Alpha Software Alpha Five 8
Alpha Five offers more choices for extending functions with scripts and Web software, but most users will likely want to spend the extra money for the more-intuitive FileMaker.
- Big developer community, wizards, dialog-box builder
- Not as intuitive as FileMaker
Alpha Five's extensive wizards and Web application development tools let you create custom database applications without pain or programming, at a relatively low cost.
Price$ 249.00 (AUD)
Alpha Five Version 8 Professional does a good job of helping ordinary people create useful and good-looking database applications. Like FileMaker Pro 9, it lets you create desktop and Web databases for everything from e-mail marketing campaigns and online storefronts to media libraries and Christmas card lists. But the programs have different strengths: FileMaker is more intuitive, while Alpha Five offers more extensibility via scripts and Web apps.
Alpha Five 8 has a big developer community, but provides far fewer templates than FileMaker Pro 9. It has wizards for many tasks (called Genies), and a very good dialog-box builder. Nonprogrammers will be able to create quite powerful apps without scripting, although I had to spend a lot of time reading the help files and studying the examples; this program is not as intuitive as FileMaker.
Alpha Five looks sleek and polished, offering new layout tools that have been sorely lacking, such as gradient fills, as well as row colour and line styles in a tabular format. Also, you can add buttons and images that are conditional on other data in browse views. For example, you can add a button that, when clicked, sends an e-mail to the person in that row, or calls up their photo from a linked personnel database. Clicking on a browse column header can now sort the data, too. Forms with embedded browse views suddenly become both pretty and useful. According to the company, version 8 performs faster window-switching and quicker execution of script and code compared with the previous version.
Other major new features include a CSS style sheet builder for better Web form designs and a well-designed Web Security framework, which lets you define privileges for users and groups to pages or collections of pages in your Web application. For instance, teachers could enter and change the grades for their own classes, but only view the grades for other classes. Fields for sensitive data like credit card numbers can be hidden entirely from unauthorised users. Web applications could also perform a variety of other functions, serving, say, as a calendar, a reservation system, or a tool that calculates the quantity of supplies needed for a specific project.
Overall, Alpha Five is less expensive than FileMaker, but its high-end versions are especially so. Comparing list prices, Alpha Five Enterprise version with SQL support costs only $US349, compared with $499 for FileMaker Pro Advanced (however, even the $299 FileMaker Pro 9 offers SQL support). If you require many people to pitch in on the design of your database, you'll need FileMaker Server to get more than nine simultaneous client connections. Alpha Five's Application Server is more of a bargain at $399 for the basic version, compared with FileMaker Server's much heftier price tag.
FileMaker's somewhat easier learning curve, rich template library, SQL capabilities, and instant Web publishing make it the better choice for typical home and small-business users. Also, businesses in need of SQL support could benefit from that feature's presence in the Pro version. But Alpha Five has the clear edge in extending basic functions via script building and Web application development tools, and its lower cost of ownership makes it an attractive alternative.
Join the newsletter!
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Apple iPhone X
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Bose SoundLink Micro
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft delves deeper into AI with new kit bag of tools
- Samsung unifies smart-home products with Bixby 2.0
- Dropbox go pro with Dropbox Profesional
- Intel launches AI-driven anti-money laundering solution
- Nvidia unveils Pegasus, an AI computer that can power fully autonomous vehicles
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- The Best Australian Black Friday Tech Deals That Aren't On Amazon
- Wolfenstein The New Colossus Review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTSolutions EngineerOther
- CCSenior Project Manager x 2 (Infrastructure)NSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Client TechnologiesOther
- FTLead Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Business AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Business ConsultantOther
- CCProject AnalystNSW
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- CCProject ManagerACT
- FTSolution Architect - Security/DigitalVIC
- FTSenior Change Analyst, Governance & AssuranceOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperSA
- FTAsset and Configuration ManagerSA
- FTDatabase Systems SpecialistOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperNSW
- FTAutomation Tester - 12 month contract - Big 4 BankOther
- TPAPS6 Business AnalystACT
- TPSenior Business Analyst - ieMR - Digital Health ProgramQLD
- FTPractice Director Quality AssuranceSA
- FTFinancial AdministratorOther
- FTSenior DevOps LeadVIC
- FTSenior Change Manager, Portfolio Change DeliveryOther
- FTHadoop DeveloperWA
- FTJunior Business AnalystACT