By Nellaiappan L | March 26th, 2021 |
As hardware and operating systems continue to evolve, the 32-bit architecture-based FoxPro seldom scales to meet the requirements of modern business demands. Microsoft has announced the end of life of Visual FoxPro with the VFP 9 version being the last one. Also, they revoked the mainstream and extended support for all versions of. So, what next? Moving your mission-critical applications written in VFP to a stable and vendor-supported platform requires skilled professionals in VFP as well as the target technology. Although FoxPro conversion may not be an emergency problem, it is prudent to plan.
Migrating your application to a new platform requires strategic decision-making to choose the right target platform that fits your future business needs. Adequate time must be planned for the redevelopment, testing, and deployment of the new solution.
Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro with its object-oriented, data-centric design and Rapid Application Development (RAD) environment made it a good tool for creating desktop database applications. When it comes to a Visual FoxPro replacement, choosing the right FoxPro alternative platform can make all the difference.
Microsoft .NET Platform
When it comes to Visual FoxPro replacement, Microsoft’s .NET platform is the most popular and preferred choice by VFP developers. .NET has evolved for more than a decade and will last for many years as most of the Microsoft Windows applications are created using it. With .NET, you can make the choice whether to migrate you are existing VFP application to a Desktop or a Web-based application.
When choosing a development language, the programming paradigm takes precedence over syntax. VFP is an object-oriented programming language; it aligns with .NET C#. Moving into ASP.NET/C# based Web application can be another choice if you are planning to take your end-users to a completely new environment.
The .NET platform has a good range of supporting programming languages allowing programmers to take advantage of the 64-bit architecture. Though there are several Visual FoxPro replacement software’s claiming a magical conversion, Macrosoft recommends upsizing your old database to SQL Server as the best choice for migration to .NET. As the .Net framework uses object-oriented programming, this eliminates any unnecessary code which save time and money.
The .Net framework consists of reusable codes and components. In the long run, this advantage translates to less time and money to develop and update any application. The .Net framework has been used to develop thousands of applications. The framework is known for its stability and reliability. The performance of .Net applications on Microsoft Windows Server stable and reliable. A .Net-powered application consists of controlled code sharing, side-by-side versioning, private components, partially trusted code, and no-impact applications. The presence of these individual components makes for easy deployment. The existing code execution environment facilitates code execution with reduced conflicts in deployment. A .Net application can be executed on multiple platforms such as a browser, desktop, smartphone browser, and more. .Net has been seen and promoted as a language-independent framework due to linguistic flexibility.
The development paradigm of Servoy is like VFP with whole forms and data sessions. Servoy is suitable for building cloud applications. The problems begin when there are no more advantages and the disadvantages begin, even though there are not many of them, they are kind of deal breakers. The UI is difficult to manage, and the community is small which is it difficult to get support. If you get stuck, you are stuck. There are companies providing developers, but they are expensive as the program serves a smaller community.
PHP is a general-purpose server scripting language for creating dynamic and interactive web pages. PHP is another choice for moving your legacy VFP-based application, but it requires almost a complete rewrite of the application. Modern application developments are more aligned to HTML based web applications that are responsive in design to render in mobile device resolutions.
In modern systems, three-tiered architecture with separate layers for User Interface, Middle layer, and Database layer is followed. The middle tier where the business logic resides is implemented in various languages as a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Database backend is usually implemented in conventional relational databases or alternative paradigms such as No SQL, blob storage, document databases, or Big Data.
Application deployment ranges from single workstation systems to distributed cloud-based services. Since it is open source, it is not the most secure when it comes to risks. The standalone PHP code cannot do a lot, so more frameworks and tools need to get added, this decreases the performance as well. The biggest disadvantage of PHP maybe that is not very good at handling errors. The language lacks quality debugging tools, this problem gets compounded when warnings errors are not even notified.
Of the three alternatives discussed .NET has an edge for migrating VFP applications coupled with SQL Server for the database. Choose a technology partner with solid experience in migrating legacy mission critical VFP applications to the .NET platform. Perform an in-depth analysis that details the complexity of your application and the effort required to migrate to the .NET platform. Find out about Macrosoft’s Logical Migration Methodology.