Keynote:
The Future of Business App Dev: Robotics, Sensors and AI


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In this presentation, Tom Ryden of MassRobotics will reveal some of the biggest innovations coming in the area of IoT and autonomous machines in the 10 years. He'll explain how many robotics companies and manufacturers will utilize mobile apps to power these smart machines, and how mobile apps will be expected to use the data coming form sensors in these machines. The presentation will also cover how artificial intelligence (AI) advancements will fundamentally reshape the way we interact with robots and IoT devices, and the demands these trends will place on mobile apps.

Thomas Ryden - Executive Director, MassRobotics
Thomas Ryden is the Executive Director of MassRobotics. MassRobotics is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help create and grow the next generation of robotics and smart connected device companies. Prior to joining MassRobotics Mr. Ryden was the founder and CEO/COO of VGo Communications, Inc. While at VGo Mr. Ryden oversaw the development and launch of the market leading VGo telepresence robot. Previously, Mr. Ryden was Director of Sales & Marketing at iRobot Corporation. Under his leadership iRobot secured over $300M in contracts and revenue from its government and industrial products increased from $2M to over $80M annually. In addition Mr. Ryden held roles in program management, overseeing the development of some of iRobot’s most successful products. Mr. Ryden is on the board of directors of AUVSI New England and serves at the co-chairman of the robotics cluster of the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council.


Alpha Software Speakers


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Richard Rabins
CEO
  • Welcome
  • Closing Remarks

 

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Selwyn Rabins
President
  • Whats New in Alpha Anywhere
  • Alpha Anywhere Roadmap
  • Strategies and Best Practices for Building Sophisticated Offline Applications
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers 
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Dan Bricklin
CTO
  • The Future of Enterprise Mobile/Building Mobile Form Applications in Minutes with Alpha Anywhere TransFORM
  • Creating Stunning Data Presentations Using Client-Side Templates
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers
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Bob Moore
VP/Mobility

 

  • Creating Awesome Mobile Apps - Integrating PhoneGap Plugins
  • Technical Session: Improve Your Productivity - Building Mobile Apps with PhoneGap CLI
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers

 

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Kurt Rayner
VP/R&D
  • Better Analytics - Incorporating SQL Server Reporting into Applications
  • Technical Session: Creating Responsive, Reliable Applications with Alpha Cloud
  • Advanced Integrations - Understanding SOAP Service Calls in Applications
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers
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Cian Chambliss
Sr. Programmer
  • Simplifying Complex Workflows with RESTful Orchestration
  • Technical Session: Learn How Alpha Anywhere Makes Calling REST Easy
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Jerry Brightbill
Sr. Developer
  • Using Active Directory in the Alpha Security Framework
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers
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Lenny Forziati
VP/Internet Products & Technical Services
  • Website Vulnerabilities and What You Can Do About Them
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers
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Terry Smith
Software Engineer
  • A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers
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Sarah Mitchell
Technical Writer
  • Getting What You Came For - Navigating the Alpha Anywhere Help System
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Dave McCormick
VP/Product Management
  • Alpha DevCon 2017 MC
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Morris Porter
VP/Sales
  • Executive Panel: The Future of Mobile in Business
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Special Panels


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Alpha Anywhere Engineering Panel

A freeform Q&A session with the team that designed and developed Alpha Anywhere.
Moderator: Selwyn Rabins, President, Alpha Software
Panelists: Dan Bricklin, CTO; Kurt Rayner, VP/R&D; Lenny Forziati, VP/Internet Products & Technical Services; Bob Moore, VP/Mobility; Jerry Brightbill, Sr. Developer; Terry Smith, Software Engineer

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Turn your Alpha Anywhere Development Skills Into a Full-Time Business

This panel of self-employed Alpha developers will discuss what it takes to make a living as a self-employed Alpha Anywhere developer. The moderator will ask each panelist questions regarding business structure, hiring and managing employees, marketing, pricing, business succession, ongoing professional education, and work/family balance. As time allows, the audience will be allowed to ask questions.

