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SWITCH TO VISUAL STUDIO FROM FOXPRO

Posted on 2010-01-04
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Last Modified: 2013-11-26
Hi Experts
I am thinking of moving to VISUAL STUDIO from Foxpro because of discontinuation of Foxpro.
Is it as easy as Foxpro ?
Can be have Free tables like Foxpro?
Can the Data tables be in any directory?
Is it easy to link to backup directory on different machine in case of server failure?
Thanks
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Question by:Balbirlally
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pcelba earned 400 total points
ID: 26174106
First of all you have to answer what kind of application you would like to create, then you may select the proper tool.

1) Visual FoxPro discontinuation does not mean you have to switch somewhere else just now and immediatelly. VFP applications will work correctly in at least one future operating system and they will work with no restrictions in current operating systems forever... VFP is the most efficient language to process local data.

2) Visual Studio is rather different world than FoxPro. Yes, you should start learnig it step by step as soon as possible and you'll find its data access is not as easy and simple as VFP data access but it works and many applications is running in production stage already.

Visual Studio can even access free DBF tables via ODBC or ADO or several more ways, these data tables can be in any directory but you have to realize this data access becomes obsolete. Visual Studio is oriented to remote data accessed on-line, obviously placed in some WAN data storage and handled by SQL engine. To switch data storage obviously means just connection string update.

And be ready to do everything differently. SQL SELECT is the only connection between different development environments.
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by:jrbbldr
jrbbldr earned 800 total points
ID: 26175472
"Is it as easy as Foxpro ?"
 
Many VFP developers believe that VS data handling is much more code intensive than VFP where 'native' language commands accomplish quite a lot easily.
 
As pcelba says above - And be ready to do everything differently

"Can be have Free tables like Foxpro?"

Again as pcelba says above - you can utilize your existing VFP tables (with appropriate code)
However most VS applications utilize SQL Server for their data table 'home'.

"Is it easy to link to backup directory on different machine in case of server failure?"

The short answer is - IT DEPENDS.

If you are doing your own backups within the application and utilizing non-'native' tables such as VFP, you can hold the backup directory in a table and merely point your application to a different directory.

If you are using SQL Server for your data table backend, then SQL Server has its own backup utility (separate from the application) which can be directed to reside on a different server.

You might want to analyze your reasons for changing development environments.

If your company is mandating the change, then you don't have much choice - Onward You Go.

If you are considering converting an existing FP/VFP application, you might want to carefully weight the reasons (see pcelba's comments above).  Additionally not only will you need to COMPLETELY understand 100% of the original application, but then you will need to COMPLETELY understand how to accomplish the same thing in a TOTALLY different language.    Sort of like creating a 100% accurate translation of a physics book from English to say - Chinese.

If you are wondering which direction to channel your personal software development background into for the future then .NET might be a good choice.

There is a lot to consider before just "jumping into a change".

Good Luck

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by:CaptainCyril
CaptainCyril earned 400 total points
ID: 26175975
Since you are mentioning free tables, it means your application is small. Then I would suggest keeping it in VFP. If you sense that the application might get big and to be used online or with a lot of users using a huge database and Unicode, then go for VS. Then it will be useful to have MS-SQL as a database for it has backup and stuff.

I still use VFP to create great applications in no time whereas the same application takes 4 times as much in VS.
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by:dportas
dportas earned 400 total points
ID: 26176335
>> Is it easy to link to backup directory on different machine in case of server failure?

If you want a failover server then I suggest you use SQL Server as your data store and take advantage of the clustering, mirroring, log-shipping or replication features. You can have a transparent and usually near-instantaneous failover to another server if necessary. This in addition to other high availability features like transaction management, log backups, online backup and restore
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Author Comment

by:Balbirlally
ID: 26191170

 You are correct. My application is small and all the data is Local. The only reason why I am thinking of moving to VS that I can not use web services that are available to me from my Suppliers ie.  check the availabilty of product on line and ordering on line. I have tried to use Westwinds Proxy generator for Web services but was unsuccesful.
I donot mind learning VS if it is not hard work.
Under VFP9  I have my products and customer tables in one folder and then everytime I open a new account, I create a separate directory for that account and their purchase,quote free  tables are created in that directory. That way I keep all the information for that account in their folder. Is this right way ?  and can this be achieved in VS.
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by:jrbbldr
jrbbldr earned 800 total points
ID: 26191490
"everytime I open a new account, I create a separate directory for that account and their purchase,quote free  tables are created in that directory. That way I keep all the information for that account in their folder. Is this right way ?"

Well that is one way to do it, but certainly not the usual way.

Typically you have normalized data tables (perhaps something like:)
   Customer
   Order Header
   Order Detail
   AR Header
   AR Detail

Then each new account becomes either a new 'customer' and/or they have a new 'order' with its own details
Then accounting (Accounts Receivable - a.k.a. AR) is handled in a similar manner.

New accounts and/or new activity for existing accounts become new records within the common tables, not totally new tables each unique to the account/customer.

"can this be achieved in VS."

Remember that VS is merely the 'front-end' for your application providing the users GUI and accomplishing data computation, etc..  
It does not, by itself, define the data table architecture.  Although utilizing SQL Server is most common.

As we said above, an application 'front-end' created with VS languages CAN access VFP data tables if it has been written to do so.

Not that I'd personally recommend it, you can utilize a similar architecture (not totally the same) in SQL Server where each account COULD have its own set of uniquely named data tables (not unique directories) within the database.
       Acct101_Master
       Acct101_Detail
       Acct102_Master
        Acct102_Detail
       
"I can not use web services that are available to me from my Suppliers"

If it were me, I'd spend the time (MUCH LESS TIME than converting) to get my VFP application working with the Web Services.    West-Wind is an excellent source, but it is not the only source for getting things to work.

Good Luck



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