Bet on durable technologies

FoxInCloud gives your application an additional 10-year lifetime and you invest in standard, open client technologies, compatible with any client and server technology.

Target the 'right fox'

Having invested years of development on Visual FoxPro software, since the march 2007 ‘message to the community’, you seek a durable evolution path.

Everything would be so simple if some magic wand could translate your tens of thousand lines of code into another language. This instrument remaining unfound, migration remains a costly and risky operation, without any client benefit.

Moreover, server technology landscape keeps moving: .Net gets somewhat unpredictable (some expert view it as a "moving target"), free solutions such as LAMP are increasingly appraised by professional markets.

Visual FoxPro support is guaranteed until 2015; beyond it seems obvious that Microsoft will keep its backward compatibility policy in order to maintain the huge market of corporate workstations. And whenever a compatibility break would occur, the Windows Server support scheme would extend the application life time by an additional 10-year.

Choosing FoxInCloud today gives your web application a 15-year lifetime… such a delay seems well enough to choose and implement a new server strategy, based on the most mature and productive technology.

What is current Visual FoxPro status?

Three years after its latest evolution, Visual FoxPro still yields nearly 1 million Google requests per month worldwide, to be compared with 14 million for C# and 40 millions for Java.

Many community initiatives such as VFPx, Guineu and VFPCompiler demonstrate community’s involvement and faith in Visual FoxPro.

Many articles relate Microsoft’s efforts to bring Visual FoxPro applications and developers towards .Net platform, with such hypotheses as integrating Visual FoxPro syntax into Visual Studio.

Visual FoxPro remains on Microsoft’s radar screens, knowing that such a community maintains tens of thousands applications, meaning hundreds of thousands Windows licenses under attack by growing competition.

Server : take advantage of your Visual FoxPro application

Running on a web server, your application escapes most criticisms usually addressed to Visual FoxPro :

  • No more dependency on client hardware and software
  • Visual FoxPro data are protected against undesired access and unexpected shutdown
  • All data requests are local, much faster than on LAN
  • Web user interface benefits from the latest graphic capabilities: HTML 5, CSS 3, etc.

Visual FoxPro is well known for being tremendously fast in managing data and strings, both giving excellent capabilities for running as a Web server. Encapsulated in a COM object, mute and invisible, a Visual FoxPro application resembles any other one and raises very few objections.

Client : invest on durable technologies

The main area where a cloudified application defers from its LAN equivalent is the user interface: to be as comfortable as a thick client interface, web interface should be ‘rich’, iow able to activate, hide, move, modify the page’s content.

This result may be obtained through 2 types of solutions:

  • Proprietary solutions require a browser extension: Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight fall into this category
  • Open/standard solutions requires no more than the browser: HTML, CSS, javascript

Proprietary solutions rely on their support by device manufacturers, such as mobile devices.

As of now, Apple has no plan to support Flash and Silverlight in Safari, the browser for iPhone and iPad, two device very popular among managers and influential experts. Similarly, whereas its ‘Androïd’ operating system has a growing adoption, Google made no announcement in that sense . Silverlight support by Nokia’s Symbian was announced back in 2008; beta test phase began in mid 2010…

An application relying on a proprietary technology would miss more than a quarter of the mobile devices market, already prominent in youth’s Internet usage patterns.

Without real visibility on proprietary solution, the standard HTML/CSS/javascript technology appears to be the most pertinent choice; it guarantees a universal support and benefits from a wide and lively offering of skills and tools.

LAN / Web : your client choose

Web applications address a growing demand of most of your clients, maybe not all of them: each client may have a specific roadmap.

FoxInCloud addresses this contrasted expectations: with an application common to LAN and Web environments, any client may slide to the web whenever he wishes, with the very same functionality, ergonomics and data. He may even move users groups one by one.

Instead of a migration, FoxInCloud provides a gradual evolution path with possible fallback to ‘traditional’ operations.