By Ghulam Nabi Shah | February 22nd, 2021 |
FoxPro was the driving force of technology transforming many sectors from banking, healthcare, power, and insurance. Unfortunately, the evolution of the programming did not cater to the newer demands of individual industries. The company was started in 1984 and was soon integrated into Microsoft. As technologies like Java and .Net started to overtake the language, the last update from Microsoft was in 2007 and stopped Visual FoxPro support from 2015.
While Visual FoxPro may seem way too old ancient to handle any modern systems, the rise, and growth of the language was due to many of its advantages. With FoxPro, companies did not need multiple developers such as front and back end developers. One FoxPro developer could develop the front and back end. Visual FoxPro applications were usually desktop applications instead of web applications, due to this, the performance of the application was very good. Visual FoxPro applications had never scalability issues as well. Visual FoxPro applications were portable as well, just installation files with basic DLLS and the program was ready to run.
As more and more applications became SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, the popularity of the language declined. While the Visual FoxPro did not need a front-end developer, it severely lacked the easy-to-navigate user interface and a user intuitive front end. There was no mobile-friendly environment for the language as well. Since there were no plans from the original creators to upgrade the language to work with the internet, the reliability and the future of the language looked more and more uncertain.
There are no developers for the language, most of them have retired or moved on to better technology. If something goes wrong, there are no experts to call to help as well. This is what happened in 2004 when an airline company’s legacy system was hit with a bug, with no alternatives 30,000 passengers had their holidays and tickets canceled. The only option is to migrate to a modern framework. The process is easier said than done, usually, there are 150k to 1M lines of codes, documentation is never up to date or not in place. But whatever we have all experience and expertise to handle anything scary.