Monday 8 January 2024

What is (Visual) FoxPro Programming language , who developed and when,uses, Example Code, hello world and addition of 2 numbers program

What is (Visual) FoxPro Programming language ?


  • Text-based, procedural programming language and database management system (DBMS).

  • Developed by Fox Software, later acquired by Microsoft.

  • Supported MS-DOS, Windows, Macintosh, and Unix.

  • Final version: FoxPro 2.6.

  • Evolved into Visual FoxPro.

  • Key features:

  • "Rushmore" optimizing engine for fast data retrieval and updates.

  • Tight integration with the underlying database engine.

  • Support for multiple data types and file formats.

Visual FoxPro (VFP):

  • Data-centric, procedural programming language with object-oriented programming (OOP) capabilities.

  • Developed by Microsoft as the successor to FoxPro.

  • Windows-only.

  • Final version: Visual FoxPro 9.0 SP2 (discontinued in 2007).

  • Key features:

  • Visual development environment for building forms, reports, and applications.

  • Native support for SQL queries and data manipulation.

  • Ability to create custom classes and objects.

  • Integration with Microsoft technologies like COM and ActiveX.

  • Rapid application development (RAD) tools for efficient development.

Key characteristics of VFP:

  • xBase language: Syntax based on the dBase programming language, part of the xBase family.

  • Database-centric: Designed for creating data-driven applications.

  • Procedural and OOP: Supports both procedural and object-oriented programming paradigms.

  • Tightly integrated DBMS: Includes its own relational database engine.

  • Full-featured programming language: Doesn't require an additional general-purpose programming environment.

  • Rapid application development (RAD): Enables quick development of database applications.

While no longer actively developed, VFP remains in use for legacy applications and is still valued for:

  • Data handling efficiency: Particularly for large datasets.

  • Productivity-enhancing features: Like the built-in forms designer and report generator.

  • Strong community support: Despite its discontinued status.

 Who developed and when (Visual) FoxPro Programming language

The development of FoxPro and Visual FoxPro has a longer and more nuanced history than a single entity or date:

1. FoxBASE (1984): The foundation was laid by Wayne Ratcliff with the creation of FoxBASE in 1984. This was a text-based database management system with a programming language inspired by dBase III.

2. FoxPro (1989): Five years later, Fox Software (founded by Ratcliff) released FoxPro, which significantly expanded upon FoxBASE with features like a visual form builder and improved performance.

3. Microsoft Acquisition (1992): Fox Software was acquired by Microsoft in 1992, bringing FoxPro within their fold.

4. Visual FoxPro (1995): The first truly "Visual" version, Visual FoxPro 3.0, was released in 1995. This introduced a graphical development environment and further advanced the language's capabilities.

5. Subsequent Versions (1996-2004): Microsoft continued to develop and release Visual FoxPro 5.0, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0 until 2004. Each version added new features and functionalities, solidifying its position as a prominent tool for building data-driven applications.

6. End of Development (2007): Microsoft announced the end of active development for Visual FoxPro in 2007, focusing their efforts on other technologies like .NET.

Therefore, attributing the development of FoxPro and Visual FoxPro to a single person or date is inaccurate. It was a collaborative effort spanning over two decades, involving both Fox Software and later, Microsoft.

While no longer formally supported, Visual FoxPro is still used by a dedicated community for its strengths in data management and efficient application development.

uses of  (Visual) FoxPro Programming language

Here are some common uses of Visual FoxPro, even though it's no longer actively developed:

1. Data-driven desktop applications:

  • Inventory management: Tracking products, stock levels, sales, and purchases.

  • Customer relationship management (CRM): Managing customer data, interactions, and sales pipelines.

  • Point of sale (POS) systems: Processing sales transactions and managing inventory at retail stores.

  • Accounting and financial systems: Handling bookkeeping, invoicing, financial reporting, and payroll.

  • Human resource management (HRM) systems: Managing employee data, payroll, benefits, and performance.

2. Data conversion and migration:

  • Moving data between different database systems: VFP can interact with various database formats, making it useful for data migration projects.

  • Cleaning and transforming data: Its data manipulation capabilities are valuable for data cleansing and preparation tasks.

3. Legacy application maintenance:

  • Supporting existing VFP applications: Many organizations still rely on VFP-based applications, and developers are needed to maintain and update them.

4. Rapid application development (RAD):

  • Quick prototyping and development: VFP's visual tools and built-in features can accelerate the development process, especially for smaller data-centric applications.

5. Custom business solutions:

  • Building tailored applications: VFP can be used to create specialized applications that meet specific business needs, even in niche industries.

6. Educational and training purposes:

  • Learning programming concepts: VFP's relative simplicity can make it a suitable language for teaching programming fundamentals.

  • Introducing database concepts: Its integrated database features can help students understand database management principles.

 Example Code  0f (Visual) FoxPro Programming language

Here are some examples of Visual FoxPro code, showcasing its various functionalities:

1. Opening a Database and Displaying Data:

Code snippet

USE Customer  && Opens the Customer database
SELECT * FROM Customer  && Selects all records from the Customer table
BROWSE  && Displays the selected records in a scrollable grid

2. Creating a Simple Form:

Code snippet

CREATE FORM frmCustomer
    TEXTBOX txtName
    TEXTBOX txtAddress

3. Performing an SQL Query:

Code snippet

SELECT * FROM Orders WHERE OrderDate >= {^2023-12-31}  && Selects records from Orders table after a specific date

4. Using a Loop to Process Data:

Code snippet

FOR EACH Customer IN Customer
    IF Customer.Country = "USA"
        ? Customer.Name, Customer.City

5. Defining a Custom Class:

Code snippet

DEFINE CLASS Customer AS Custom
    Name = ""
    Address = ""

    PROCEDURE Init(cName, cAddress)
        THIS.Name = cName
        THIS.Address = cAddress

6. Integrating with COM Components:

Code snippet

oExcel = CREATEOBJECT("Excel.Application")
oWorkbook = oExcel.Workbooks.Add()
oWorksheet = oWorkbook.Worksheets(1)
oWorksheet.Cells(1,1).Value = "Hello from VFP!"

7. Generating a Report:

Code snippet


Remember that VFP's syntax might feel familiar to users of other xBase languages like dBase or Clipper, but it also incorporates object-oriented elements for greater flexibility.

Here's the Visual FoxPro code for a "Hello World" program and addition of two numbers:

1. Hello World:

Code snippet

? "Hello World!"

2. Addition of Two Numbers:

Code snippet

num1 = 10
num2 = 20
sum = num1 + num2
? "The sum of", num1, "and", num2, "is:", sum


  • ?: This is the output command in Visual FoxPro, used to display text or values in the command window.

  • num1 = 10: Assigns the value 10 to the variable num1.

  • num2 = 20: Assigns the value 20 to the variable num2.

  • sum = num1 + num2: Adds the values of num1 and num2 and stores the result in the variable sum.

  • The final ? statement displays a formatted string showing the values of num1, num2, and their sum.


When you run this code, you'll see the following output in the command window:

Hello World!
The sum of 10 and 20 is: 30

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