Visual FoxPro 1984-2007…A moment of silence please…

It’s official, after almost 6 years of speculation, the era of Visual FoxPro (formerly FoxBASE and FoxPro) is coming to an end.  Those of you who, like myself, once proudly proclaimed “I am a PROFESSIONAL FoxPro programmer” or more recently Visual FoxPro, sit down with a glass of brandy and a cigar and tell the young-ins about a great legend, the legend of FoxPro.  From a time when if you said Object Oriented Programming, most people would have looked at you and scoffed.  When there was Visual Basic for DOS, and C++ (if it existed) was for Computer Scientist (no, not the ones with a BA in Computer Science, the real Computer Scientist with the white lab coats and PhD’s).

Here’s some syntax for the “Way back machine.”  I may be a little off, but I can’t find my FoxPro Bible book; it’s in the basement with my dBASE III+ programmers reference.  Please comment if I am off on the syntax.

Use myDatabase.dbf as MyDatabase
Do While not EOF()
Print MyDatabase.LastName + “, ” + MyDatabase.FirstName

So here’s the good news.  Microsoft plans to support FoxPro 9.0 through 2010 and offer extended support through 2015.  Keep in mind that we are releasing one more version codenamed Sedna, see my post on it here ( 

I know that there are not as many Visual FoxPro developers out there anymore in the wild, mostly hunted down by new languages like .NET, but I want to remind everyone of how simple the syntax was, yet elegant, and how powerful the engine was.  Remember, for a long time the FoxPro database engine was considered the fastest thing out there, even over early versions of RDBMS engines.

Ah well, time moves on, and as we bid our old friend goodbye, keep in mind that Microsoft will still support your soon to be “legacy” Visual FoxPro applications through 2010 with an option of extended support through 2015.

Go to Alan Griver’s blog ( to read the official statement and particulars. 

~ Robert Shelton

Comments (5)

  1. Robert, your name sounds really familiar, but I can’t quite place it. Did our paths cross at Microsoft, or somewhere else, or am I just having a hash table collision?

  2. PubSec says:

    Garret, I’m not sure if we’ve met before or if you are having a "hash table collision."  Unfortunately, RAM (memory) is the first to go on developers like me; I only have 256MB of it, which is barely enough to boot up in the morning and I have to flush old information to make room for new information. 🙂

    Robert Shelton

  3. Your syntax is close. No PRINT command, though. You’d use the ? operator for that.

    ? MyDatabase.LastName + ", " + MyDatabase.FirstName


  4. PubSec says:

    Thanks Tamar,

    I guess I was getting my BASIC mixed in with my FoxBASE. 🙂

    ~ Robert Shelton

  5. Bill Coupe says:

    You’ve about hit the nail on the head… simple, elegant and powerful… that will truly be the Fox/VFP legacy…

    I’ve been talking to Fox folks all week, we seem both saddened, and yet hopeful… sad as Microsoft finally dod what we all knew they would do when they bought it back in ’92, hopeful that in CodePlex it may well find a resugence and soem new found allies.

    Nice post.