Visual FoxPro

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Visual FoxPro
VisualFoxProScreenshot.png
Visual FoxPro v9 running on Windows XP
Developer(s)Microsoft
Final releasev9.0 SP2[1] / October 16, 2007; 6 years ago (2007-10-16)[2]
Development statusDiscontinued[3]
Operating systemWindows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003[4]
PlatformIA-32[5]
Available inIDE: English, German, Spanish
Runtime: Above plus French, Chinese, Russian, Czech, Korean
TypeIntegrated development environment, programming language
LicenseCommercial proprietary software
Websitemsdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro
 
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Visual FoxPro
VisualFoxProScreenshot.png
Visual FoxPro v9 running on Windows XP
Developer(s)Microsoft
Final releasev9.0 SP2[1] / October 16, 2007; 6 years ago (2007-10-16)[2]
Development statusDiscontinued[3]
Operating systemWindows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003[4]
PlatformIA-32[5]
Available inIDE: English, German, Spanish
Runtime: Above plus French, Chinese, Russian, Czech, Korean
TypeIntegrated development environment, programming language
LicenseCommercial proprietary software
Websitemsdn.microsoft.com/vfoxpro

Visual FoxPro is a data-centric object-oriented procedural programming language produced by Microsoft. It is derived from FoxPro (originally known as FoxBASE) which was developed by Fox Software beginning in 1984. Fox Technologies merged with Microsoft in 1992, after which the software acquired further features and the prefix "Visual". The last version of FoxPro (2.6) worked under Mac OS, DOS, Windows, and Unix: Visual FoxPro 3.0, the first "Visual" version, reduced platform support to only Mac and Windows, and later versions were Windows-only. The current version of Visual FoxPro is COM-based and Microsoft has stated that they do not intend to create a Microsoft .NET version.

Version 9.0, released in 2004 and updated in 2007, is the final version of the product.

History[edit]

FoxPro originated as a member of the class of languages commonly referred to as "xBase" languages, which have syntax based on the dBase programming language. Other members of the xBase language family include Clipper and Recital. (A history of the early years of xBase can be found in the dBase article.)

Visual FoxPro, commonly abbreviated as VFP, is tightly integrated with its own relational database engine, which extends FoxPro's xBase capabilities to support SQL query and data manipulation. Unlike most database management systems, Visual FoxPro is a full-featured, dynamic programming language that does not require the use of an additional general-purpose programming environment. It can be used to write not just traditional "fat client" applications, but also middleware and web applications.

In late 2002, it was demonstrated that Visual FoxPro can run on Linux under the Wine Windows compatibility suite. In 2003, this led to complaints by Microsoft: it was claimed that the deployment of runtime FoxPro code on non-Windows machines violates the End User License Agreement.[6]

Visual FoxPro had a rapid rise and fall in popularity as measured by the TIOBE Programming Community Index.[7] In December 2005, VFP broke into the top 20 for the first time. In June 2006 it peaked at position 12, making it (at the time) a "B" language. By September 2010, FoxPro and its variants had fallen out of the top 50, where it has remained ever since.

In March 2007, Microsoft announced that there will be no VFP 10,[8] thus making VFP9 (released to manufacturing on December 17, 2004) the last commercial VFP release from Microsoft. The support of Version 9 is ongoing with service packs that were released December 8, 2005 and October 11, 2007.

At the time of the end of life announcement, work on the next release codenamed Sedna (named after a recently discovered dwarf planet) which was built on top of the VFP9 codebase had already begun. "Sedna" is a set of add-ons to VFP 9.0 of xBase components to support a number of interoperability scenarios with various Microsoft technologies including SQL Server 2005, .NET Framework, Windows Vista, Office 2007, Windows Search and Team Foundation Server (TFS). Microsoft released Sedna under the Shared source license on the CodePlex site. Microsoft has clarified that the VFP core will still remain closed source. Sedna was released on January 25, 2008.[9] As of March 2008, all xBase components of the VFP 9 SP2 (including Sedna) were available for community-development on CodePlex.

In late March 2007 a grassroots campaign was started by the Spanish-speaking FoxPro community at MasFoxPro[10] ("MoreFoxPro" in English) to sign a petition to Microsoft to continue updating Visual FoxPro or release it to the community as Open Source. On April 3, 2007 the movement was noted by the technical press[11]

Also on April 3, 2007 Microsoft responded to the petitioner's requests with this statement from Alan Griver:

"We're very aware of the FoxPro community and that played a large part in what we announced on March 13th. It's never an easy decision to announce that we're not going to release another version of a product and it's one that we consider very carefully.

