FoxPro

Visual FoxPro (VFP), and its predecessor FoxPro, is a data-centric, object-oriented, procedural, database programming language and IDE from Microsoft last released in 2007 that still has some active use due to its low cost of deployment and fairly rapid development. In 2008, Microsoft released a set of add-ons for VFP's xBase components to allow interoperability with various Microsoft technologies. It allows data processing against its native file-based data tables or database servers such as SQL Server.

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Microsoft Visual FoxPro (short VFP) is a programming language with it’s own IDE and database, ranking somewhat between Access and VB.NET + SQL Server (Express).

Product Description: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vfoxpro/default.aspx
FAQ: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vfoxpro/bb190289

As in many other MS pogramming languages the "Visual" does not denote a visual programming language in the strict meaning of the term, but a visual programming  environment with visual form designers. Before FoxPro was bought by Microsoft and upgraded to Visual Foxpro, there was FoxPro DOS and also UNIX and MAC versions, the DOS version was mainly used, and so UNIX and MAC versions were dropped. The added "Visual" mainly denotes VFP has a visual IDE and supports Windows UI. This is still limited to Winforms, WPF or Silverlight are a DotNet exclusive.


Does It Pay To Begin With VFP?

VFP was discontinued in 2007, also VFP is in the last support phase of the Microsoft support lifecycle - called extended support - which ends January 2015. Microsoft doesn't sell VFP anymore, mainly because it would then need to make warranties exceeding that end of support date.

Microsoft rather recommends to take a look at VS Lightswitch 2011. I don’t agree, as this does not give a comparable experience, neither for VFP developers nor newbies. It integrates into the …
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Author Comment

by:Olaf Doschke
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Reacting very late to your responses, Eduardo, but we lately met in several questions, so I thought I'd address this. It might also interest others.

Well, it's everybodies own decision and not the core PHP function, but you can do PHP local, too, be it in a intranet or from a web based central installation. You can have a html frontend working with a cloud or classically hosted application and on intranet. The last mile not coverable with PHP in general is about local devices, but you don't necessarily need a winforms app to integrate them, it's just simpler, but the overall .net solution typically is neverhteless asking a lot more architectural knowledge from you, a VFP developer typically misses.

PHP is of course no single language able to replace VFP, but its integration with MySQL is a symbiotic pair very well covering the package VFP and DBF are, minus frontend. So, yes, of course there is a lot to do to add HTML and CSS and Javascript/jQuery or other stuff, and even assuming you have that knowledge you have a barrier to local resources you have to bridge somehow, eg for integrating barcode scanners or electronic scales used in many applications from POS system to lab software. That could be a part submitting it's data to some layer accessible by JQuery or PHP. For example take a look at http://phppointofsale.com/. Watch the video, which demos at about 2:00, how this browser based PHP application can be used by shop clerks to scan in products and print a receipt.

I don't say PHP is covering all needs, as it only is one part even of simpler web app, you have to add a frontend. But as I said in the article:

I don’t mention Java and DotNet as successors, because they are a league of their own. They surely are a big option not neglectible but ... don’t aim for VFP developers.

If you're fine to go that route anyway and get forward and have anything you need there, then that's your solution, but there are also those, who already used VFP to do web applications with west wind packages or AFP or FoxWeb and others, and for those PHP surely is a good successor. You often don't need to address local resources, then that part not covered by a browser frontend also becomes unnecessary. So I still stick with my recommendation for PHP as one general solution often overseen, just because it's no desktop solution.

Bye, Olaf.
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Expert Comment

by:Eduardo Fuerte
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Hi Olaf

Thank you for your concerns. I'm going to better research your suggestions.
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FoxPro

Visual FoxPro (VFP), and its predecessor FoxPro, is a data-centric, object-oriented, procedural, database programming language and IDE from Microsoft last released in 2007 that still has some active use due to its low cost of deployment and fairly rapid development. In 2008, Microsoft released a set of add-ons for VFP's xBase components to allow interoperability with various Microsoft technologies. It allows data processing against its native file-based data tables or database servers such as SQL Server.