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Ken Levy - Visual FoxPro 9.0 interop with VS 2005

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Ken Levy, Visual Studio and FoxPro product manager, takes us through the latest Visual FoxPro 9 roadmap and gives us some of his trademark cool demos of how a future version of Visual FoxPro will interoperate with Visual Studio.

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  • Kick *ss! Smiley

    I met Ken at a number of Los Angeles user groups back in the early 3.0 and 5.0 days when he was at JPL I think and working on the genscrnX stuff.

    VFP has come a LOOOONG way, baby! Smiley

    --bruce
  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2

    Does Ken use FireFox as his default web browser? Wink

  • Tyler BrownTyler Brown Bullets change governments far surer than votes.
    Selling a product in a DVD case isn't that bad. As long as it's shrink wrapped, it seems to me that it would be better in many ways. For one, the DVD case would take up less space. Whats the use of having such a huge box when you don't even come close to using the volume of the box?
  • rhmrhm
    FoxPro is only for existing FoxPro users anyway. Nobody is going to switch to it from SQL Server. Actually I'm pretty amazed MS is still developing it, it must still have a pretty big user-base (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of).

    Anyway, I like the way Ken is doing all these random demos and Scoble is like: yeh, that's cool in a not-quite-sure-what-the-point-is tone of voice. Then Ken generates some RSS and he livens up totally "THAT'S AWESOME DUDE!" (I added the dude bit but you get the picture).
  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2
    rhm wrote:
    FoxPro is only for existing FoxPro users anyway. Nobody is going to switch to it from SQL Server. Actually I'm pretty amazed MS is still developing it, it must still have a pretty big user-base (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of).

    Anyway, I like the way Ken is doing all these random demos and Scoble is like: yeh, that's cool in a not-quite-sure-what-the-point-is tone of voice. Then Ken generates some RSS and he livens up totally "THAT'S AWESOME DUDE!" (I added the dude bit but you get the picture).


    You sensed that too! I understand what Ken is bringing across the relevance of FoxPro with continued evolution of Microsoft's other developer products such as Visual Studio 2005, XAML, Avalon and how it will still have meaning in the Longhorn time frame.

    As for packaging, it doesn't really make much sense anymore, we are not living in 1989 or 1993 when products once came with 10 huge manuals weighing up to 30 pounds. With the plethora of online resources and documentation that comes bundled on the CD-ROM or DVD, not to mention things like the web and newsgroups, the paper manual I think has done its days.

    I wasn't that welcoming of the DVD style packaging at first, but it really has grown on me. For Office 2003 though, its horrendous, I hope they add more value to the online documentation its really miserable, an Office Help & Support Center similar to Windows XPs H&S would be nice.
  • Chris PietschmannCRPietschma​nn Chris Pietschmann
    I would love if all my software came in a normal DVD case.
    There are a number of reasons:
    1. Less packaging waste
    2. Wouldn't need to put the box on my shelf with my books
    2. Would be smaller
    3. Would be easier to store on a DVD rack just like all the movies and video games (PS2 and Gamecube; I don't have an XBox) I have.
  • guegue
    >>I don't like Fox Pro, if Microsoft doesn't care enough to ship it in a real packaged box instead of a 50cents dvd case, I will not buy it. I'll stick with SQL server. when they ship Longhorn or VS  in a dvd case I'll laugh because it shows me how they market a product<<

    Seems you didn´t even realize that Ken had VS 2005 to the left of VFP, packaged alike. <g> Trying not to insult you I call this an interesting attitude. Wanna buy lotsa (hot) air?!
    What other life-threatening problems do you have?
    G
  • Andre Da CostaAndre Da Costa Created with PhotoDraw 2000 V2
    Then get a Tablet PC! I understand, there is natural feeling about reading the manual that the monitor is not able to achieve. But it will happen very as Tablets get much thinner and become are more common part of the every work and computing experience.
  • FoxPro is only for existing FoxPro users anyway. Nobody is going to switch to it from SQL Server. Actually I'm pretty amazed MS is still developing it, it must still have a pretty big user-base (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of).

