2019 has seen many new technological advancements making it imperative for businesses to modernize their Visual FoxPro (VFP) applications. Rapid technological advancements have started taking a toll at companies still relying on legacy FoxPro applications. As a result of which companies still running on VFP are compelled to move on to modern platforms.
Why you should Migrate VFP?
One of the main reasons why companies are considering a FoxPro migration is because Visual FoxPro was classed as “end-of-life“. What it meant is that Microsoft no longer provides any form of support, with Visual FoxPro 9.0 being the last version released in 2007. As more and more business services go online and though it is still possible to change FoxPro systems to access them, there is a tipping point where it is no longer cost-effective. With the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) act, companies still running on VFP system will have to replace with a modern platform that complies with the GDPR regulation.
VFP applications won’t stop working immediately, but over time windows updates could prevent FoxPro applications from working properly. Also, with every passing year, the pool of resources keep diminishing as the new developers are skilled in new technologies and the old continue to retire.
Common issues associated with Visual FoxPro are:
- A Visual FoxPro database is hard to secure.
- Visual FoxPro only runs on one OS.
- It has a 2 GB limit as per table.
- Need to use large and scalable databases (like SQL Server).
What are the risks associated when running applications on VFP?
Apart from the common issues, there are quite a number of risks associated when you continue to run your application on Visual FoxPro.
- Growing Security Concerns
As FoxPro is a file-based database system, it is not possible to introduce higher levels of security without compromising on functionality. Data within the database is made available to all users of the system for it to function. Also, database tables can be opened from outside of the application making it highly vulnerable. GDPR cannot be implemented in VFP applications as there is not enough security for data.
- Web & Mobile Incompatibility
FoxPro does not work natively on the web. There are ways to web-enable FoxPro but they are not very effective. Further, there is no platform to develop mobile applications (for iPhone/Android). VFP legacy systems are not designed to deal with rapidly expanding mobile services. VFP is unable to provide the capabilities necessary to offer services on social networks and other platforms.
- Expensive Infrastructure & Maintenance
Older applications generally require an older technical environment, which might include legacy operating systems, databases, libraries, or even specific hardware. Just as applications grow more expensive to maintain as they age, so does the underlying infrastructure. Support and maintenance of FoxPro applications are becoming more and more expensive with the ever decreasing availability of skilled FoxPro developers.
Now is the era of mobile devices, but legacy is difficult to mobilize. In order to benefit from the technological revolution, organizations need to understand the challenges they face along their legacy transformation journey. Companies that continue to use Visual FoxPro for mission-critical programs are at ever increasing risk and should be making specific plans for migrating to modern platforms (like .NET).
Let us know if you are in need of a trusted technology partner to migrate your VFP applications. At Macrosoft, we will help you analyze and asses your VFP application to come up with a timely and cost-effective migration strategy. We follow industry best practices in laying out the best order of sequence of modules and functionality before beginning the actual migration process.