Moderated by: Jay Talbott, Founder, Talbott Associates, LLC
Panelists: Scott Binger, Principal, Binger Data Management Group, LLC; Robin Bennett, Director, Start Software; Carl Pearson, Principal Consultant, DalSoftLab, LLC

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Executive Panel: The Future of Mobile in Business

A panel discussion of some of the hottest topics in app development and IT today -- machine learning, artifical intelligence, virtual reality, augmented reality, development speed, Mobile Centers of Excellence, and more -- with some of the top executives attending the conference this year.
Moderated by: Morris Porter, Vice President/Sales


DEVCON 2017 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE*


  Monday
  Pre-Conference Training Day 1: Building
  Track 1: Mobile Application Development (beginner course) Track 2: Developing and Debugging With PhoneGap / Cordova (intermediate course)
8:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Get up to speed with building mobile applications quickly. In this course you will build a fire safety inspection application from scratch. The application allows users to take and annotate pictures with digital ink, and submit safety forms. You'll see what it takes to build offline-capable applications with an excellent user experience. Based on a real application.
  • Topics include:
  • - Introduction To Mobile Optimized Forms
  • - ControlBar Builder
  • - FormView Control
  • - Editor Control
  • - Group Editors
  • - Camera Editor
  • - Signature Capture Editor
  • - Ink Control
  • - Geo Tagging
PhoneGap Build and Cordova Plugins allow you to add substantial power to your Alpha Anywhere mobiler applications. Unlike typical HTML5 applications, PhoneGap Build allows you to add PhoneGap (also called "Cordova") plugins to your applications giving you full access to the device hardware - allowing you, for example, to scan bar codes, access gigabytes of offline storage space, require fingerprint authentication and much more. This is an intermediate class, and you should have some familiarity with building mobile applications in Alpha Anywhere before you begin this class.
  • Topics include:
  • - Introduction To PhoneGap and Cordova
  • - Setting up a PhoneGap Build Account
  • - Choosing Built-in Plugins
  • - Finding 3rd Party Plugins
  • - Interacting With Plugins in Alpha Anywhere
  • - Packaging Applications with PhoneGap Build
  • - Using the PhoneGap Shell
  • - Testing on Mobile Devices
  • - PhoneGap Debugging Techniques
  Tuesday
  Pre-Conference Training Day 2: Deploying
8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Deploying Applications with Alpha Launch and Alpha Cloud In this course, you'll see how to deploy your applications to the Alpha Cloud - where they can be run in a browser on a desktop/web or mobile environment. And how the cloud can be used to support mobile applications that run packages with PhoneGap. You'll also learn about Alpha Launch, a way to distribute applications without relying on the public iOS or Google Play or Windows Apps stores.
  • Topics include:
  • - Introduction To Alpha Cloud
  • - Setting up a Cloud Account
  • - Deploying to the Cloud
  • - Introduction to Alpha Launch
  • - Preparing an Application for Alpha Launch
  • - Distributing Alpha Launch Applications
  • - Updating Alpha Launch Applications
  Wednesday
8:00 AM

Registration and Continential Breakfast

9:00 AM

Welcome Richard Rabins, CEO, Alpha Software Corporation

9:15 AM

Keynote - The Future of Business App Dev: Robotics, Sensors and AI
Thomas Ryden - Executive Director, MassRobotics

In this presentation, Tom Ryden of MassRobotics will reveal some of the biggest innovations coming in the area of IoT and autonomous machines in the 10 years. He'll explain how many robotics companies and manufacturers will utilize mobile apps to power these smart machines, and how mobile apps will be expected to use the data coming form sensors in these machines. The presentation will also cover how artificial intelligence (AI) advancements will fundamentally reshape the way we interact with robots and IoT devices, and the demands these trends will place on mobile apps.

