When the proverbial needle has to be found and the haystack is very large, Alpha Five and SQL Server are a perfect solution

We recently received this useful article/video about RAPIDLY searching a LARGE web database with Alpha Five v11 from Alpha Five developers Doron Faber and Jim Dusoe, and wanted to share it with you. I look forward to your feedback at

-Richard Rabins, Alpha Software

Using Alpha Five v11, Doron and Jim (developers who specialize in Alpha,) have developed a search engine on the web that works equally well on a database of a few thousand records, as well as on a database with hundreds of millions of records

With Alpha Five v11 as the front end and MS SQL Server as the back end, the developers have created a powerful platform for high-performance, web-based searches.

For example, below are the search results for the name "Joe Smith." In order to limit network traffic and rendering time, the algorithms used return only the top 100 records based on values entered in the Search Options part of our interface.

Rapidly searching a large web database

We also provided the capability to enter partial address or just the street name without the street number. In the stored procedure we split the address into address number and street name on the fly for better and more accurate performance. In the address table we split the address field into two fields as Street Number and Street Name – indexing each for maximum performance.

The optimized SQL query only executes the minimum code required to identify a match. In other words, it has been designed to be intelligent enough to attempt the most likely match first, than try more “expensive” (in terms of time) queries.  This helps avoid unnecessary partial searches and overhead.  For a more complete explanation of the techniques used see this article at: Sql Query Optimization with Alpha Five and MS SQL Server.

The following video gives a more detailed explanation of the techniques used:

The user interface was designed using Alpha Five’s linked content feature, which allows related data to be displayed in multiple related components.  This powerful capability allowed Doron and Jim to create a robust interface that would have require substantially more effort in other platforms.

About the author:

Doron Farber is the owner of The Farber Consulting Group, Inc. a 20 year old IT firm which currently develops custom database applications for both web and mobile business needs. New applications are being built using Alpha Five and SQL Server. With 30 years of development experience, Doron made the decision to move all new development to the Alpha Five platform. Doron’s firm also provides database design, review, optimization and remote DBA services for MS SQL and MySQL databases.

Doron can be reached at:

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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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