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Eng Course- Introduction to Visual FoxPro- Download Free PDF



In the beginning, was the dot
What is Visual FoxPro?
 It’s a standalone tool for data manipulation
 It’s a development tool for standalone, LAN, client-server, COM and Web
applications
 It’s a database engine
 It’s a programming language
 It’s part of Visual Studio
 It’s an integral part of Microsoft Windows
 It’s a religion


Well, yes and no. The first four are probably true. The last three are probably not,
although you may find adherents who believe some, all, or none, of those
statements. They also say there’s one born every minute. Let’s dig a little, starting
with a little history lesson.
Wayne Ratliff was the programmer, working for Martin Marietta and subcontracting
for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who started to create a natural-language-style
database engine and manipulation language on his IMSAI 8080 computer, in
assembler, in his spare time, in order to improve his chances in the football pool. One
thing lead to another, and he was soon marketing the product as dBASE. It was
purchased by Ashton-Tate, then Borland, and is now owned by dBASE, Inc. It was one
the key products in the making of the “PC Revolution” of the 1980s that lead to a PC
on every desk. In its heyday, a number of language-compatible “clones” such as
FoxBase, Clipper, dbMAN and many others competed fiercely for the hearts and
minds and wallets of developers.
Fox Software, based in Perrysburg, Ohio, was formed and run by Dr. David Fulton.
(“Dr. Dave” as he was affectionately known, was a great showman, who delighted in
meeting and presenting to his customers. He is a major reason that DevCon
continues to this day.) Fox Software created a fast, interpreted version of the dBASE
runtime and then broke the mold in going beyond the standard to introduce many
additional features. FoxBase ran on Mac, DOS and Unix platforms. FoxPro, starting
with version 2.5, supported Windows as well. Fox Software was acquired by Microsoft
in March of 1992. While there was a Macintosh version of Visual FoxPro 3.0,
subsequent versions run only on the Windows platforms.
In this paper, I look at how to learn Visual FoxPro. Mastering a computer language is
similar to mastering another skill. You need to progress through the levels of novice, apprentice, and journeyman to reach the master level. Achieving mastery is not a
subject that can be taught in a morning, nor covered in a short paper. But mastery
starts with a good understanding of the fundamentals, and that is what I try to cover
here. First, I look at data, as is it the data that is really what it is all about – the
application is just a way to better manage the data. Second, I look at the language
itself, how to interact with the data, read it in and display it. The third section goes
beyond the basic procedural parts of the language into the power tools, control and
objects that build applications. Finally, the fourth section tries to pull together all of
the previous sections, and provide a perspective and philosophy of how an entire
application should be put together.

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