10:00 AM

Project Tetris Revealed (Dan Bricklin, CTO, Alpha Software Corporation)

10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM

Guest Speaker - Mobile Apps in a World of Big Data
Lokesh Khosla, Founding Partner, Magnus Data

Big data is changing how companies store, access and use business information. Listen to how a top F100 big data consultant - and a lead technologist in Distributed Databases -- is working with large enterprises to better understand their business. Hear how he views the role of low-code app development platforms, such as Alpha Anywhere, as part of a suite of technologies to reveal insights hidden in big data.
Building a great application is just the start of getting it out to your users. Do you go to the app store? Do you take down 100 UDID numbers from your Apple devices? Do you invest thousands of dollars in a private app store? Alpha Launch could be the answer to your prayers -- delivering elegance and simplicity to your app delivery quandry.

12:00 PM

There's Deploying, and then There's DEPLOYING (Morris Porter, VP of Sales, Alpha Software & Chris Martin, Solutions Engineer, Alpha Software)

Building a great application is just the start of getting it out to your users. Do you go to the app store? Do you take down 100 UDID numbers from your Apple devices? Do you invest thousands of dollars in a private app store? Alpha Launch could be the answer to your prayers -- delivering elegance and simplicity to your app delivery quandry.

12:30 PM Lunch
  Track 1: Speeding Development and Deployment of Sophisticated Business Apps Track 2: Empowering Citizen Developers to Build Mobile/Web Apps
1:30 PM

Technical Session: Best Practices in Mobile App Design (Rachel Trudel, Creative Director, East Coast Catalyst)

While out-of-the-box styles may be sufficent for a proof-of-concept design, customers will likely desire an application that is uniquely designed and incorporates elements such as business logos or custom colors and fonts. In this session, Rachel Trudel will share some mobile app design tips and best practices that will help you create fantastic looking application your clients will love.

Customer Case Study: West Virginia Department of Environment Protection -- "Mobile Optimized Forms with Disconnected Capability" (Presented by: Sean O'Kelly, XAPP Design, LLC)

Requirements and Challenges: Disconnected most of the time, variety of networks (LTE, Wifi, 3/2/1x), 40k Lookup list records, allow lookups to be shared among fields, 40 forms with varying complexity, make changes to forms without having to redistribute the application (add/modify/remove forms and fields), upload unlimited images without compression, avoid mobile device memory limitations, and more.
2:15 PM

Technical Session: A Primer on Styling Applications in Alpha Anywhere (Sarah Mitchell, Technical Writer, Alpha Software)

How an application looks is just as important as what it does. After an overview of best practices by Rachel, you'll get a comprehensive overview the styling system for customizing and extending style sheets in Alpha Anywhere. You'll learn about: the new Web Style Builder; creating Global and Project Styles; Style Tweaks; Sub-themes; and utilizing SVG graphics, web fonts and SASS.

Customer Case Study: "Best and Worst Practices when a Project's Go-Live Date is cast in concrete ... and failure is not an option" (Presented by Carl Pearson, Dallas Software Laboratory)

3:00 PM Break
3:15 PM

Technical Session: Creating Awesome Mobile Apps - Integrating PhoneGap Plugins (Bob Moore, Vice President of Mobility, Alpha Software)

The PhoneGap App Builder Genie includes support for a large number of core and 3rd Party PhoneGap Plugins, however the list of available plugins is dynamic and consistently growing. You may want to utilize a plugin or even create your own plugin that may not be available in the supported 3rd Party Plugins.
 
In this session, Bob Moore, VP of Mobile Technology will discuss the new User Defined Plugin Library Manager that allows the developer to include any plugin available from GitHub or NPM (Node Packet Manager). The discussion will also include an open PhoneGap Q&A session.

