"With Alpha Anywhere, we're creating web-based and mobile apps that save time and money, tap into multiple sources of data, and bring government services closer to the citizens of Warren County."
- Jeremy Scrime, Senior Programmer Analyst, Warren County IT Department
Warren County is located in the Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York. It has a population of more than 63,000 people. The county is part of the Glens Falls Metropolitan Area, the only urban area of New York State to gain population in the 1990's.
Sophisticatd app built rapidly
Reduction in resources and technology needed
Self-sufficient at mobile app development
Warren County was using approximately 80 web-based apps to perform a variety of tasks for more than 20 county departments including building permits and renewals, certificates of occupancy, real-estate tax collection, repossessing property, and others. Some applications are used by county residents to do business with the county, and others are used by county employees for running the county itself.
"Many of those 80 apps are absolutely vital to running the business of the county," says Jeremy Scrime, Senior Programmer Analyst with the Warren County IT department.
Scrime spent three months researching solutions that would meet the complex needs of Warren County. He did trials of many of them, and recognized that Alpha Anywhere would be ideal for his needs.
"We wanted a solution that used web standards and not require us to reinvent the wheel. Alpha Anywhere is great that way," he says. "Its low-code approach was extremely important as well. We have a small IT staff here, and Alpha Anywhere gives us more bang for the buck because it lets a small staff build web apps quickly. I was also impressed by the support, customer service, and large user community that has developed around Alpha. Also important is that it lets you easily create mobile apps, which we have plans to do. The price was right for us as well."
A staff member from Alpha Software trained Scrime and other IT employees. Scrime says, "That really gave us a jump start, and made sure that we were heading down the right path."
Scrime used Alpha Anywhere to build a new web app that would be the central component of a new system — a core application that county employees can log into to see their messages, phone lists, and important work they need to do each day. The app also has links to all of the other apps to which each employee has access. This was especially important because not all employees have access to all apps. So with the core app, each county employee gets a customized dashboard of the county's resources they can use.
"Doing that really simplified life for our users as well as for the IT department," Scrime says. "When a new user comes on board, they have everything they need in their dashboard, including all of the apps they have access to. That saves time for the IT department, as well as for users."
Scrime has been rewriting all of the other existing county apps in Alpha Anywhere, as well as building new ones. He plans on creating a mobile app for both Android and iOS users that will allow citizens to check the status of their real-estate taxes. He's also working on using mobile-optimized forms capability in Alpha Anywhere to build an app for the county workforce that will simplify and speed tasks such as gathering information about doing home inspections and checking for building-code violations.
"For that app, Alpha Anywhere's ability to work when offline will be a tremendous benefit, because we're a rural county, so there are some areas that don't have data connections," he says.
"We've been able to build many apps very quickly with a very small staff — something we wouldn't have been able to do with another development platform. We also didn't have to do any outsourcing."
Warren County has reaped significant benefits from the use of Alpha Anywhere, including reduced costs, increased productivity, and offering improved services to its citizens. "We've been able to build many apps very quickly with a very small staff — something we wouldn't have been able to do with another development platform," Scrime says. "We also didn't have to do any outsourcing."
Scrime says that Alpha Anywhere's ability to easily connect to multiple data sources has been a big benefit. The apps he's building largely tap into a SQL database, but also connect to a wide variety of other databases. "Connecting to data sources is extremely simple with Alpha Anywhere," he says. "It's built right into the tool, so it takes very little work to do it."
The core app and other web apps have improved the productivity of county workers and the IT department. And the apps, including the upcoming mobile apps, have delivered county services more effectively to the county's citizens.
"Alpha Anywhere has been a win all around," Scrime concludes. "We've saved time and money and helped make government work far more effectively, which is exactly what we set out to do."
"Alpha Anywhere has been a win all around. We've saved time and money and helped make government work far more effectively, which is exactly what we set out to do."