Alpha Anywhere is the single environment that combines all required client and server development features and solves sophisticated app challenges, including offline support with a few clicks. It features scalable, secure deployment, and connections to a wide range of SQL databases, NoSQL Databases, and web services.
Once you learn the system, you can build components and apps in amazingly short periods of time.
It connects to most of the popular databases, and they keep adding more. You can even use Excel, and QuickBooks if you want, and they have begun adding in support for NoSQL. It can even access multiple databases, and it doesn't have to be the same type of database.
It has genies that write code for you, speeding up development. Many people who do not code still use the genie to build up code for them.
It's a fairly open system, so if Alpha doesn't have the capability to do something, you can write it yourself, or even copy code freely available, and use it in your app.
Learning the system is a task in and of itself. You can learn the basics fairly quickly, but once you start trying to build something, you quickly learn how complex it really is. Sometimes you end up spending more time looking up how to do something than actually doing it.
Then they have their own proprietary Xbasic language. (And not the old XBasic language.) Another language to learn, although they are converting this to Node.js.
The price has increased faster than inflation, and they now run on a subscription. Although if the subscription runs out, you just lose the ability to update.
This is amazingly powerful app building software, but don't mistake it for something simple. I made that mistake when I first started working with Alpha. And the more you understand JavaScrip, jQuery, SQL, JSON, and CSS, the more powerful it becomes.
If you download the program, I recommend upgrading to the most recent version. (or just download from their site for the most recent version, and avoid having to immediately update.) Then go to alphasoftware.com, select resources, and video library. There you will see 5 videos selected on the right. (Training Courses.) Watch all of them, and follow along with the last one. (Should take a couple hours.) Then scroll down, expand the "Building the Sample Mobile App" section, and follow along with the 16 lessons, broken up into 66 short (less than 5 minutes) videos.
This can easily be done in a day or two, and give you a good running start, and still have almost a month to keep trying out the program.
If you have any plans of purchasing it, make sure you are getting their email. They are constantly running promotions and discounts.
Not easy to create more complex or involved databases.
Far too expensive as compared to many other database software.
Software support can disappear whenever Alpha decides not to provide support, this results in no access to your created databases, experienced this first-hand with older versions.
I would never use Alpha Anywhere to build or create a database. That is not it's purpose. It is designed to build applications, and access databases. And it accesses most of the well known databases. I spent over a month designing and building a properly normalized database before ever creating anything with Alpha.
As far as support, they have over 633 videos available, documentation you can search, weekly Q&A webinars, and a forum full of people building apps. Any time I reported a bug, I received a reply directly from one of the owners. (And found out 3 out of 4 times it wasn't a bug, it was something I did wrong.)
Powerful tool that incorporates database management with web design tools. Our app is heavy on reporting and it was very easy to duplicate our desktop reports into our web app. Making modifications and adding new app features is extremely easy and usually just requires tweaking AA's built in functions. If you are familiar with VBA then you'll pick up AA's Xbasic fairly quickly.
Learning curve can be a little steep to those with little web experience. However, there are a lot of training videos and a very good developer community (message board). The speed with which we can now make updates/enhancements more than makes up for this.
We did a lot of research before choosing a software package to convert our desktop app to a web based app and don't believe we could have accomplished it in the time frame we did with any other software. Alpha is constantly enhancing their software with new features and functionality and we couldn't imagine using anything else.