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110 Ratings
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Score 9.1 out of 101
Top Rated
110 Ratings
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Score 8.7 out of 101

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Likelihood to Recommend

Alpha Anywhere

We use Alpha Anywhere to develop large scale business applications. So far, we haven't found any real limitations. This is exemplified by my response to my customers who frequently ask, "Is it possible..." I always interrupt them before this sentence goes any further by telling them, "with our development platform, anything's possible" (then we have to discuss whether the time/cost is worth the added benefit of what they're requesting).
Phil Samuels profile photo

Heroku

Well-suited for the vast majority of use cases where you don't need to do specific configuration, where server performance (RAM usage, etc.) is not tweaked to the nitty gritty, and where you have the budget to spend more on hosting in order to save configuration and deployment time. It's great if you just want to get something running and not worry about it.
Jonah Dempcy profile photo

Feature Rating Comparison

Platform-as-a-Service

Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.8
Ease of building user interfaces
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
9.2
Scalability
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
9.3
Platform management overhead
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
7.7
Workflow engine capability
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.8
Platform access control
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.8
Services-enabled integration
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.5
Development environment creation
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
9.2
Development environment replication
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.8
Issue monitoring and notification
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.8
Issue recovery
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
8.3
Upgrades and platform fixes
Alpha Anywhere
Heroku
9.2

Pros

  • Our company had been creating small business applications since the 1980's, when we used DBase IV (don't laugh... that's what was available). Then, we got more "sophisticated" with Microsoft Access. Clearly, we would always be limited with what we can do with those two programs. By accident, during an Internet search, we saw and ad for Alpha Anywhere (back then, it was called Alpha V). After working with the 30 free trial for just two weeks, we retired Access, for good. The best part was Alpha's flexibility in its use of "back end" data tables. That allowed us to use existing Access tables as we redesigned the front-end program (Alpha ships with its own DBF system, but we prefer SQL-Based tables). You can choose, SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle, Access, Paradox (actually, too many to name) for your tables. You can even create links to Excel spreadsheets or QuickBooks Tables. It's outstanding!
  • Alpha allows developers to create very large and very complex programs. However, it's also a great choice for RAD (Rapid Application Development) for those who need to be up and running quickly or for less experienced programmers. Actually, the interface truly allows for "codeless" development of your application (more on that later). That means you can design a fully functional application, without typing a single line of code. They have some examples on their website.
  • My favorite part of Alpha is that it is constantly adding features and functions that allow us to do more with our applications. In fact, one of my biggest problems is that I need more time to learn and practice the added features as fast as they are introduced
  • Prior to Alpha Anywhere, we never considered creating/developing "mobile" applications (for tablets, smartphones, etc.). Alpha created a unique "panel" system that makes those application work great... and allows for the design of very sophisticated Apps.
Phil Samuels profile photo
  • Incredibly straightforward deployment processes with best-in-class documentation and getting started tutorials
  • Great reporting and analytics
  • Transparent pricing lets you get really good estimates on how much hosting will cost, so there aren't any surprises
  • Easy to enable and disable plugins
  • Autoconfiguration and "convention over configuration" for most features
  • The vibrant community means it's easy to find out how to achieve various goals by seeing what others did
  • Top notch support that fixes problems right away
  • Relatively affordable given what value-added features you get
Jonah Dempcy profile photo

Cons

  • Whenever I'm asked to criticize Alpha Anywhere, my first comment refers to the documentation. For sure, they've made some improvements, this year, but I still wish it were better. Because I moved from another development package, I really had to start learning from scratch... I've been at it, for years, and I still feel like I have a way to go. The good news is that Alpha has a very active Message Board and there are lots of people who generously give their time to answer questions and help solve problems. There's no "tech support" line to call for help. Alpha DOES offer a paid "mentoring" service, which I used, several times. Unfortunately, my experience with the mentors wasn't as positive as I hoped it would be.
  • Alpha needs to improve its "templates" to make them more modern for users. I've never had a complaint from users, but I'd like my applications to have a newer, flashier look.
  • Alpha advertises itself as "codeless" programming. It is! You can certainly develop an entire application without writing a single line of "code." Unfortunately, that application will be pretty basic. If you're a serious developer, you'll want to learn "javascript" and "XBasic"... it'll come in very handy, as will an understanding about how to create SQL views and queries (and, Stored Procedures), etc.
Phil Samuels profile photo
  • For personal sites and small sites, the price can be daunting. For the same price as a worker, and an addon or two, I could get a full out server.
  • Better reporting on how apps scale and whether I should add more dynos or less. At times our site was growing slower and slower and we upped our dynos. It wasn't until we lowered our dynos that the site sped up.
  • The "heroku" plans on the addons are sometimes confusing to understand how that works if I transition off Heroku.
Adam Fortuna profile photo