    Funny, I switched from Foxpro to SQL Server long ago but STILL develop most apps mainly with VFP - this is where a lot of people are really confused about what VFP is and what it can do, especially for client/server/desktop apps. Visual Foxpro is so MUCH more than a backend database.  What's interesting is that we develop a lot of enterprise apps (yes, enterprise, OOP, nTier, the works) with VFP & SQL and most clients could care less (or even know) that we're using VFP. So people are switching, they just don't necessarily know it. {g}  It's all about delivering on promises by providing solutions that work on time and on budget. VFP (and many 3rd party tools) help us do that consistently.
  • zzzzzzzzzz Yes its an Economy vehicle
    rhm wrote:
    FoxPro is only for existing FoxPro users anyway. Nobody is going to switch to it from SQL Server. Actually I'm pretty amazed MS is still developing it, it must still have a pretty big user-base (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of).


    RHM your funny.... in C# 3.0 the rumor mill is a buzz that the new data functions are being borrowed from Fox....

     I'll make you a bet that i can create a databound application to SQL faster than you can get VS up and running???

    it only takes 2 lines of code to open connection and get data from a SQL server
    ln=SqlStringConnect("server=TheSqlServer;database="theDataBase";uid=ME;pwd=thepain;enlist=false")

    SqlExec(ln, "Select * from MyTable",  "MyLocalView")

    how many is it for C# or VB  oh wait i ran out of toes Wink
  • rhmrhm
    You miss the point with your pathetic challenge like so many technology advocates do. The supposed advantages of which you brag are irrelevant (like I don't hear similar bragging all the time from proponents of Ruby, Python, Delphi, basically anyone who loves a minority language). Whatever advantages you may have in FoxPro (which on the face of your example are small if not non-existant) equal maybe a few percent in productivity. The point is that nobody is going switch to FoxPro for the supposed advantages on offer because it is a proprietary, minority language/database that may be discontinued at any time. SQL Server is Microsoft's strategic database and VB.NET and C# are major langugae products for Microsoft who's use goes way beyond database front-ends. If you are a happy FoxPro developer then that's great, I'm happy for you that Microsoft has decided to keep the product line going as long as it has in the face of increasing irrelevance, but don't expect people to switch to it for the same reason there's not many people learning CICS these days.
  • zzzzzzzzzz Yes its an Economy vehicle
    Have you ever used FoxPro????
    I use VB and C#

    oh wait aren't these new products still in 1.0

    people talk about the irrelevances of products and let me see here they have outlasted all the detractors.... VB 6.0  anyone
  • rhmrhm
    No, I've not used FoxPro and I don't need to because I'm not criticizing FoxPro on technical or usability grounds. What I've stated is that there's no case for people to move to it based on it being a proprietary, minority product with an uncertain future. Citing VB6 doesn't do your case any good. That's just an example of what could happen to FoxPro. I wouldn't have advised anyone to move to classic VB for the last 5 years as plans for the transition to VB.NET were apparent as long ago as 2000.
  • zzzzzzzzzz Yes its an Economy vehicle
    You are making my case for me.  What 2014 is not long enough for support.  Everybody and their brother advicated going to VB and it became one of the most used Development tools ever but it life was what 10 years and now its dead.

    The Fox has been around sense the 80's

    You assume to much because where on Gods green earth did i say switch to Foxpro.

    The issue i have is you seem to attach yourself only to the most marketed products out there as alot of developers do.  But if history is any teacher those products don't have long lives.  Again VB6 anyone.  VB.NET shares nothing from VB 1-6 other than some syntax.

    The truely odd thing is .net future seems to be merging the database and object programing ideas into one language.  I wonder what the red flash with a white tip tail just went running bye  was Smiley
  • rhmrhm
    zzzzz wrote:

    You assume to much because where on Gods green earth did i say switch to Foxpro.


    I said nobody was going to switch to foxpro and you decided to take the piss. I think it's fair to say you disagreed with my statement.

    zzzzz wrote:

    The issue i have is you seem to attach yourself only to the most marketed products out there as alot of developers do.  But if history is any teacher those products don't have long lives.


