there are certainly more than 99 new features in vfp 9, but i'm going to take a little time to point out some of what i believe to be the best reasons to make the move.

the first reason to upgrade to vfp9 is stability.

i had the opportunity to work as a contract tester on vfp9. i worked with the product every day for the last year of its 9.0 development and i have to say it was the most stable piece of beta code i've ever used!

the testing team was focused on extensive coverage of new features. this was done both with a formal testing process including the writing and peer review of test plans and specs, to the development of hundreds of actual test cases. the majority of these tests were plugged into a testing framework that ran on new builds as prgs, apps, exes, dlls and mtdlls on operating systems ranging from win98 and xp to windows 2000 and 2003 servers and in various localizations (dialects). running the full suite included exercising close to 9000 testcases, the bulk of which were written in prior versions to ensure earlier bugs did not regress. so in addition to the vfp9 test teams efforts, we were standing on the shoulders of all the testers that came before us.

in addition, the team concentrated on code coverage. some test runs were done with instrumented builds used to measure the internal code being processed. we used the information to write more testcases. (this was one of the most enjoyable parts of the job; tracing through the source trying to get it to fire – looking at legacy code, some of it close to 20 years old, running along side code that worked with the new variable data types… i sometimes felt like i was reading a sacred manuscript.)

another cool tool we used was prefix. this tool throws combinations of arguments at the source to help locate problems that may result in a c5 (sorry i can’t provide a more detailed description, but the tool will ship with vs2k5 team system)

then there were the bugbashes, and the beta forums, and the public beta. each of these events would result in a list of bugs that were quickly prioritized and resolved by the dev team, then more testcases were written to ensure these new bugs did not regress.

are there still bugs in the product? probably, after all -- some of the new features were significant changes. but we beat on this product mercilessly, and it got harder and harder to break.

i’m using vfp9 daily, and all but one of my active client base has moved – and we should be there in the next month.

One Response to 99 Reasons – #1

  • Welcome to the Foxite Blog Community, David! I’ve been reading "musings" for a little while — it’s great to see you here!

    I downloaded VFP 9 the day it because available for MSDN Subscribers, and I must say it is the most stable release (of ANY development tool) I’ve seen — ever!

    The VFP Dev and Testing teams should be very proud to have been a part of this release. Thanks for the great work!

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