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Visual Foxpro ??

I develop desktop database solutions for industrial type clients. Mostly tracking equipment failures and maintenance records for industrial equipment. My most successful projects were ones that used a VB6 front-end and a Access database.

The last project I developed I wrote with C# and a Access database. It's up and running with a few issues and has been well received for the most part.

My question is what type of experience have some other had with Visual Foxpro. I have seen a few application written with it and they look good with very good performance. Some of the new projects I am looking at would include many users sharing data over the web. Microsoft says VFP is an ideal tool for this type of thing but I have no experience with it. Any comments would be welcome.
Don Jordon
Monday, November 07, 2005
One of our competitors spent a fortune moving from VFP to MSSQL. Their VFP product was in a company with 500+ users spread across the country and they had a lot of DB consistency and stability problems. No idea if those could be fairly blamed on VFP vs. their application, though. My boss used to think VFP was the cat's meow as long as you're content to leave it on a Windows box.
NetFreak Send private email
Monday, November 07, 2005
Much the same as Netfreak. I used VFP a few years ago, for me it comes somewhere between a VB/Access system and a full blown .Net/SQL Server system.

It was great in a file server environment when you had a decent network speed, but some clients had serious performance problems, expecially with large datasets. You could connect it to another DB but to be honest that kind off missed the point.

I think these days it's pretty much a dead technology, it was dropped from Visual Studio once that went to .Net, I think thats says more than we could say here.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005
It was never really part of Visual Studio to be dropped from it.  A number of people keep saying that VFP is dead, they've been doing it for the past 13 years to my knowledge.  It still lives and its still the best combination of OOP and data manipulation in a non script language. 

And I use it most days of the week.
Simon Lucy Send private email
Friday, November 11, 2005
Visual Fox plays in an entirely different park than SQL Server. VFP was designed as a desktop database with the ability to manage connections from multiple users in a LAN environment. It's maybe not a good tool to use as a Web back end nor as in large data warehousing environment.

But for a moderately sized database app on a LAN, VFP is absolutely blindingly fast. The language contains in-line SQL command processing - which is unique and highly addictive. Compared to Access, VFP has always been leagues ahead.

In addition to an extremely rich function set, VFP has its own reporting suite, GUI builder, database, and executable builder.

If I were to build a shrink-wrapped Windows app for sale - I'd look at VFP first.
Friday, November 11, 2005
VFP is both a LAN/Local database and a development language. 

The database engine can be use to store all the application's data like SQL Server or MS Access.  Used like this, it doesn't have some of the server-based advantages of a server database such as SQL Server, Oracle, etc.  I think most VFP developers acknowledge that a server product is a better place to store application data than VFP, MS Access, etc assuming the client will pay the extra cost.

The other use for the VFP data engine isn't as apparent to developers that haven't used the product.  VFP language, forms, reports, etc are built to take advantage of the built-in database.  The amount of code required to do data type tasks is usually less than ADO and some other technologies.  By the way, the VFP team at Microsoft wrote the original version of ADO.

VFP provides a complete development solution - forms, reports, and an unlimited runtime.

For some of the advantages of VFP as a development tool see this summary of a presentation at the recent German FoxPro conference.  The Technical Case and the Business Case for Visual FoxPro - Steven Black

Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Thanks you for your relies. I have done more research and am still interested in it for my next project.

I like the fact it will run on older versions of Windows unlike my .Net projects. I really like that it is a proven stable product, again, unlike .Net.

I worry about the learning curve for me. Lot's of programming experience but none in VFP. I worry about long-term viability of VFP and if it would be a good decision to develop a new application with it. Microsoft has stated VFP will not enter the 64-bit world in the future. At some point I see it just being rolled into the .Net world.

However, depending on my learning curve I think I could knock out a product that would be a better performer than my .Net/Access solutions and by the time I had to upgrade to something else the .Net world might be more stable.

Don Jordon

Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Thank you for letting me know the product. It's the only major MS app which I did not bounced against.
It looks great and I think that is very well suited for the kind of solution I have in mind.
Sevenoaks Send private email
Friday, December 02, 2005

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