    You think foxpro will outlast .NET, C#, SQL Server? Not *that* is funny.
  • zzzzzzzzzz Yes its an Economy vehicle
    rhm wrote:
    You miss the point with your pathetic challenge like so many technology advocates do. The supposed advantages of which you brag are irrelevant. Whatever advantages you may have in FoxPro (which on the face of your example are small if not non-existant) equal maybe a few percent in productivity. The point is that nobody is going switch to FoxPro.


    Boy for someone who never used Foxpro, you seem to know allot about it.

    If you have an msn subscription  download and give it a try, before you count it dead. 

    rhm wrote:
    You think foxpro will outlast .NET, C#, SQL Server? Not *that* is funny.

    It has outlast allot of other products todate.  Who knows what the future will bring.
  • Your point is well made about nobody is going to switch as their is no business case.  I totally agree, stick with what you are happy and productive with.  Your arguments about why not to switch TO Foxpro are the same arguments I make for not switching AWAY from Foxpro.  There is no business OR technology case to do so. Those that have followed the "technology du jour" path are probably wishing they had stuck with Fox.  I evangelize fox because I do see a market for new developers who want to do Microsoft development but are not happy with the Access/.NET choices.  I think .NET is great and can do much more than VFP in a lot of areas (multi-threading, ASP.NET, graphics, some nice controls, etc.) - However, for the type of apps I am employed to create on a daily basis, that is all mostly overkill and bloat for me to wade through.  I am happy with the application building blocks I use AND if I need to, I can interop with .NET, consume web services, automate Office and other COM servers, use ActiveX (and have done all of these things many times)  We even created a C# multi-threaded socket listener that calls out to a VFP COM server (re-using business objects, etc.) - that's one way to make VFP multi-threaded {g}
    So I think comparing VFP to CICS is a little bit of a stretch, don't you?
    By the way, what is the .NET report writer like? Oh yeah, there isn't one! Not counting SQL Reporting Services or Crystal.  You only wish you had an embedded  report writer like VFP.  Watch the video again.... Hahahah.
  • (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of)

    I can't believe I didn't jump on this comment already.... Most of our work these days comes from replacing COBOL and Pascal apps with VFP/SQL apps.  LOL.  We even have 3 former (and current) COBOL programmers who have been learning VFP and they love it! 
  • rhm wrote:
    FoxPro is only for existing FoxPro users anyway. Nobody is going to switch to it from SQL Server. Actually I'm pretty amazed MS is still developing it, it must still have a pretty big user-base (databases are like Cobol, pretty hard to get rid of).


    I don't know about 'big' user base, but there are definitely still some people who want to use it. My girlfriend's dad is getting involved with this business where the programs were created in old style FoxPro. Unfortunately I couldn't find a copy of the previous version anywhere and the beta of the new one (which would be completely different to their current setup) is expensive. I explained that FoxPro is practically a dead language and you would find greater support for things such as SQL, but a 'start from scratch' implementation could end up costing more, hence the requirement for carrying on with FoxPro. I'm sure there are others in this situation.

    I agree, it won't overtake SQL in terms of usage. It would mostly be used by those who have used previous incarnations of it. However, there has never been a .NET version before so this edition promises to be completely different and (more than likely) better. I'm almost tempted to have a look at it myself sometime - just out of curiosity though. Some of the stuff I saw in that Ken Levy video looked very interesting.
  • I don't know about 'big' user base, but there are definitely still some people who want to use it.

    In comparison to .NET, Java - there is no comparison in numbers, that is correct.  However, there are, as you said, many existing developers and apps that need maintenance, support and upgrade.  I also see a steady stream of newbies on a daily basis in the forums I frequent.  Also, if the VFP market were drastically shrinking, they wouldn't be adding new training and conferences like they have in the past few years.  Also, you see more VFP marketing and sharing of the stage (visibility) at the bigger general MS and Advisor conferences.  So, I'm staying the course for now in spite of all the naysayers....  I'm a 16+ year Fox veteran and have weathered the propaganda wars in the past and will continue to do so.
  • There is a major misapprehension about Visual Foxpro and that's been true since VFP 3.  VFP is really two things, a datacentric OO language and a DBMS.

    VFP as a language can access any DBMS to which you can get an ODBC or OLEDB connection.  Further because it can be DBMS agnostic it is very simple to create heterogeneous database applications, even to the point of heterogeneous joins.  That is you can get data from different sources (including XAML), query, update and create using them.