Likelihood to Renew

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku9.2
Based on 4 answers
Heroku is a critical and core part of our infrastructure that is serving our customers well. We are very satisfied with the cost of our solution. While it would be difficult to move away from Heroku, we have no plans to do so. We have had no major issues with it and it is a pleasure to use. Other products on the market might offer comparable functionality, but until we expose a need that Heroku cannot satisfy, we'll stay the course.
Leigh Wetmore profile photo

Usability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku8.0
Based on 2 answers
Easy to use web based console and easy to use command line tools; deployment is done directly from a GIT repository. What more could you ask for?The one thing that keeps me from giving it a 10 is that custom build packs are almost incomprehensible. We used one for a while because we needed cairo graphics processing. Fortunately, I was able to figure out a different way to do what we needed so that we could get off the custom build pack.
David Hart profile photo

Reliability and Availability

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku8.0
Based on 1 answer
Heroku availability correlates pretty strongly to AWS US EAST availability. We had a couple of times where there was a Heroku-specific issue but not for the last 7-8 months.
David Hart profile photo

Performance

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku9.0
Based on 1 answer
The only issue that I ever have is that about 1 out of 20 deployments (git push) will hang and need to be cancelled and done again.
David Hart profile photo

Support

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku8.9
Based on 2 answers
I've honestly never had the need to contact their support, so this is just based on the documentation. I would call the documentation usable but not fantastic.
David Hart profile photo

Implementation

No score
No answers yet
No answers on this topic
Heroku10.0
Based on 1 answer
The one thing that I would recommend is that once you have established the add-ons that you want to use, set up a separate account with those vendors rather than doing it through Heroku. The cost is the same, but doing it with the partner lets you consolidate management of multiple applications and may give you some additional capabilities in the console
David Hart profile photo

Alternatives Considered

Alpha Anywhere is a more robust, complete and lower cost solution for rapid desktop, web and mobile application cross platform development.
Russ Brown profile photo
You get much more machine for your money with EC2, but it requires much more time to set up and maintain, at least as it stood two years ago when we stopped using it. We spoke with Engine Yard when selecting Heroku, and they're good folks. They offer much more power and flexibility than Heroku, but it comes at the cost of moving you back towards the complexity of EC2. And if you want EY to manage that stuff for you, the costs get very high very quickly. Ultimately, we chose Heroku because we were a small engineering team that didn't want to spend time on DevOps.
No photo available

Return on Investment

  • Alpha is our sole Development Platform. It has enabled us to contract for some pretty large jobs. AND, we are regularly told, by our customers, that our programs have helped them improve their organizations, workflows and profits.
Phil Samuels profile photo
  • Reduced time spent on DevOps concerns. We avoided hiring a full-time devops engineer thanks to Heroku.
  • Ability to quickly stand up multiple environments made it easier to test our software before it hits production.
No photo available

Pricing Details

Alpha Anywhere

General
Free Trial
Yes
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Yes
Entry-level set up fee?
Optional
Alpha Anywhere Editions & Modules
Alpha Anywhere
On-premise Edition
Alpha Anywhere Business
$1,499/year
Alpha Anywhere Business Pro
$2,499/year
Alpha Anywhere Enterprise
Call Us +1 781.850.46002
Alpha TransForm (no-code component)
35/month
2. Volume Discounts
SaaS Edition
Alpha Anywhere
$1,499/year
Additional Pricing Details
Questions? Call us: +1 781.229.4500

Heroku

General
Free Trial
Free/Freemium Version
Premium Consulting/Integration Services
Entry-level set up fee?
No
Heroku Editions & Modules
Heroku
Additional Pricing Details