By Michael Caton  |  Posted 2006-02-13 Print this article Print

Most users experienced with developing desktop database applications will be able to pick up Team 2 quickly. During tests, we found it easy to build out applications because the tools used to build them simplify many common tasks. Alexsys also has eliminated the need for forms design by providing a multicolumn form interface that will be adequate for most jobs.

While Alexsys has done a good job simplifying the product, there are some parts of Team 2 that require more than the basics of creating fields. For example, Team 2s rules management component requires that the administrator have an understanding of the underlying database structure and how to define triggers relative to other records. Depending on the complexity of the application, workgroups will likely need to get IT involved to help map out conditions.

Users of the system will have access to good tools for finding and prioritizing the tasks that have been assigned to them. Team 2 uses a tab metaphor to organize work tasks, and tabs can be developed for a specific application. Tabs also can be created by users to filter high-priority tasks.

Click here to find out why the software developer of the future will look like a bricklayer. We liked Team 2s security model, which combines permissions and policies to manage access to information and Team 2 features. For example, we could use policies to prevent users from editing their own Team 2 preferences and tabs. We also could set policies for limiting the types of attachments that users could post in the application. Escalations are managed outside the rules engine through general system options. However, the escalation interface uses the same rules elements, as well as some additional elements for managing time-based triggers.

Team 2s defect-tracking and service-desk roots are readily apparent in the way the product allowed us to easily create an application-specific help system with notes and hints for various forms and fields.

Team 2 has its own report-generation tool that provides basic and detailed reports. Administrators can filter and save report preferences for custom reports, as well as create on-the-fly pivot tables. By default, Team 2 creates reports in HTML format, but reports can also be written in text format through templates.

Although it has a charting engine, Team 2 creates charts separately. Charts then have to be added to a document manually.

The base-line Team 2 product includes an embedded database, while Team-SQL 2 supports SQL databases from Oracle, Microsoft and MySQL. Companies that want the Web-based interface will need to deploy a server running Microsofts Internet Information Services. Both versions of the product support Active Directory-based authentication.

In addition to the Team-Web component, Alexsys offers the $850 Team WebEntry for applications that present information externally and require simple data entry.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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