Alpha Five V11 Help Pages

Description

Improvements from Alpha Five V11.

IE 9 Compatibility. Starting with Internet Explorer 9 (IE9), Microsoft no longer supported Active Scripting, unless you set IE9 to operate in IE8 compatibility mode. However, if you select IE8 mode, then you can't use CSS3, and you have to give up effects such as rounded corners, gradients etc. Starting with Alpha Five V11, if you had IE9 installed on your computer, Active Scripting would be turned off by default, which meant that you couldn't put an Xbasic function definition into the HTML document in a tag (with the language attribute set to 'Xbasic') and call these Xbasic functions (or any other global Xbasic functions) from HTML events, when the Grid is run in Working Preview mode or in a desktop application. If this is an issue for you, see Active Scripting Internet Explorer 9 CSS3 V11.

Import scripts 

When the text qualifier of an Import was set to blank before V11, it defaulted to a double quote, but in Version 11 we changed this so that a blank really means blank, which allows us to handle data in which double quotes are to be included in the imported data. Import Scripts that had this setting in V10:

import.text_qualifier=""

need to be changed to:

import.text_qualifier="\""

in order for these imports to work. Saved imports now need to specify the text qualifier, since they no longer default to double quote. In addition, V11 was fixed to allow import of multi-line memo data by allowing text qualifiers to span multiple lines. This could potentially change the impact of a mismatched quote in the data, which used to only affect one row, but now can affect multiple rows that follow.

Conflict with Windows iLivid Toolbar and other 3rd-party Software 

  • iLivid Toolbar 

    A user reported being unable to start Alpha Five Version 11 on one machine. After over a day of exploration, we discovered that a video player add-on called Windows iLivid Toolbar was interfering with libraries essential to running Alpha Five. Uninstalling the iLivid Toolbar fixed the problem. The user was still able to use the iLivid player.

  • jzip 

    We have also had reports that an IE toolbar added by jzip caused Alpha to crash on startup. Uninstalling jzip and installing 7-zip instead fixed the problem without losing any functionality.

  • Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended 

    Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended (the 3D version) hooks a Windows DLL and keeps our File Open/File Save dialogs from working. This also keeps the Web Application Control Panel from showing files. Uninstalling Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended and installing Adobe Acrobat 10 Pro fixed the problem. Microsoft helped us isolate the issue to a system DLL hook installed by Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended; clearing a registry key to disable the DLL hook also fixed the problem, and we can provide this information to users if needed.

    We have changed the load sequence of Version 11 to avoid this problem.
  • Troubleshooting conflicts 

    You can normally diagnose whether a problem with Alpha Five is caused by a third-party program by rebooting in Safe Mode and running Alpha Five. If Alpha Five works in Safe Mode, then use MSCONFIG (a Windows system utility) or WinPatrol (a free download) to control what boots in normal mode and isolate the problem. If Alpha Five runs correctly in safe mode but you can't get it to run in normal mode by disabling start-up programs, then the problem is either an IE add-on or a DLL hook. You can manage IE add-ons from the Internet Options system dialog or the IE Manage Add-ons dialog; you can also remove them with WinPatrol. Please let us know if you find other programs that interfere with Alpha Five so that we can list them here and research possible fixes to our software.

Breaking Changes Using the Alpha Web Server 

  • You can no longer use property_recurse_assign(), property_to_string(), or property_to_blob() on Application Server objects.

  • a5w_load_aex() and a5w_unload_aex() have been removed.

  • a5_count_websessions() and Application.Path() have been removed.

  • Request is read-only

  • Request.Variables2, Response.Add_Cookie(), and Response.Add_Header() have been removed.

  • Response.Message_Body is now read-only.

  • Server. variables are no longer available.

  • Server.ClearA5ICache(), Server.ClearGzipCache(), and Server.Reset() have been removed.

  • Session.Session_Folder and Session.Session_Url have been removed.

  • Session. variables cannot be enumerated, and are not created automatically from a request query string or POST body.

Server Enhancements 

Ulink Field 

The ulink field is unique to the Alpha Five server security system. The IIS security does not have an equivalent field. Therefore it is recommended to add a UserName (UserId) field to every external table that has user data and save the security UserId in that field. Discontinue the use of the ulink field as it will not be available when running on IIS. The current UserName (UserId) can be obtained by the A5ws_GetCurrentUser Function and can then be used to find any record in an external database table with a matching UserName. (Don't forget to index this field for efficiency.)

Non-breaking changes of note 

  • Web session variable performance 

    In Version 11, creating and evaluating session variables are significantly more expensive than creating and evaluating normal variables. Here are a few recommendations:

    • Don't pass session variables around. If you are passing variables in HTTP Requests or Posts, they should not be session variables.

    • Don't do an eval_valid() to test a session variable. Instead, assign the value of a session variable to a normal variable once per page, and test to make sure that the value of the normal variable is not null before using the value.

    • Do minimize your use of session variables

  • Interaction with BitDefender 2011 

    On Windows XP, BitDefender 2011 sometimes slows the launch of Alpha Five Version 11 by as much as 90 seconds. Uninstalling BitDefender 2011 and replacing it with another anti-virus, which may be BitDefender 2012, fixes the problem.

See Also