Easy database tracking: Alpha Five Version 5

This relational database application is designed for tracking inventory, customers and suppliers. Alpha Five is suitable for all users, from novice to expert developer.

Ease of use is a key feature of Alpha Five. The basic tasks of creating and linking tables, entering and searching for data are very easy to perform. An included 12-lesson tutorial, covering most basic aspects of the application and databases in general, is easy for novice users to follow.

Database creation proved easy and includes options for limiting the data entered in a table and performing operations on entered data.

Alpha Five provides full ODBC com­patibility, allowing the importation of data from most commercial databases. Import-ing from and exporting to Micro­soft Excel is also supported. Strangely, though, the software does not include SQL support in its query system, which would make it easier for users to migrate from competing database applications (See here for a screenshot).

Alpha Five supports scripting, using the XBasic language to automate many database functions. A GUI designer named Script Genie is included, negating the need for users to learn the XBasic language to begin creating scripts. Scripting allows developers to build applications such as menu systems. OLE automation and ActiveX controls are also supported.

Reports in Alpha Five can be generated in a range of formats including PDF, HTML and plain text. E-mail is supported internally, enabling reports to be sent directly from the database.

In brief: Alpha Five Version 5
Competing with Microsoft Access and Filemaker Pro, this relational database application for small business offers many advanced usability and automation features.
Price: $US349
Vendor: Alpha Software
URL: www.alphasoftware.com

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Alastair Cousins

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