Kevin Ragsdale: Visual FoxPro 9.0

Two Great Reasons To Attend Southwest Fox This Year

Update: Links point to archived versions of the Southwest Fox Conference site. Click here to visit the current Southwest Fox Conference web site.

This past Tuesday, I had an opportunity to go to Atlanta for the AFUG (Atlanta FoxPro Users Group) meeting. Bo Durban and Steve Ellenoff were each doing a “practice run” on one of their Southwest Fox sessions.

First up, Bo presented Extending VFP using the Web Browser Control. I was really looking forward to this session, because I’ve used the web browser control extensively in several applications and I’m always looking for ways to improve. I’ve read THE BOOK on the subject, every article I could get my hands on, and attended Mike Feltman’s sessions at last years conference (the tips and tricks I learned from Mike’s sessions and whitepapers last year practically PAID for my entire conference trip).

Going in, I asked myself, “How much I could possibly learn from Bo’s session, that I don’t already know?”

I got an answer to that question real fast: at least four things I had no idea about in the first 10 minutes. During Bo’s session, my mind was spinning with new ways of approaching the web browser control in my apps. I couldn’t wait to get home so I could start working on them. Some of them I’ve already tried, and the speed increase on displaying HTML in my app is incredible.

And this means Bo’s session alone is worth the cost of the conference to me.

Next up was Steve Ellenoff, presenting Creating Database Abstraction Classes in VFP: Switch your Back-End with Ease. Attendees from last years conference may remember Steve’s 52-page whitepaper from his “Simulated Multithreading” session last year, and if I had to take a guess I’d say his whitepaper for this session will likely dwarf last years.

Steve showed how to switch the back-end data source for your Visual FoxPro app on-the-fly, with minimal code.

Minimal, because he’s created classes which handle the complexities of working with different back-end data servers (including VFP data tables and database containers, MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, and PostGreSQL).

In short, Steve’s done a ton of work that I have avoided like the plague.

To me, his comparisons between VFP and other back-end data servers are worth the price of admission alone. The source code for the classes you’ll get with the session will certainly come in handy.

I’ve seen Steve present several sessions in the past, and I’ve got to say he has improved with every session I’ve seen. He was top-notch Tuesday night and well prepared.

I really enjoyed my time in Atlanta, so much so I sent in a membership application this morning. The sessions Bo and Steve presented really have me stoked for the great content at Southwest Fox this year.

I’m counting the days until October 14th (63 days, in case you’re wondering).

Not registered yet? Register before September 1, 2010 for a $50 early-bird discount.