Alpha Anywhere Runtime License

Description

The Alpha Anywhere Runtime allows other users to run your Alpha Anywhere applications, but not to modify them (with certain exceptions). The following Runtime products are available.

  • Runtime 

    No user modifications allowed.

  • Runtime+ 

    Allows modification of Reports, Letters, and Labels

  • Netmailer for Runtime 

    Has the same features as the Netmailer standard edition, but can be distributed with an Alpha Anywhere Runtime application.

    Netmailer is sold as an add-in to Alpha Anywhere. Contact sales at Alpha Software for more information.
  • ReportMailer for Runtime 

    Has the same features as ReportMailer , but allows for unlimited distribution with an Alpha Anywhere Runtime Application. Not available for V5 Runtime

You (the developer) will need a full copy of Alpha Anywhere in order to create the applications that you wish to distribute with the Alpha Anywhere Runtime. The Runtime is an inexpensive way for you to distribute your Alpha Anywhere applications to other users, without requiring these users to purchase a full copy of Alpha Anywhere.

The Alpha Anywhere Runtime is ideal for commercial developers who would like to sell applications that they have developed in Alpha Anywhere. It is also ideal for corporate developers who have developed an application that they would like to deploy to many users within their organization. Runtime users cannot make any modifications to your application, or add new objects to the application. For example, Runtime users cannot:

  • Edit layouts (such as forms or reports)

  • Create new layouts

  • Edit table structures

  • Edit field rules

  • Define or delete indexes

  • Create new tables or sets

  • Edit scripts

  • Create new scripts

In addition, Runtime applications cannot use the ODBC Import Genie, or ODBC_IMPORT_TABLE() function. You can design your application so that the fact that the application is written in Alpha Anywhere is largely hidden from your customers or users. For example you can:

  • Specify your own splash screen image to display when the Runtime loads

  • Turn off the splash screen completely when the Runtime loads

  • Specify your own icon to display on the Runtime Title bar, and on the Task bar

  • Specify your own title for the Title bar and Task bar, rather than the standard "Alpha Anywhere" title.

  • Customize all menus and toolbars.

Distributing Runtime Applications - Licensing Issues 

The number of users who can use your application concurrently on any network is based on the type of Runtime that you purchased. The people to whom you distribute the Alpha Anywhere Runtime may not, in turn, distribute any copies of the Alpha Anywhere Runtime. For example, if you purchased an "Unlimited 10-User Runtime", then a maximum of 10 users can use your application concurrently on any particular network. If you purchased an Unlimited User Runtime, then there are no limitations on the number of concurrent users of your application.

How to Distribute a Runtime Application 

In order to distribute an application to another user, you must distribute a copy of your own application files, and a copy of the Alpha Anywhere Runtime. You retain the copyright on your application files. Alpha Software retains the copyright on the Alpha Anywhere Runtime files. You are free to make copies of the Alpha Anywhere Runtime Installation Program (setup.exe) to distribute to your users. You can burn your own CDs with these files.

You will have to create another installation program to install your application files. These files are the files with the following extensions:

Extension
Description
ADB

Alpha Anywhere Database

ALB

Data Dictionary for Database

ALM

Data Dictionary for Database (memo file)

ALX

Data Dictionary for Database (index file)

CDX

Index file for a table

DBF

Table

DDD

Data Dictionary for a table

DDM

Data Dictionary for a table (memo file)

DDX

Data Dictionary for a table (index file)

FPT

Memo file for a table

SEM

Set (memo files)

SET

Set

SEX

Set (index file)

It is recommended that when you develop your application, you place all of the files that belong to that application in a single folder. Then you can be sure that as long as you install all of the files from this folder on your users' machines, you will have included all of the necessary application files.

To create an installation program for your application you can use the Alpha Anywhere Installation Maker , or you can use a 3rd party program (such as InstallShield or Wise Install Maker ).

The Alpha Anywhere Installation Maker 

The Alpha Anywhere Installation Maker is only enabled if you have both the full version of Alpha Anywhere and the Runtime version of Alpha Anywhere installed on the same computer. To access the Installation Maker, start the full version of Alpha Anywhere (not the Runtime version), display the Control Panel, and select Tools > Utilities. Click Help on the dialog for more information.

