Alpha Software Simplifies Development of Forms-Based Mobile Apps

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    One of the primary things that most enterprise IT organizations are trying to do with tablets is deploy applications that eliminate paper-based processes involving forms.

    To accelerate the development of such applications, Alpha Software today previewed the beta release of an update to its Alpha Anywhere mobile application development and deployment environment that simplifies the development of applications based on forms that can run offline and online.

    Alpha Software CTO Dan Bricklin says it’s already apparent that most IT organizations are struggling with a backlog of application requests for these types of applications. While the capabilities being requested are simple enough from a business perspective, developing mobile applications that run natively on every mobile platform that supports functions such as capturing signatures is time consuming.  

    Bricklin says Alpha Anywhere solves that problem using an HTML5 construct that has been optimized to make it simpler to develop this class of applications in a way that can be deployed on any mobile computing device that supports HTML5. Using that approach makes it possible to both develop and deploy forms-based mobile apps significantly faster, says Bricklin. Those applications, adds Bricklin, can either run in the browser or on top of PhoneGap, a framework for deploying mobile applications using JavaScript and HTML5.

    While it may make sense to develop native applications in some instances, IT organizations that have to support many applications running on multiple mobile computing devices generally don’t have the time or resources to optimize every application for every platform. Bricklin says that HTML5 applications have now advanced to the point where amazing things can be done with far less time and effort when using the right development framework.

    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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