When choosing an environment for building and deploying your mobile and web business applications, there are three critical questions:
Will it meet my needs in terms of richness, depth, and scalability?
What will it cost?
How long will it take?
At Alpha we understand that the choice of a development and deployment environment is a big decision for organizations of any sizes or for entrepreneurs building SaaS applications.
Our goal with this post is to give you some useful guidance (based on real world data) regarding what it might cost to build your application and what it might cost in hosting and licensing fees.
After reading this document we hope you are re-assured that Alpha Anywhere has the power and flexibility to provide you with an enterprise-level mobile and web solution that meets your needs and does this rapidly and very cost effectively.
We encourage you to compare the data presented in this post regarding the time and money savings achieved through the use of Alpha Anywhere for building, deploying, updating and hosting your business apps versus the costs and time of our competition. Our mission at Alpha is to build long term relationships with our customers and partners and as part of this mission, we believe that transparency regarding costs and affordable pricing are very important factors that people take into account when deciding on vendor selection. Unlike the costs of building and hosing business apps with Alpha Anywhere, you will find that companies like Kony and Appcelerator have pricing models that typically would require investments in the six figure range.
As business applications moved from the desktop to the web and now to mobile devices, the number of technologies required to build them has dramatically increased, and so has the complexity.
With this increase in complexity, developers are finding it more and more difficult to accurately estimate the costs and time-frame required to build a mobile business application.
At Alpha Software, we want developers who use Alpha Anywhere to have confidence in the time frames and costs they quote to clients or supervisors.
Accordingly, we recently hosted a webinar with Forrester analyst, Michael Facemire and others to examine the problem and find a way to make estimations easier and more reliable.
We also conducted a survey of customers to help give you a feel for how size and scope can be measured, and how quickly other developers are completing projects.
For example: To build a business mobile application in Alpha Anywhere that:
- Supports 20 to 100 users
- Contains 12 screens or panel cards
- Has a desktop/web interface as well as mobile
- Includes 2–3 prototyping iterations
- Will take about 1 month to develop
- Costs about $14,000 in labor to build (using Major Market labor rates in the USA)
- and about $100 per month for Hosting either on premises or offsite.
There are two key secrets behind Alpha Anywhere's ability to make the creation of mobile and web business applications fast and affordable.
Besides being a great platform to build and deploy applications, Alpha Anywhere is also a great prototyping tool where the prototype is a "working" prototype.
After the prototype is built, all that work can be used directly in building the final application. None of the prototyping work is wasted.
Alpha Anywhere has extensive property-list driven builders such as the UX Component Builder or the Grid Component Builder. They automatically and reliably handle the parts of coding which are often very time consuming. This includes - data binding to any SQL database as well as other data sources, creating native feeling HTML controls that look and act the same on multiple devices, taking advantage of AJAX techniques for quick performance, and generating responsive layouts for different screen sizes. This frees you up to spend your time on the truly custom part of your application if there is a need for this.
Each project will vary - but the numbers on this page are meant to serve as ballpark estimates. If you are interested in having a project built for you that is managed by Alpha Software, please see our Professional Services section.
Price to Host Applications
Alpha Anywhere applications can be hosted on Windows servers on your own premises - or they can be hosted externally either in a traditional server environment as well as on a cloud environment. Our preferred hosting partner is Zebrahost.net who hosts exclusively in Softlayer/IBM data centers located around the world.
Zebrahost.net is currently hosting Alpha Anywhere mobile and web apps ranging from a small number of users all the way up to many thousands of users and in some cases tens of thousands of users.
Zebrahost.net spoke during our recent webinar about estimating the costs of hosting an Alpha Anywhere application.
In this webinar Clive Swanepoel from Zebrahost.net discusses the different levels of service and estimates that businesses should expect to spend $1- $3/month per concurrent user per month depending on their choice of service. It should be kept in mind that "concurrent" users are users who are accessing the server at exactly that same point in time. You can often have many more users logged onto the system at any given moment in time.
The Challenge of Estimating Time and Cost when building Mobile and Web Business Apps
During the same webinar, one of the guest speakers was Michael Facemire of Forrester Research.
Michael outlined the issues developers face when attempting to forecast the timeline and delivery costs for mobile and web business applications. The biggest ones were:
- Accessing the systems of record (such as your SAP data) and data contained in SQL Server and web services
- Making sure the system is secure - both in reality and in perception
- Choosing a HTML5, Native, or a Hybrid for the client side technology when building mobile apps
Developers using Alpha Anywhere revealed the time and costs incurred in both building and hosting their business applications.
This five minute webinar excerpt (below) shows you our finding.
You can also download the PDF with the survey results.
Some of our partners have been willing to share what they charge to build applications. In many cases, clients had come to them after being quoted higher prices from firms using other technologies than Alpha Anywhere. Below is a PDF that one of our development partners sent us, which outlines ten recent Alpha Anywhere projects, including the type of application, the industry, and the cost.
Click to see the PDF
Another one of our partners, this one based in the U.K., has put together a similar list of recent projects.
In this case the prices quoted are in $GBP rather than $USD, but you'll see the pricing is about the same once you take into account currency conversion.
Click to see the PDF
About Alpha Anywhere:
- Alpha Anywhere is the complete environment for rapidly prototyping, developing and deploying enterprise-level, cross-platform mobile and web business applications - including both the front-end and the back-end.
- Alpha Anywhere uses one code base that can run on a wide range of mobile devices or the web.
- Its "coding optional" approach appeals to all levels of developers: those who want the speed and ease of a RAD (Rapid Application Development) environment and those who want the ability to code on both the back-end and the front end as needed. The result is development speeds that are 5-10 times faster than products that require coding for many of the things that Alpha Anywhere does for the developer.
- As a result of its design and its standards-based approach, Alpha Anywhere easily integrates with existing databases and web services, including seamless connectivity to SQL.
- The Alpha Anywhere environment includes built-in reporting, business charting, scheduling, data-mapping, e-forms and advanced media handling. Hosting of Alpha
- Anywhere can be either on-premise or cloud based. Alpha Anywhere licensing is transparent and affordable and because of its rapid application modification capabilities, customers are able to achieve low ongoing operational costs.