Pairwise local alignment is an indispensable tool for molecular biologists. In real time (i.e. in about 1 s), ALP (Ascending Ladder Program) calculates the E-values for protein-protein or DNA-DNA local alignments of random sequences, for arbitrary substitution score matrix, gap costs and letter abundances; and FALP (Frameshift Ascending Ladder Program) performs a similar task, although more slowly, for frameshifting DNA-protein alignments.To permit other C++ programmers to implement the computational efficiencies in ALP and FALP directly within their own programs, C++ source codes are available in the public domain at http://go.usa.gov/3GTSW under 'ALP' and 'FALP', along with the standalone programs ALP and [email protected] information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. Published by Oxford University Press 2015. This work is written by US Government employees and is in the public domain in the US.