Likelihood to Recommend
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).
Xamarin is definitely the best product to use for C# .NET programming on MacOS; for other uses it may not be the best IDE: different languages, different platforms, etc.
- 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.
- Good interactive debugger.
- Built on Atom, many of the same useful functionality as the more generic editor.
- Many good plugins for various other programming languages and other functionality.
- 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.
- Atom's multi-cursor plugin would be a welcome plugin to this IDE as well.
- The online support could be further developed.
- The application would occasionally crash.
Alpha Anywhere is a more robust, complete and lower cost solution for rapid desktop, web and mobile application cross platform development.
As I said before: Code sharing and using existing skills was the most important factor to choose Xamarin. With phonegap code sharing exists but business logic must be written in JS.
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.
- Time saved avoiding having to switch to a Linux VM while developing cross-platform C# .NET applications on a MacOS.
- Enabled more developers to comfortably work on the cross-platform portions of the applications (versus the web-based portions of the application).
Inspection Solutions is a mobile business app designed for inspectors who need to inspect construction vehicles in the field, but showcases functionality relevant to many other field apps. The app includes the critical features now required in modern field services apps, such as offline capability, bar code scanning, voice annotation and digital ink. It is a native-quality hybrid app created using the Alpha Anywhere V4 rapid mobile application development and deployment platform.See All (6) Alpha Anywhere Screenshots
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