Customer Case Study: "DesignPMS - Construction Progress Monitoring & equipment Management App" (Presented by: Bachir Yazbek, founder of DesignPMS Consulting company and Head of Project Control Department in Zerock Construction)

In this presentation, you'll see an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution built for zerock construction company with using Alpha Anywhere that manages every aspect of construction projects, including procurement, client certification, material transit and logistics, delivering engineering documentation, and tracking the progress of individual projects. The system also helps manage more than 600 pieces of heavy equipment including cranes, excavators, and bulldozers in several nations

 

4:00 PM

Technical Session: Better Analytics - Incorporating SQL Server Reporting into Applications (Kurt Rayner, Vice President of R&D, Alpha Software)

Alpha Anywhere includes a rich reporting facility, but many applications must integrate existing reports developed with SQL Server Reporting Services. In this session, we will take a quick look at what you can do with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and show the user interface for integrating SSRS reports into Alpha Anywhere Applications. Examples of XBasic code used to access an SSRS report and its definition will be covered briefly. We will also spend some time discussing the architecture that makes connecting to SQL Server Reporting Services from application code possible; then move into some tips for troubleshooting connectivity and report generation.

Customer Case Study: "United Healthcare - The Impact of On-Time Patient Care on Hospital and Clinic Revenue" (Presented by: Ken Greenberg, President; Peter Conway, CTO, Patient Innovations)

This presentation will show how an Alpha Anywhere mobile app paired with sensors dramatically increases revenue by powering on-time health care. The Alpha Anywhere app, OnTime Care® from Patient Innovations, tracks and directs medical staff, patients and portable medical equipment automatically using wireless tags. Practitioners can improve the patient experience by eliminating long wait times, schedule more efficiently and eliminate overbooking. Streamlining care and repetitive tasks improves employee satisfaction, too, and the SmartComm® component increases patient engagement and communication. The app will more than pay for itself in the first year. In fact, one small community hospital is confident OnTime Care® will move their HCAHPS survey scores up one notch. That’s worth $5 million annually in higher reimbursement rates.
5:00 PM

Alpha TransForm Workshop (Dan Bricklin, CTO, Alpha Software)

6:00 PM Cocktail Reception

"An Internet of Things" Powered by PechaKucha (Various Presenters)

The internet is everywhere. In our pockets. In our cars. In our toasters, ties, and even socks. Constant connectivity has brought freedom and misery to the masses. This Alpha DevCon, we invite you to share your personal experiences, instights, thoguhts, stories, tips, and tricks for the Internet of Things. Visit the Registration Page to learn more.
  Thursday
8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM

Alpha Anywhere Roadmap (Selwyn Rabins, President, Alpha Software Corporation)

10:00 AM

What's New In Alpha Anywhere (Selwyn Rabins, President, Alpha Software Corporation)

10:45 AM Break
11:00 AM

Creating Stunning Data Presentations Using Client-Side Templates (Dan Bricklin, CTO, Alpha Software Corporation)

11:30 AM

Next Generation Styling in Alpha Anywhere (Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer, Alpha Software Corporation)

12:00 PM Lunch
  Track 1: Building Sophisticated Offline Mobile Apps and Mobile Optimized Forms Track 2: Empowering Less Experienced (Citizen) Developers to Excel at Building Mobile Apps (Combating Shadow IT)
1:00 PM

Technical Session: Maximizing Performance in Enterprise Applications (Jerry Brightbill, Senior Developer)

Large Enterprise Applications present unique challenges to an application designer.  These include large data sets, the need for high performance, ease of use, support for complex business rules, and the flexibility to respond to changing business needs.  These are typically systems with high peak loads that must respond correctly anytime and every time, and give the business user the information they need, when they need it
 
This session will examine the requirements for success, common pitfalls, and tools and techniques available in Alpha Anywhere to meet these challenges.  We will look at some alternative ideas that have proven successful in real world enterprise applications, as well as how IIS can provide a solid foundation for growth.
 