Installing a Runtime Application on a User's Computer 

You should install the Alpha Anywhere Runtime on each user's local machine. DO NOT INSTALL A SINGLE COPY OF THE RUNTIME ON A SERVER FOR USERS TO SHARE FROM THEIR DESKTOPS. Doing so could result in serious performance degradation.

If your application is designed to be run in a network environment, you should consider taking advantage of Alpha Anywhere's Network Optimization feature. You should install a master copy of your application on a shared folder on the network, and you should also install shadow copies of your application (created using Alpha Anywhere's Network Optimize command) on each user's local machine.

Remember:

  • Each client workstation must have read/write privileges to the database folder on the "server".

  • Each user must have read/write privileges to the registry on their workstation (i.e. as a Power User or Administrator).

Starting the Alpha Anywhere Runtime 

To start the Alpha Anywhere Runtime, you can use the following command:

alpha5 <.adb file> -TITLE=<title> -ICON-<icon> -SPLASH=<splash> -NOSPLASH -INCLUDE=<file>
An easy way to generate the command line syntax for starting Alpha Anywhere is to use the Shortcut Genie (See the Tools > Create Shortcut... command) to create a shortcut. The right click on the shortcut that Alpha Anywhere created and examine the properties of the shortcut. You will see that Alpha Anywhere has generated the correct syntax for starting your application.

Command Line Options 

  • -TITLE=<title> 

    Change the displayed title for the main Alpha Anywhere window.

    -TITLE="Customers"
  • -SPLASH=<bitmap> 

    Change the splash screen bitmap that displays when the Alpha Anywhere Runtime loads.

    -SPLASH=clock.bmp
  • -ICON=<icon> 

    Change the icon that displays on the Alpha Anywhere Runtime title bar.

    -ICON=logo.ico
  • -NOSPLASH 

    Do not display a splash screen when the Alpha Anywhere Runtime loads.

    -NOSPLASH
  • -COMMAND=<Xbasic> 

    Runs the specified Xbasic commands after the Alpha Anywhere Runtime starts.

  • -INCLUDE=<file> 

    When you have more command line options than can fit on one line, you can create an ASCII file with the command line options in the file. Put one option per line. Use this option to specify the name of the ascii file.

    -INCLUDE=start.txt
Do not leave any spaces between the option name and the '=' sign. E.g. -TITLE="Invoice", NOT -TITLE = "Invoice"

The following example shows how the Alpha Anywhere Runtime Title bar can be changed:

The following example shows how the Windows Task bar can be customized to show your own icon for the Alpha Anywhere Runtime:

  • Task bar showing Runtime with a custom icon and title

  • Task bar showing Runtime with standard icon and title

Examples 

The following command starts the Alpha Anywhere Runtime, loads a database (an .adb file) called "Orders" that is stored in the "c:\Orders" folder, changes the title of the Alpha Anywhere Runtime title bar to "Orders", uses a bitmap called "NewAgeSolutions.bmp" for the splash screen, and uses an icon called "orders.ico" for the icon on the Title bar and the Task bar:

C:\a5runtime\alpha5.exe "c:\orders\orders.adb" -title="Orders" -splash="NewAgeSolutions.bmp" -icon="orders.ico"

The following command starts the Alpha Anywhere Runtime, loads a database called orders, and opens a file called "start.txt" which contains a list of command line options:

C:\a5runtime\alpha5.exe "c:\orders\orders.adb" -include=start.txt

Start.txt is an ASCII file that might contain the following text:

-title="Orders" -splash="NewAgeSolutions.bmp" -icon="orders.ico"

The following command starts the Alpha Anywhere Runtime, loads a database called orders, and defines, then sets a global variables:

C:\a5runtime\alpha5.exe "c:\orders\orders.adb" -COMMAND="DIM GLOBAL VPath as C; VPath = \"myfile.adb\""
That the quotes in the command Vpath = "myfile.adb" need to be prefixed with a slash ( \ ) to indicate that they are not the end of the command being passed to the Alpha Anywhere Runtime.

How to Make a Shortcut 

After starting Alpha Anywhere from the Control Panel, select Tools > Create Shortcut... .

See Also