Alive and Kicking!

Dear Reader,

Welcome to the third issue of FoxRockX!

In case you missed it, our first issue was in March 2008 after the takeover of FoxTalk. The second issue, a free issue sponsored by Sybase, was published in April 2008 focusing on the new Advantage Database server, a backend database that works with Visual FoxPro 9.0 DBF-files. You can download this special, free, issue from http://portal.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/FoxRockX/ in case you missed it.

First the bad news; we have to offer you our apologies. Like many new ventures we did, unfortunately, run into some unexpected issues and delays with both the printing and mailing of the magazine. We have put a lot of work into, and are continuing to work on, our production and distribution processes and believe wenow have it right.

Some people also experienced problems with getting information on how to access the archives and, while many of these have been traced to over-enthusiastic spam filters that automatically block "foreign" E-Mail addresses, we were also a little slower than planned in getting the archives available on line and getting the access information out to you. Again we offer our apologies to those affected and believe that the problems are now resolved. But it has been a busy couple of months for all of us here at FoxRockX.

 Now the good news; Visual FoxPro is alive and kicking and there is much to do for Visual FoxPro developers in both the commercial and the community spheres. As a development tool, Visual FoxPro is extremely powerful and very flexible. But have you ever stopped to consider just how flexible it really is?

 Apart from its obvious role in creating desktop and LAN based applications that use the native DBF file, many Visual FoxPro developers have used VFP very successfully to create Client/Server applications in combination with Microsoft SQL-Server or other back end database. Others have created with web applications using West-Wind Web Connection or by integrating Visual FoxPro with ASP and ASP .NET. Still others build Terminal server based applications, often in combination with a backend database although, in my personal experience, on a multi-processor server with enough RAM native DBF based FoxPro applications run like lightning. (We will be investigating the issues associated with building Terminal Service Applications in an upcoming issue).

Of course, the big issue facing us all is the expansion of Microsoft's .NET platform and the lack of a new version of Visual FoxPro. However, even in this context there are things happening with Visual FoxPro.

For example, eTecnologia have produced the ".NET Extender for VFP" which basically turns the whole .NET Framework into a Visual FoxPro extension, and their "VFP compiler for .NET" is already in Beta. See the website for details (www.etecnologia.net). Then there is "Guineu" produced by Christof Wollenhaupt that is an alternative runtime library for Visual FoxPro 9.0 that runs on any Microsoft .NET compatible platform. See the website for details (http://guineu.foxpert.com). Craig Boyd and Bo Durban have been working on VFP Studio a full featured development environment that seamlessly integrates many .NET Features and capabilities into Visual FoxPro. (See http://www.sweetpotatosoftware.com/SPSBlog/PermaLink,guid,b71ea97e-8fb8-4401-ace4-b5a536fe0a37.aspx for details).

There are new books being written for Visual FoxPro too. Tamar Granor has gathered a great team of authors to produce the VFP9 "Sedna update" book soon. And Jim Booth is back - see his article in this issue - he is updating his very successful "Effective Techniques for Application Development with Visual FoxPro" to include VFP 9.0 features. Both books will be available at http://shop.dfpug.com and http://www.hentzenwerke.com later this year. Whil Hentzen has also mentioned that he is working on another book or two regarding Visual FoxPro. Stay tuned!

FoxRockX is published bimonthly with 24 pages DIN A4 plus advertising. All subscriptions include access to the complete online archive of FoxTalk and many other documents and articles. We took over from FoxTalk which published 12 issues a year with 16 pages each for a total of 192 pages. We plan for 6 regular issues and two special issues with 24 pages for the same 192 pages total per year. For more details see http://www.foxrockx.com