Customer Case Study: "PetSitClick - Building a Successful SaaS Business" (Presented by: Scott Moore, Founder, PetSitClick)

 
This presentation will show how Alpha Anywhere was used to build PetSitClick, a successful SaaS business that is used by dog walking and pet sitting companies.  PetSitClick supports pet care companies in nine countries and handles millions of transactions per day.  Particular attention will be focused on how to structure multi-tenant applications, scalability, and mobile apps.
1:30 PM  

Customer Case Study: "Using Full Text Search in a Business Application" (Presented by Dietmar Jahnel, University of Salzberg)

 

2:00 PM

Technical Session: Improve Your Productivity - Building Mobile Apps with PhoneGap CLI (Bob Moore, Vice President of Mobility, Alpha Software)

While Alpha Anywhere has always supported building PhoneGap apps with the cloud based PhoneGap Build service, there are times when you may need to build your app using the native Android and iOS SDK’s installed on your development machine. Certain plugins are simply not compatible with PhoneGap Build. This includes plugings that control the build process through the use of scripts using hooks called during the native build process. Hooks are only supported by the Cordova/PhoneGap CLI (Command Line Interface). Alpha Anywhere includes the ability to generate Cordova/PhoneGap CLI apps for Android and iOS.
 
In this session, Bob Moore, Alpha's VP Of Mobile Technology will discuss the process of building a PhoneGap CLI app with Alpha Anywhere and PhoneGap with Android Studio and Xcode.

Customer Case Study: "Dealing with PDFs in Mobile Apps" (Presented by Lee Haddox, IT Manager, 405 Technology)

During this presentation, Lee Haddox will display a couple of use cases for downloading/displaying PDF documents in mobile applications. He will also demonstrate how this concept can be used for producing SQL reports as PDFs and displaying them in the same manner.
2:45 PM Break
3:00 PM

Technical Session: Simplifying Complex Workflows with RESTful Orchestration (Cian Chambliss, Senior Programmer)

Companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon offer web services that can be integrated into business applications. These web services can be utilized to replicate business process by creating workflows. For example, sending out an email to a client when an appointment is updated in a calendar or generating quarterly reports from a Google spreadsheet that are then uploaded to Amazon S3 and then emailed to a department manager. Applications can also be extended with their own service endpoints, allow you to expose data and services to developers of third party apps or provide create custom web services used by multiple Alpha Anywhere applications.
 
In this session, Cian Chambliss, Senior Developer at Alpha Software, will discuss the evolution of web services over time, providing a you a solid grounding in how web services work. Developers will learn how to take advantage of web services to build complex workflows in their applications through the use of Orchestration. Developers will also learn how to expose service endpoints that can be used in other web and mobile apps.

Panel: "Turn your Alpha Anywhere Development Skills Into a Full-Time Business" (Moderator: Jay Talbott, Talbott Associates; Panelists: Scott Binger, Principal, Binger Data Management Group, LLC; Robin Bennett, Director, Start Software; Carl Pearson, Principal Consultant, DalSoftLab, LLC)

This panel of self-employed Alpha developers will discuss what it takes to make a living as a self-employed Alpha Anywhere developer. The moderator will ask each panelist questions regarding business structure, hiring and managing employees, marketing, pricing, business succession, ongoing professional education, and work/family balance. As time allows, the audience will be allowed to ask questions.
4:00 PM

Technical Session: Creating Responsive, Reliable Applications with Alpha Cloud (Kurt Rayner, VP of R&D)

Alpha Cloud makes responsive, reliable applications pretty much automatic. Alpha Cloud is built on Alpha Anywhere Application Server for IIS and gains all of the benefits of that product as well. But there are things you can do to make performance and reliability suboptimal. If you have not run your application under IIS, you may not have had to think about load balancing and scaling. In this session, We will discuss some concepts integral to the architecture of Alpha Cloud and how they may affect choices you make in coding your application as well as deploying it.

 

 

Chris Martin, Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, will show how to create an Alpha Anywhere Scratchpad using two list controls to move data from one list to another and moving rows up and down to create a sort order. Then, with a minimum amount of code, populate a third connected list control to populate the scratchpad data back to the server.
 
