The Future of RAD is Now

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The Future of RAD is Now


From the mid-'70s, there has always been a divide between hard-core programmers and those who programmed but looked for rapid application development tools to make the process easier and more timely. Back then, in those neolithic times, there were code generators and tools that were designed to make the job of Business programming and development much easier.

Fast-forward to the late '80s and early '90s and three trends emerged:

  • Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tools
  • Fourth Generation Languages (4GL), strong programming with languages that were succinct, easier and very productive.
  • Rapid Applications Development (RAD) - tools that greatly simplified the development process but had the ability to do some coding as needed (Alpha Software was a leader in RAD tools back then)
Everything went well until Windows and the Internet hit around mid-to late '90s. CASE and 4GL tools mostly disappeared or took a back seat to much more complex programming languages like Visual C+ and others. While RAD tools still existed, they could not solve the problems created by both Windows and the Internet in a simple and elegant manner. The computer programming world took a massive step backwards!!!

The Need for RAD in a Multi-Platform World

Fast forwarding to our present time we find that the industry is yearning for RAD again, but more powerful web RAD tools that can bridge the problems between desktop, distributed, mobile and multi-platform computing. Sounds easy? Think again!

There are many web protocols and many versions of Windows, Mac, Unix, Linux, etc. How do you handle the issue of connectivity,  data synch, development timelines, learning curves and customers that wanted it done yesterday on a budget that tightened up daily?

Forrester reported recently that the way forward was RAD tools that could bridge all of the issues aforementioned without braking the money or the brain bank. Forrester has finally realized what was the norm back in the late '80s and early '90s: full systems development life-cycle support from one set of integrated tools. The good times are coming back! Well, at least some vendors are seeing that.

The Alpha Anywhere Solution: One Set of Tools for Desktop, Mobile and Web RAD

Enter Alpha Software and their latest product incarnation called Alpha Anywhere. As a developer that worked with many 4GL, CASE and web RAD tools in the past, I was thrilled when I re-discovered Alpha Software. We've been looking to develop multi-platform and multi-device applications for about five years with no success. We tried different tools and hit the heavy programming paradigm early on. That's not what we wanted or needed.

As we started doing our research on Alpha Anywhere I realized that this was something "BIG", a game-changer as some call it. A tool with the DBA of one of the best RAD tools of the past, with a well orchestrated design for the future. Just what we were looking for and better than ever (no small feat making a great product even better).

I see Alpha Anywhere as a pioneer and fore-runner to an industry that's in desperate need of what Alpha Software can provide.  With economies in turmoil and budgets shrinking for small or large scale projects, Alpha Anywhere fits a need described by Forrester as the future of development. Except the future is already here...


Rick Zanotti is the president of RELATE, an IT and Training consulting firm in business since 1984. He upper level IT management experience, has implemented numerous ERP systems and also is adept at multimedia and broadcasting. He has over 35 years excperience in Systems, Training and Business. Rick is also a video podcaster, public speaker and Management consultant. Rick loves dogs and teaching martial arts.

 
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Rick Zanotti

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