As hardware and operating systems continue to evolve, the 32 bit architecture based FoxPro seldom scales the requirements of modern business demands. Microsoft has announced the end of life of Visual FoxPro with VFP 9 version being the last one. Also, they revoked the mainstream and extended support for all versions of FoxPro and VFP. 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 technologies. Although FoxPro conversion may not be an emergency problem, it is prudent to plan ahead.
READ MORE: Security Risks associated with Visual FoxPro
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 redevelopment, testing and deployment for 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 application. When it comes to 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 platform by VFP developers. .NET has evolved for more than a decade and will last long as most of the Microsoft windows applications are created using it. With .NET, you can make the choice whether to migrate your existing VFP application to Desktop based application or Web based application. When choosing programming language, the programming paradigm takes precedence over syntax. VFP being an object oriented programming language; it aligns with the .NET programming languages like C#. It is better to choose the Desktop based .NET application using WPF/C# if your preference is to have the same look and feel as well as the behavior of VFP application, as it is aligned to traditional windows application. 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 a number of Visual FoxPro replacement software’s claiming a magical conversion, Macrosoft recommends upsizing your old database to SQL Server is best for migration to .NET.
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/HTML 5 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 are followed. The middle tier where business logic resides is implemented in various languages as a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Database backend are usually implemented in conventional relational databases or alternative paradigm such as No SQL, blob storage, document databases or Big Data. Application deployment ranges from single workstation systems to distributed cloud based service.
Of the three alternatives discussed .NET has an edge for migrating VFP applications coupled with SQL Server for database. Choose a technology partner with solid experience in migrating legacy mission critical VFP applications to .NET platform. Perform an in-depth analysis that details the complexity of your application and the effort required to migrate to .NET platform. Find out about Macrosoft’s Logical Migration Methodology.
For more information on migrating complex VFP based applications to .NET platform, contact John Kullmann at [email protected] today to get a free analysis of your application.