanted to quickly build apps, not uncommonly in combination with a Microsoft SQL Server backend.

That's all well and good. But this isn't the 1990s anymore. And Access has a very serious shortcoming: You can't use it to build mobile apps or Web portals. Microsoft Access is designed to build desktop applications. So what's a developer to do if he has an old Access application and wants to turn it mobile? Access developers need to find an alternative.

That's exactly the situation that CTG3 recently faced. CTG3 helps businesses find the best fit for their telecommunications needs by matching them with services from leading telephone and cable companies. The company's gross sales are approximately $20 million annually.

CTG3 wanted to replace its Access-built desktop application with a Web portal so that its agents could more easily do their work anywhere the Internet is available. And it wanted to build a new consumer service, CarrierFinder.Net, that would allow consumers to check what telecommunications services are available anywhere in the United States. They needed a tool that would allow them to replace their access applications quickly.

Choosing Alpha Anywhere to Replace MS Access

CTG3 President is an experienced developer but needed to spend as much time possible running and growing his business rather than writing code. So he turned to Alpha Anywhere.

"Web programming has always been frustrating to me, there are so many different things going on," he says. "That's why I turned to Alpha Anywhere --  it was a great fit and was the closest thing I could find to Access for the Web. It let me build what I wanted with very little work, so that I could turn my attention to sales, marketing, and other core parts of my business."

Once he saw how easily he was able to create a portal, he turned his attention to CarrierFinder.Net. He had built an initial version using PHP, but the Yahoo API he used was proving to be problematic. So he used Alpha Anywhere to build the site.

"With Alpha Anywhere, I was able to build CarrierFinder.Net more quickly and with much less effort than I expected," he says. In the future he plans to build a mobile app for CarrierFinder.Net using Alpha Anywhere, and may build other mobile apps for CTG3 with it as well.

The benefits? Tens of thousands of dollars in savings in development costs and a faster time to market.

We've got a full case study devoted to CTG3's experience with Alpha Anywhere. Check it out here.

How to Convert Existing Microsoft Access Apps to Mobile

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About Author

Dion McCormick
Dion McCormick

Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, is a recognized expert on agile application development. He helps enterprise development teams around the world transition from slow legacy approaches to high-performance mobile, web, and desktop development using the Alpha Anywhere platform.

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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.