Michael Darby, a developer based in South Australia, first began using Alpha Five v11 because he needed to build a mobile business application that would run on iPads in a very brief period of time. By utilizing Alpha Five v11's rapid application development (RAD) capabilities, he was able to quickly and easily develop a web-based application to meet his exact specifications.
Then, Michael used the Beta version of Alpha Software's next major release to develop a poweful and secure data-driven mobile business application. It was designed primarily for the iPad but it also ensures an intuitive user experience on other tablets and on the desktop web. And, he was able to complete his development effort in just a few days!
Michael's new Sales Management application, which makes it easy for users to schedule call cycles, report on customer interactions, record product information, input sales orders, and much more, allows Sales Reps in the field to access the critical information they need to do their jobs using their mobile device, anytime/anywhere. After Michael showed us what he had accomplished in such an incredibly brief amount of time, we were delighted - because it is a great example of how Alpha adds value to developers. So, we asked him if he would create a demo version of the application that we could share with you:
Configuring the Sample ApplicationTo set up the sample demo, Michael used a Windows Azure Virtual Machine. We asked him to explain how he set that up:
In Michael's words: "Configuring a Windows Azure Virtual Machine is very straight forward. Visit http://www.windowsazure.com, and click the Free Trial link. After you have created an account and signed in to Windows Azure, you will be taken to the Management Portal. Within the Management Portal, click New -> Compute -> Virtual Machine –Quick Create. You will be prompted for the following:
- DNS Name: This will be both the default computer name and public DNS name for the server.
- Image: For this demonstration I used a Windows 2008 R2 image
- Location: Windows Azure have datacenters in multiple locations around the world. Choose one closest to your target audience for the lowest possible latency.
Your virtual machine will be created after a few minutes. Then you'll be able to connect to your server using Remote Desktop Connection with the DNS Name configured above. For example myserver.cloudapp.net (myserver being the DNS Name). Alpha Five and SQL Server can now be installed as you normally would on your new Virtual Machine, or you could opt to use a Windows Azure SQL Database instance.
After Alpha Five is configured and installed you will need to add an Endpoint in Windows Azure. An Endpoint is basically a port forwarding rule to allow public traffic to flow to the server. You will need to add an Endpoint for Web Based traffic, usually port 80, by going back to the Management Portal, selecting Virtual Machines from the menu, clicking the arrow next to your newly creating Virtual Machine, clicking Endpoints, and then clicking Add Endpoint.
The final step is to configure Windows Firewall within your Virtual Machine to allow port 80 traffic.
Your Windows Azure Virtual Machine should now be ready."
Current Alpha Five Subscribers are eligible to receive the Beta version of the next release from Alpha Software. If you are a current Alpha Five Subscriber, and would like to participate in the Beta program, please email Dave McCormick, Alpha Software's VP of Product Marketing, at firstname.lastname@example.org.