my company develops software for a very special market. we write code for window fabricators (they who build real windows and doors, not operating systems 🙂 )
i say that we have to deal with a very special customer group because (at least in my country) the users of our applications very often don't have any previous computer experience at all. so our application must have a very clear intuitive interface and on the other hand, must cover very complex needs.
some features of the appliaction are: cost calculations, quotation printouts, cutting length calculations, automatically created price lists, bar optimization, and many more... all these features require powerful data handling mechanisms and vfp gives them to us very generously. (we have tried the same project in the past with visual basic, powerbuilder and c++ but sooner or later all these tries failed because we couldn't succeed an acceptable balance between budget - time and features ).
vfp is our weapon. our application utilizes a hand made framework inspired basically by the book build your own framework with visual foxpro by kenneth chazotte.in addition, i have stolen the code (and ideas) from many base classes from the book megafox: 1002 things you wanted to know about extending vfp by marcia akins, andy kramek and rick schummer. all these under the guidelines of the advanced object oriented programming with visual foxpro 6.0 by markus egger. of course i can't list here all the books that i have read in order to write this applcation but please forgive me and let me mention two more books that gave me a tremendous help. first the book hacker's guide to visual foxpro 7.0 by tamar e. granor, ted roche, doug hennig, della martin and the book deploying visual foxpro solutions by rick schummer, rick borup and jacci adams.
in november 2004 we shipped the first version of profilsmart that introduced a modern interface inspired heavily by windows xp. all the controls of the application are written in pure vfp code.
the feedback from our customer base was so encouraging that in april 2006 we shipped the second version of our application that gives the ability to the user to draw its own models very easily. utilizing thousands lines of gdi+ code vfp with the ffc classes (unfortunately we don't have explored the gdi+ classes from sednax yet) gave us the ability to focus our attention (and code) into a higher level of the system coding. so i have made a full cad like package with nothing more but vfp and gdi+ dlls. favor to craig boyd, cesar chalom , foxtalk magazine , walter nicholls and many other members of the vfp community, our customers are more than satisfied.
unfortunately the most recent parts of the application are available only in greek language at the moment.
in the near future we prepare a lan version with sql server 2005 as a backend database and a pda version with c# code. all these in an harmonic cooperation that brings technology into every manufacturing company (even here in greece).
i am writing all these because first of all i would like to express my deepest thanks to all these people that helped me implement a huge system (coding more than 160 kloc for a single developer is not a funny occupation) and then because i believe that my case reveals a real example of a modern application in response to all those people that say vfp is a dead language or it is an old fashioned database or or etc... i don't want to feed all the battles about vfp here, but i strongly recommend to other people of the vfp community to show real examples of their applications in order to understand the non vfp people the power of visual foxpro.