In the second 30 minutes, Dion McCormick, Lead Solutions Engineer at Alpha Software, will show attendees the latest GIS/Mapping capabilities in Alpha Anywhere.
4:30pm

Customer Case Study: "Wastelink SaaS App" (Presented by Alan Singer, Independent Developer; and Alencar Guerreiro, Sr. Enterprise Solutions Architect)

Learn how Wastelink of Sydney, Australia used Alpha Anywhere to quickly build a mobile and web SaaS app in a bid to become a leader in mobile inspection services for the water and waste disposal industry. 
5:00 PM Interactive Dinner: Engineering Breakout Sessions
  Friday
8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
9:00 AM

Engineering Panel/Q&A: A freeform Q&A session with the Alpha Developers (Selwyn Rabins, Dan Bricklin, Kurt Rayner, Cian Chambliss, Lenny Forziati, Bob Moore, Jerry Brightbill, Terry Smith)

10:00 AM

Strategies and Best Practices for Building Sophisticated Offline Applications

Join Lee Haddox, IT Manager at 405 Technology, as he shares best practices for creating sophisticated offline applications. Lee will share with you the best way to approach login and security, creating parent-child lists, and developing data driven dropdowns in an offline application. He will also share some tips on how to check for server availability, how to validate synchronization before posting an update, and explain using wait disclosures and timing events on refresh.
10:25 AM Break
10:30 AM

Technical Session: Website Vulnerabilities and What You Can Do About Them (Lenny Forziati, Vice President of Internet Products and Technical Services)

Like it or not, chances are that if you're connected to a network, you are being attacked within minutes. Considering the vast majority of websites have vulnerabilities, you must be proactive when building and deploying your applications, remain vigilant to monitor systems, and stay abreast of any newly discovered exploits to ensure systems remain secure.
 
This session will introduce you to key networking and programming concepts, common vulnerability types, and various defense strategies. You will gain a better understanding of holistic security and build a foundation of resources and tools that will be immediately useful in the ongoing battle for access to your systems.
11:30 AM

Technical Session: Advanced Integrations - Understanding SOAP Service Calls in Applications (Kurt Rayner, Vice President of R&D, Alpha Software)

SOAP web services have been around for quite a while. As a result there are many varied implementations of this approach and many SOAP services are still created with popular tools and environments or even by hand. Although SOAP services are self-describing, connecting to those services and setting parameters can be tricky, if not downright frustrating. Alpha Anywhere has tools to make integration more automatic, but it takes a good understanding of how things work to deal with poorly documented services. We will review SOAP conceptually, look at supporting classes in Xbasic and discuss the process of converting WSDL to a .Net assembly that you can call from Xbasic. Lastly, we will touch on configuration changes that you may need to apply in code.
12:00 PM Lunch
1:00 PM

Technical Session: Using Active Directory in the Alpha Security Framework (Jerry Brightbill, Senior Developer)

Active Directory is a common access management system used in many corporate computer networks and has different characteristics when compared to other security managers.  This session will show how Active Directory can be integrated into the Alpha Classic Web Server and in IIS and will examine the impact this system has on application design.
 
Various setup options will be explored along with methods to get data from the Active Directory System including getting a list of supported security roles, and data about individual users.  Useful tips will be presented such as how to automatically add an authenticated user to a table outside of Active Directory. 
2:00 PM

Technical Session: Getting What You Came For - Navigating the Alpha Anywhere Help System (Sarah Mitchell, Technical Writer)

A vast amount of documentation is availalbe to help you build your Alpha Anywhere application. In this presentation, we'll demonstrate some of the new functionality on our Documentation site and share some tips on maximizing your utilization of our help system. We'll also be asking you, our users, what features could be added to our system to make help make you more successful Alpha Anywhere developers.
2:30 PM

Closing/Open Session (Richard Rabins, CEO; Selwyn Rabins, President; Dan Bricklin, CTO, Alpha Software Corporation)

3:00 PM Departure

*sessions subject to change as schedule evolves