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Any suitable alternative for Visual FoxPro? I can't find one!

Posted by nhylzcode on February 4, 2015 at 8:35 AM


I’ve been professionally developing business applications for more than 10 years mostly from small to medium-size enterprises, most of my applications are written in Visual FoxPro since Version 3.0 up until to the last version 9.0 SP2. So yeah, VFP is my bread and butter because it’s the best tool for getting things done specifically in developing enterprise desktop line of business applications.


To most VFP developers the following site and announcement from VFP team is not new https/msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/vfoxpro/bb308952 ( MS is not planning on releasing a VFP 10 ) it was really a sad news to all FoxPro fanatics like me. Nonetheless, rather than whining, I better start looking for an alternative tools for my future projects. I’m still looking up until 2020 till I stop developing application in VFP and as long as my clients couldn’t care less whatever development tools I use, as long as I continue to meet all of their requirements on time( VFP is a RAD tools, you know ^_^ ) I’m still going to use it.


Don’t get me wrong, I love keeping up with the new and latest technology and most of the time I usually hop on to the bandwagon on the latest technology and try to come up with something useful that I can use for my projects and It’s no brainer to just stick to one development tools, environment and programming languages particularly if you are a business software solution provider.


Yes, yes the technology is there. Only too many to choose from and most of the time it’s far too complicated for the end-users to get started and when you get the feeling that it’s a bit bloated, heavy weight, too much use of resources and experienced the install and uninstall hell the frustration of finding an alternative to VFP is getting worse. True, there are lots of available tools out there but it’s too fragmented, you need lots of add-on and other third party software to make simple line of business application out of the box.


Still, I can’t find a robust data centric development tools like what Visual FoxPro can offer, sure there’s Microsoft Access and LightSwitch :D but I rather create a full blown business application in Visual Studio and .Net framework. VFP is dead, XNA is dead, Silverlight is dead, MS Access and LightSwitch may die, but .Net framework probably last and evolved; not to mention that it can be ported to Mono with just a little effort.


dBASE was different from programs like BASIC, C, FORTRAN, and COBOL in that a lot of the dirty work had already been done. The data manipulation is done by dBASE instead of by the user, so the user can concentrate on what he is doing, rather than having to mess with the dirty details of opening, reading, and closing files, and managing space allocation”. -- Wayne Ratliff


As one of the great grandparents of dBase noted dBase(Clipper/xBASE/VFP) is a different beast in terms of data manipulation like in most general programming languages and C# is no exception to that. So, why not use the best of both worlds by using Visual Studio as the development tools and .Net framework as the language(C#/VB) and create a library that can bring the ease of use in data manipulation on VFP table without using VFP itself or it's runtime :)


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4 Comments

Reply wOOdy
4:56 AM on April 1, 2017 
I know that this is an old posting, but I do want to point you to www.Lianja.com, which is way ahead of all other VFP-compatible successors.
Read https://www.lianja.com/resources/the-lianja-vision for a first understanding.
wOOdy (also an old VFP enthusiast)
Reply Dexter
12:24 AM on June 2, 2017 
wOOdy says...
I know that this is an old posting, but I do want to point you to www.Lianja.com, which is way ahead of all other VFP-compatible successors.
Read https://www.lianja.com/resources/the-lianja-vision for a first understanding.
wOOdy (also an old VFP enthusiast)
Reply Dexter
12:27 AM on June 2, 2017 
Hello Sir Woody ^ _ ^ y

You are very well known to Visual FoxPro Community, I'm also aware the existence of Lianja, Alaska and X#, But I want to roll my own, this will be open source once completed... I'm currently using this on production project... Thanks for dropping by Sir ^ _ ^ y
Reply Dexter
12:40 AM on June 2, 2017 
Up until now your Installer for Visual FoxPro 9 runtime library is the one I'm using ^ _ ^ Y Kudos to you sir!!!

I choose this route to roll my own, not the xbase language but the simplicity of accessing and data manipulation of a DBF file found on FoxPro but using C# and since Xamarin is already free to use, this project can be used on different platform using the C# language.