"We're not announcing the end of FoxPro: Obviously, FoxPro applications will continue to work. By some of our internal estimates, there are more applications running in FoxPro 2.6 than there are in VFP and FoxPro 2.6 hasn't been supported in many years. Visual FoxPro 9 will be supported by Microsoft through 2015.

"For Microsoft to continue to evolve the FoxPro base, we would need to look at creating a 64-bit development environment and that would involve an almost complete rewrite of the core product. We've also invested in creating a scalable database with SQL Server, including the freely available SQL Server Express Edition. As far as forming a partnership with a third-party is concerned, we've heard from a number of large FoxPro customers that this would make it impossible for them to continue to use FoxPro since it would no longer be from an approved vendor. We felt that putting the environment into open source on CodePlex, which balances the needs of both the community and the large customers, was the best path forward."

Version information[edit]

Operating system compatibility[edit]

Supported Windows versions
VersionVFP 3.0VFP 5.0VFP 6.0VFP 7.0VFP 8.0VFP 9.0
Windows 3.xYesNoNoNoNoNo
Windows NT 4.0YesYesYesYesNoNo [12]
Windows 95YesYesYesRuntime onlyNoNo
Windows 98YesYesYesYesRuntime onlyRuntime only
Windows MeYesYesYesYesRuntime onlyRuntime only
Windows 2000YesYesYesYesYesYes
Windows XPYesYesYesYesYesYes
Windows Server 2003?YesYesYesYesYes
Windows VistaCompatibility modeYesYesYesYesYes
Windows 7YesYesYesYesYesYes
Windows 8??Yes??Yes

Information on executable files[edit]

VersionVERSION() returnsEXE sizeEXE dateDLL sizeDLL name
VFP 9 SP2 with HotfixesVisual FoxPro 09.00.0000.7423 for Windows5,648 KBApril 3, 20094,624 KBVFP9R.DLL
VFP 9 SP2Visual FoxPro 09.00.0000.5721 for Windows5,648 KBSeptember 21, 20074,624 KBVFP9R.DLL
VFP 9Visual FoxPro 09.00.0000.2412 for Windows5,620 KBDecember 13, 20044,600 KBVFP9R.DLL
VFP 8Visual FoxPro 08.00.0000.3117 for Windows5,236 KBSeptember 25, 20034,200 KBVFP8R.DLL
VFP 7Visual FoxPro 07.00.0000.9465 for Windows4,260 KBJanuary 4, 20023,344 KBVFP7R.DLL
VFP 6Visual FoxPro 06.00.8961.00 for Windows4,091 KBAugust 18, 20003,295 KBVFP6R.DLL
VFP 5Visual FoxPro 5.0.0.415 for Windows4,065 KBJanuary 24, 19973,148 KBVFP500.DLL
VFP 3Visual FoxPro 03.00.00.0711 for Windows4,374 KBDecember 16, 19953,657 KBVFP300.ESL
FPW 2.6aFoxPro 2.6a for Windows2,444 KBSeptember 28, 19942,946 KBFOXW2600.ESL

Code samples[edit]

The FoxPro language contains commands quite similar to other programming languages such as Basic. Loops include do, if, while, for, else commands in a usage easily understood by anyone familiar with other programming languages. Commands take the form of "command" and "endcommand"

Some basic syntax samples:

 FOR i = 1 to 10    x = x + 6.5 ENDFOR   IF i = 25    i = i + 1 ELSE    i = i + 3 ENDIF   x = 1 DO WHILE x < 50    x =  x + 1 ENDDO   x = 1 DO WHILE .T.   x = x + 1   IF x < 50    LOOP   ELSE    EXIT   ENDIF ENDDO   nMonth = MONTH(DATE()) DO CASE       CASE nMonth <= 3                MESSAGEBOX("Q1")         CASE nMonth <= 6                MESSAGEBOX("Q2")         CASE nMonth <= 9                MESSAGEBOX("Q3")         OTHERWISE                MESSAGEBOX("Q4") ENDCASE   FOR EACH oControl IN THISFORM.Controls   MESSAGEBOX(oControl.Name) ENDFOR   f = Factorial(10)   FUNCTION Factorial(n)  LOCAL i,r  r = 1  FOR i = n TO 1 STEP -1   r = r * n  ENDFOR  RETURN r ENDFUNC 

Hello World example:

 MESSAGEBOX("Hello World") 

Object[edit]

