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xBase++

Posted on 2016-09-02
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Last Modified: 2016-09-04
My experience is vested in ATdBase, Clipper, FoxPro, VB6 and VBA.  I am joint venturing with a developer who has a Clipper project with good commercial support and even better potential.  We had considered Visual xHarbour but the lack of documentation makes it a non-starter.  So we are now looking at xBase++ and need to find out a little more about it before we invest.  

The plan is to be able to compile the existing Clipper code and add a GUI front end.  Eventually we will end up rewriting some Clipper code into xBase syntax I'm sure.

Working with VB/VBA is a dream because of the context sensitive help, clear documentation and the large VB/Access Community out there.

So what does xBase offer please?

Does it have VB/VBA type development editor with context sensitive help?
Does it have good documentation with code snips?
Are there 3rd Party Publications worth investing in?
Is there an active Community with people who can help us over difficult hurdles on occasions?
Is there a particular version that is more helpful to the developer?  Alaska seems to be the most visible.

Thanks in advance.
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Question by:MikeDTE
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Expert Comment

by:lcohan
ID: 41781633
Are there any database files behind the code? If they are why not convert it all to MSSQL (or even Access) that has lot more capabilities including letting yo call SQL SP's from VB/VBA code and data will be store into a SQL (or Acces) database instead of the existing dBase or FoxPro DBF files.

http://www.fullconvert.com/Clipper-to-MS-SQL-Server/
http://www.vbforums.com/showthread.php?400616-RESOLVED-Convert-Clipper-R5-files-to-VB
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LVL 43

Expert Comment

by:pcelba
ID: 41782962
Xbase++ support seems to be better than xHarbour but nothing can beat FoxPro...

One event you should not miss is the Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ conference this month.

Another tool of your interest could be Lianja which also supports xBase language.

Of course, the question is whether the shared DBF files access will stay here forever...

If you are able to accept SQL server concept (not only MS SQL Server but also MySQL, Postgre SQL, Firebird, etc.) then you are much more flexible and also open to a wide variety of new technologies. You can use e.g. Python for (business logic) programming, PostgreSQL as the data backend, and e.g. Qt for the multiplatform UI. Everything supported, open source, and free with knowledgeable community.

To look at some Xbase++ code samples (a little bit outdated) visit this site: http://www.xbaseprogrammer.com/philide.cgi

Both Xbase++ and Lianja offer the free trial version, Xbase++ has longer history, Lianja promises more features.
Both Xbase++ and Lianja has active forums/user group.
The documentation is available on their web but no one has such a huge documentation support like Visual FoxPro from Hentzenwerke.

I am not saying you should focus on FoxPro but we have many applications in Visual FoxPro, we are still supporting and extending them but we are also developing .NET equivalents. Microsoft name still helps to sell the final products and enterprise customers would never go for the tool/product which does not have software dinosaur behind it...
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 41783565
Thanks Icohan.  Ye we have DBF file - extensive and some quite large.  Changing to SQL not really possible as we need to compile the Clipper code as is.  There would be too much code to re-write.
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 41783571
Thanks pcelba - very useful.  Can't get to Phoenix for the conference - to far to journey from Bristol, UK. The one question you didn't answer was the type of development help support you get - i.e. does the editor give context sensitive help as in MS VB6/VBA?  Otherwise I have info that I can now explore, especially with FoxPro.
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pcelba earned 2000 total points
ID: 41783699
Lianja has some intellisense/context sensitive help functionality implemented since beginning (version 1.1.3) but the most of it should bring v4 planned for Q4/2016. More info: http://www.lianja.com/resources/roadmap

Xbase++ also supports intellisense since version 1.9 as mentioned e.g. here: http://news.alaska-software.com/readmessage?id=%3C3fb5fa76$1@asgcom.alaska-software.com%3E&group=public.usergroups

I am not sure whether it is configurable the same way as in Visual FoxPro where you can define you own command abbreviations and their expansion as you type but we cannot expect full compatibility at this field.
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 41783721
Hi pcelba - Thanks - that's most useful

We will be going down the Xbase++ route I expect
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