Alpha Five V10


Improvements from Alpha Five V10

Welcome to Alpha Five Version 10 

Version 10 of Alpha Five introduced a large number of features. This document describes many of these features.

You can get a overview of the some of the new features by watching videos that demonstrate selected features.

The best way to get started once you have downloaded Alpha Five and viewed the short introductory videos is really to sit down with the product and build something. What you should build first depends on whether you are more interested in developing Ajax Web applications or desktop applications.

Developing Web applications... 

We recommend starting with the introductory videos below, and then working through Chapter 1 of Martin Heller's book Alpha Five v10: The Tutorial, which is a free PDF download. If you'd like to continue that tutorial, the rest of Volume 1 is available as a PDF for $24. You can learn about additional aspects of Web development from this site and from the V11 videos and V10 Web Feature Videos; many of these videos may also be found on YouTube in a form viewable on iPads and iPhones. Finally, refer to What's New in Version 11 for V11 tutorials, references, and samples.

To develop desktop applications... 

We recommend starting with the introductory videos below, and then working through the desktop tutorial. After that, continue with material on this site and view the V10 Desktop feature videos as well as the V11 videos. Refer to Alpha Five V11 for V11 tutorials, references, and samples.

Server Installation Videos 

How to install the Alpha Web Application Server on a VPS

Feature Videos 

Release Notes 

Xbasic Additions 

  • Debugger Features

  • Classes

  • Enumerations

  • UTF-8 Support

  • convert_utf8_to_acp Function

  • convert_acp_to_utf8 Function

  • [Sending Email Using Gmail SMTP Server]

  • Email_send_gmail Function

  • EmailSendCDO Function

  • inListN Function

  • [*page Function]

  • Ui_keycode_Normalize Function

  • a5_defineAliases Function

  • [Payflow Functions for PayPal]

  • Field Rules Now Honored During Xbasic Data Entry

  • Xbasic Arrays

  • [Session Folders]

  • Util PerformanceTimer Object

  • Stritran_multi_expressions Function

  • [.Data Method On DBF Tables and Property Variables]

  • [*Flatten_Interfaces Function]

  • *property_difference Enhancements

  • *gzip_blob Function

  • *gunzip_blob Function

  • hasChildRecords Function

  • Read bitmap from the clipboard

  • Summary of New Xbasic Functions in V10 


    For use in a Form or Report that is based on a set with one or more one-to-many child tables. Returns .t. if the current parent record has any children in the specified tableAlias.


    Does a search and replace operation in a string using a CR-LF delimited list of search and replace values. Contrast with the stritran_multi() function.


    Case-sensitive version of stritran_multi_expressions()

    inListN(lookfor, value1, value2, valuen)

    Returns the index (1,2,3, etc.) of the first value that matches lookfor. If there are no matches, returns 0. Function is case-sensitive.


    Convert data from ansi code page to UTF-8.


    Convert data from UTF-8 to ansi code page


    Send e-mail using the Gmail SMTP server.


    Use the Microsoft CDO ActiveX object to send e-mail rather than the Alpha Five built-in socket object.

    *page(startingLogicalRecordNumber, pageSize)

    Limits the number of records returned by the table.external_record_content_get() function.


    Converts a key code string (e.g. Shift-Ctrl-F12) to the syntax required by the OnKey event in a Form Layout.


    Return the name of the 'primary key' columns of a .dbf table. .dbf tables do not use primary keys. However, you can infer the 'primary key' if the table has an auto-increment column, or a 'unique value' field rules.


    Takes a CRLF delimited list of aliases defined using this format: aliasname|path. Allows you to define aliases for use in a Desktop application using Xbasic. Aliases in a Desktop application are normally defined using the View/Settings/Aliases dialog. This function allows you to define the aliases programmatically.

Grid Component 

The V10 Grid component was initially rewritten to use Web 2.0 Ajax features. A number features were added to the Grid and the Grid performance was made faster than it was in the V9 Grid component.

How To Grid Topics 

Desktop Features V10 

  • New Version of the Alpha Five PDF Printer V10 - Version 10 includes a new version of the Alpha Five Printer driver. The PDF Printer in V9 does not work on Windows 7 and certain 64 bit operating systems, such as Windows Server 2003. The Printers window in the Control Panel will show the printer name as 'AlphaFivePrinterV4' (indicating that it is based on V4 of the Amyuni Printer Driver).

    The Amyuni Printer is no longer distributed with Alpha Anywhere starting with version (build 7544). To get the Amyuni Printer drivers, you must first install an older version of Alpha Anywhere.

  • Browse V10 - The Browse Object (stand-alone Browse and embedded Browse) has been largely rewritten. As a result of the changes that were made, much of the Xbasic code that users had to write in order to refresh the Browse after records were added or edited in another session is no longer necessary. The Browse will refresh automatically when data is changed in another session in most cases and you will not have to synch or refresh the Browse.

    Form Layouts - Browse Columns - Dynamic Properties - You can now set dynamic properties on the columns of embedded browses. This is a really powerful feature as it allows you (for example) to dynamically show or hide a column in an embedded browse (by setting its width to 0) if a certain condition is true.

  • Navigation V10

  • New Methods V10

  • New Browse Methods V10

  • Form Level Field Rules V10

  • Automatic Backup and Revision Control of Layouts and Field Rules V10

  • Send and Receive Individual Layout Definitions V10

  • Export and Import Layout Definitions V10 - You can export a Layout definition to a special .a5pkg file by right-clicking on a Layout in the Control Panel and selecting the 'Export Layout...' command. You can import .a5pkg files by right-clicking on white space in the Control Panel and selecting the 'Import Layout...' command.

    The feature is particularly useful for copying reports based on SQL data sources from one database to another.

  • Recent Layout Menu V10

  • Dynamic Properties V10

  • Form Headers and Footers V10

  • Layout Editors Modeless Property Editor V10

  • Supercontrols V10

  • Form Layouts Double Click Event V10 - Previously when you double clicked on buttons and text objects, you could edit the object's text property. Now, the double click event is used to open a modal code edit to allow you to edit the object's events.

  • Sets Linking on Multiple Fields V10

  • Active Link and Passive Link Tables Convert to Native Tables V10 - You can now right-click on an active-link or passive-link table and convert the table to a native Alpha Five table. In the case of an active-link table, this will import the data from the remote table and store it in a native table. In the case of a passive-link table, the data is already stored as a native .dbf table, but the link to the remote SQL database is severed, so the table can no longer be 'refreshed'.

  • Forms Subforms Transparent Backgrounds V10 - If you place a sub-form on a form and you set the sub-form's background style property to 'transparent', the parent form's background will be visible behind the sub-form. This makes the use of sub-forms in a form much more natural.

  • Form Layouts - Tab Ordering - When you drag objects onto a Form Layout, Alpha Five is now much smarter about the way in which the new objects are inserted into the form's tab order. Previously, new objects were always inserted at the top of the tab order. Now Alpha Five looks at where the objects have been placed and if you insert the object before the first object in the existing tab order, the new objects are placed at the top of the tab order.

  • Form Layouts Code Explorer V10

  • Transparent PNG Images V10 - You can now use transparent PNG images in reports. The background color of the report will shine through the transparent section of the images.

  • Form Layouts Mouse Cursor Property V10


Application Server 

Application Server How To Topics 

Application Server v10 Troubleshooting Tips 

Alpha Five Javascript Libraries The Core.JS Library 

Alpha Five Javascript Libraries The AjaxFormLibrary.JS Library