Output of the Hello World program.
 loForm = CREATEOBJECT("HiForm") loForm.Show(1)   DEFINE CLASS HiForm AS Form   AutoCenter = .T.   Caption = "Hello, World"     ADD OBJECT lblHi as Label WITH ;     Caption = "Hello, World!" ENDDEFINE 
 loMine = CREATEOBJECT("MyClass") ? loMine.cProp1   && This will work. (Double-ampersand marks an end-of-line comment) ? loMine.cProp2   && Program Error: Property CPROP2 is not found.   ? loMine.MyMethod1()  && This will work. ? loMine.MyMethod2()  && Program Error: Property MYMETHOD2 is not found.   DEFINE CLASS MyClass AS Custom   cProp1 = "My Property"    && This is a public property   HIDDEN cProp2     && This is a private (hidden) property   dProp3 = {}     && Another public property     PROCEDURE Init()    && Class constructor     This.cProp2 = "This is a hidden property."   ENDPROC     PROCEDURE dProp3_Access    && Property Getter    RETURN DATE()   ENDPROC   PROCEDURE dProp3_Assign(vNewVal)   && Property Setter     IF VARTYPE(vNewVal) = "D"      THIS.dProp3 = vNewVal     ENDIF   ENDPROC     PROCEDURE MyMethod1()     * This is a public method, calling a hidden method that returns     * the value of a hidden property.     RETURN This.MyMethod2()   ENDPROC     HIDDEN PROCEDURE MyMethod2()  && This is a private (hidden) method     RETURN This.cProp2   ENDPROC ENDDEFINE 

Data handling[edit]

The language also has extensive database manipulation and indexing commands. The "help" index of commands in VFP 9 has several hundred commands and functions described. The examples below show how to code the creation and indexing of tables, however VFP has table and database builder screens which create the tables and indexes without making you write code.

Output of the Data handling program.
 && Create a table CREATE TABLE randData (iData I)   && Populate with random data using xBase and SQL DML commands FOR i = 1 TO 50     APPEND BLANK     REPLACE iData WITH (RAND() * 100)       INSERT INTO randData (iData) VALUES (RAND() * 100) ENDFOR   && Place a structural index on the data INDEX ON iData TAG iData CLOSE ALL   && Display ordered data using xBase-style commands USE randData SET ORDER TO iData GO TOP LIST NEXT 10  && First 10  GO BOTTOM SKIP -10 LIST REST     && Last 10 CLOSE ALL   && Browse ordered data using SQL DML commands SELECT * ;   FROM randData ;   ORDER BY iData DESCENDING 

ODBC access using SQL passthrough[edit]

 && Connect to an ODBC data source LOCAL nHnd nHnd = SQLCONNECT ("ODBCDSN", "user", "pwd")   && Execute a SQL command LOCAL nResult nResult = SQLEXEC (nHnd, "USE master") IF nResult < 0   MESSAGEBOX ("MASTER database does not exist!")   RETURN ENDIF   && Retrieve data from the remote server and stores it in && a local data cursor nResult = SQLEXEC (nHnd, "SELECT * FROM authors", "QAUTHORS")   && Update a record in a remote table using parameters PRIVATE cAuthorID, cAuthorName cAuthorID = "1001" cAuthorName = "New name" nResult = SQLEXEC (nHnd, "UPDATE authors SET auth_name = ?cAuthorName WHERE auth_id = ?cAuthorID")   && Close the connection SQLDISCONNECT(nHnd) 

Beta code names[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Visual FoxPro 9.0 Updates". Visual FoxPro Developer Center. Microsoft. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  2. ^ "Download Microsoft Visual FoxPro 9.0 Service Pack 2.0". Download Center. Microsoft. October 16, 2007. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  3. ^ "A Message to the Community". Visual FoxPro Developer Center. Microsoft. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  4. ^ "System Requirements". Visual FoxPro Developer Center. Microsoft. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Visual FoxPro Developer Center. Microsoft. Retrieved 7 June 2013. 
  6. ^ Visual FoxPro for Linux: A Violation of the EULA?, May 13, 2003, By Ed Leafe, Linux Journal
  7. ^ Tiobe Index History for FoxPro
  8. ^ A Message to the Community
  9. ^ Microsoft SEDNA download
  10. ^ MasFoxPro
  11. ^ Developers petition Microsoft to reconsider FoxPro phase out Posted by Mary Jo Foley (April 3rd, 2007) - All about Microsoft - ZDNet.com
  12. ^ - The free patch for VFP 9.0 has been created by the German FoxPro User Group (dFPUG) and is available at the dFPUG document portal in the directory http://portal.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/Freeware/. It allows you to run VFP 9.0 applications on NT 4.0. Microsoft has indicated that this will be addressed in VFP 9.0 SP1.

External links[edit]

Microsoft pages[edit]

Other pages[edit]