    VFP as a language is also the cleanest implementation of OO in a procedural language that exists anywhere, it just works without any of the horrendous mess in C++ or come to that C#.

    VFP as a DBMS is a file sharing database and for the right size of application and concurrent users it will outperform page based DBMS' such as SQL Server or Oracle.  Once you get above that comfort zone though you need to migrate to a page based client server database (though I've written client server databases using VFP as the DBMS as well).

    The trick is that if you wrote your VFP application properly you can migrate to those client server databases with few if any changes to the middle tier of your code.

    It will in large respects, just work.
  • guegue
    OPEN LETTER to Scobleizer
    Hey Rob,
    I tried this coupla times. Due to a new "wave" on the UniversalThread (VFP home) I try again:

    1) Thanks for your altruistic project.

    2) I know you are learning, cuz you don´t seat people in front of windows any more.

    3) Stay authentic, but don´t move the camera from person to screen with every sentence!

    4) PLEASE seperate streams for downloading to keep things small,...

    Thanks again
    Günter

    PS: Hope this doesn´t get buried in VFP vs. The World flame wars! <g>
  • After 2 minutes I've given up watching the video. Mr. Scoble is constantly focusing on other parts of the lcd screen and that's very amateuristic and made me dizzy.

    I try to understand why Ken Levy cooperated, but I disagree here. The video is on a kind of experimental MS-intranetsite, but it reaches the internet anyway. I dislike the idea that it is seen by people who make decisions about whether or not to use Visual FoxPro. It just gives an amateurish impression, not about Mr. Scoble or C9 (who they don't know), but about Visual FoxPro and even about Ken Levy, the product manager.

    Please, reconsider the quality of these videos!!!
  • tcholzertcholzer Vita contingit, vive cum eo.
    The video demonstrates some of the terrific features to come to Visual Foxpro, which lets face it, has a dedicated following.

    However, while I enjoyed the video, everything can always be improved. Is there anyway in the future to do a splitscreen in the video? Having the code in one side continously and perhaps the individuals on the other side would be ideal.

    Now, to improve on the idea even more would be the ability to maximize either side of the screen (image) depending on which you, as a viewer, wanted to focus on.
  • guegue
    Tracy,
    >>Is there anyway in the future to do a splitscreen in the video? Having the code in one side continously and perhaps the individuals on the other side would be ideal.<<

    As I (can) understand, they want to keep editing to a minimum (if edit at all) and I don´t know of a (video) tool to accomplish (easily) what you´re suggesting.
    But I don´t think we need to see expressions in faces so often. One can HEAR important points while looking at the demo-screen. With writing we need emoticons. Smiley

    Thanks
    G
  • My FoxPro days are long behind me, but the video was very interesting to watch. There is obviously a lot of love for the FoxPro product within the VFP team. Ken is very enthusiastic about "his" product and that is always good to see.
  • What do you think the cost will be of the full release? This could be an important factor. I wonder whether charging the same amount of money as a standard .NET language such as C# or VB.NET would work because people have the stereotype in their head of VFP being rubbish. Perhaps charging a low price for it to start with would be better and when people see the benefits it brings to the table, take the price up then as people would see it as more value for money than they thought previously.
  • Where can I get a book on Visual Foxpro 9.0, please email me at erniemon@bellsouth.net

    Thanks
  • One of the more interesting comments I have heard recently actually place FoxPro as a valuable RAD prototype tool.

    In a day and age where everyone advocates building prototypes before the real thing - with FoxPro, it is relatively easy to build a Q&D (quick and dirty) application with data access to demonstrate a concept.

    Then the full work could be done in another language - that said, being able to update a XAML source without recompiling would be pretty cool.

    What will be really interesting to see will be what features the C# and VB groups pull in from Visual FoxPro.

    FoxPro has always been more of a "hacking" tool - you can pretty much replace any aspect of it with a custom add-in. Much more so than you can with any other MS tool. If MS is smart about this, it will move the VFP approach of extensibility into every product they have.
  • Why do you people keep comparing VFP with SQL Server?  This makes it completely obvious that you know NOTHING about Foxpro.

    That's like comparing a car to a tire.

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