Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What happened to FoxPro?

FoxPro formally known as FoxBase, now Visual FoxPro use to be a very famous database programming language. From late 1980's to late 1990's Fox was one of the dominant database tools for the PC market. Same applied for Maldives. Even today we find some of Fox based applications in use here in Maldives.

So what happened to this tool? My obvious guess is Microsoft killed it. Most of you might not agree with me, but thats my view. I think FoxPro would have done far better if it was not bought over by Microsoft from Fox Software. Though I won't say it would still have dominated like it used to. The reason for the bought over of Fox was obvious. Borland and Microsoft were competing for the development tool market back in early 1990's. Borland bought Ashton Tate (and, therefore, dBase) this resulted in Microsoft buying over Fox Software (taking FoxPro under Microsoft). Microsoft already had Access and VB under them, and continued to promote Access more then FoxPro until today (After all FoxPro was the step son). At that time it was rumored that Microsoft made this move cos they wanted Rushmore engine (which was the power behind FoxPro). Till today FoxPro lives, but not as famous as it use to. It use to be part of Visual Studio, but now taken off it too. Access still is part of Microsoft Office and continues to be popular database tool.

Maybe one reason it failed was, It was too complex for end users, but not robust and powerful enough for real programmers (compared to the other databases that developers can choose from). What ever the causes were or is, FoxPro was a major application development tool in the early days of computing of Maldives, it should be respected for that. I don't know how many more FoxPro developers are still there in Maldives (still continue to use it)? I guess I can still think of one guy, one of the best FoxPro guys I've known.

So it went from Fox to VB, now we are evolving to the web based application days. I wonder what tools will be the most dominant. But obviously the flat database days are over and SQL Servers are here to stay.


jimbo said...

i knw several people still into foxpro. Even today, there is one maldivian made software(written in foxpro) Customs Form Program, and i think its the most widely used maldivian made software around.

s. said...

"Microsoft has announced that it will open-source the core portions of the Visual FoxPro DBMS software to its CodePlex community development site." via /.