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- What uses do you see for Visual FoxPro today?
The Visual Basic. NET Solution Explorer. Command Syntax. Flow of Control.
Variables, Enums, Arrays, Collections, and Fields. Functions and Subroutines Procedures. Classes, Namespaces, Properties, and Forms. Compiler Directives. Data Binding. Error Handling and Debugging. Why Three-Tier?
Writing the Sample Application. The Form Template. A Search Form Template. The Data Tier. Whats Next? Starting the New Windows Application Project. Adding a Windows Controls Library.
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Microsoft has since recommended that users migrate their applications to. FoxPro and VFP were once the preferred development languages for critical business applications. NET and are rapidly moving toward web and mobile based applications. Current bit VFP applications may not fit your evolving business and technology requirements.
Net technology. While I think for the time being it will be more common to call Visual FoxPro components from. Net there can also be a number of benefits for calling. Net components from VFP. Most importantly it gives the opportunity for those of you that are trying to get your feet wet with. Net a chance to integrate the new technology into existing applications without having to completely re-write an application and starting from scratch. Building components in. Net is one of the easier things to do when starting out and having specific small features to learn is significantly easier than learning the entire framework as part of starting a full application from scratch.
But before you start jumping into. Net components called from VFP, you should think hard about your reasons for doing so. While there are many 'cool' features that are easy to implement, you should realize that you can probably access that same functionality through other non-. Net mechanisms as well. It might not be as easy as in. Net, but for real life applications not requiring an install of the. Net framework are probably easier to install, administer and manage than those that do.
If your only goal is to access some minor feature that. Net provides you're probably better of skipping it if there are alternatives within VFP, COM or even via more manageable 3 rd party tools. Why do I say this?
There's overhead. If you integrate.
Net into your VFP application you should realize that you will incur the full requirements of the. Net platform:. The point is that by including. Net with your VFP application, you're essentially requiring two separate development runtimes to be installed and all the administration issues that go with it. Net components from Visual FoxPro is very easy. The basics of exporting a.
However, when you go beyond the basics of passing complex types and datasets around things get a little more involved. Let's start with a simple, but useful example that I had use for on my Web site: A small component to create some image manipulation features for my Web site. The component shown below can create thumbnail images, rotate, resize and retrieve image info from images of various formats. The first example shown in Listing 1 creates a thumbnail from an image located on disk and writes it out to a new file. Note that source files are truncated removing error handling and a few other non-essential code blocks.
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Listing 1 C : A class method to create a thumbnail image from an image. Save lcThumbnailFilename ;. GetThumbnailImage lnWidth,lnHeight,. Zero ;. Save lcThumbnailFilename,loFormat ;. CreateThumbnail takes input and output filenames and the size for the thumbnail to be created. There's some code omitted here for brevity that deals with maintaining the image's aspect ratio.
I've also removed the error handling code in all code snippets for brevity. You can check the source code to see the full code. The actual image conversion is actually handled natively through the. This method creates a new image object that can then simply be saved to disk with the Save method. The latter needs to be passed as IntPtr.
Zero rather than null. This class and method is a plain. Net class that can be called from any. Net application. I'm using a couple attributes on the class to explicitly force several options of how the COM class interface is published to override the default behavior for COM exports.
What uses do you see for Visual FoxPro today?
The ClassInterfaceType. The alternative is to explicitly create an Interface for all published methods of the class, then create a separate class with the implementation, which is obviously more tedious. Unless you have a specific need for the interface definition there is no need to go this route. The ProgId is also overridden explicitly — the default is the namespace plus the name of the class, which in the case above is exactly the same as the default.
I like to override this because in many cases the namespace may not be the name I would choose for the server's ProgId. The attributes of the class are not essential to have types exported into COM.