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How Many We Are

Namespace: VB
2010.12.14 - I think there are at least 50 of us now.

Acording to an article no longer online, there are (were) some 3.5 million VB users. Does somebody know how many we are? (I don't know how they got that number, do you?) -- Fernando Alvares
See also: HowManyWeAre_EstimatebyUsingConferenceAttendence
The actual number of vfp developers is 2,374,214.

OK, seriously, until vfp7 ships it will be very hard to estimate the number unless the owners of UT and vfug give us some info. The 30,000 UT members is a HIGHLY bogus number in my opinion. It tells us how many different people have ever registered with the service, but doesn't provide any valuable information about the number of ACTIVE users or at least users who have logged in more than 5 times during the past 12 months. When vfp7 ships, as it will ship separately from vstudio, we will have a very accurate number (at least of vfp 7 users). -- Alex Wieder

Alex, the UT count should be relevant toward estimating the number sought. Even if many signed-up then visited only once or twice, the likelihood is that they are VFP programmers. One doesn't have to be "active" in any forum to be a VFP programmer. In fact I contend that the majority of VFP programmers never visit online sites at all. - Jim Nelson

That number (the VB count) could be suspect as it could include users of VBA and VB Script. The last number I heard for Fox developers was 500,000 -- Craig Berntson

I think the 20,000 (or 30k?) VFUG member list is pretty telling. How about CIS,, Vfug, UT etc counts? Of course these may be apple numbers and the 3.5 milion VB'ers is an orange number. -- ?CFK
Plus newsgroups like microsoft.public (in English, Spanish, Russian, German and maybe others), and newsgroups like Dev X. -- Alex Feldstein

Don't forget the VFP Developers that get their copy from the MSDN subscription! - William Fields
Are we counting the number of copies out there or the number of people using the product? The standalone sales of 7.0 will obviously be easy to measure, how the # of people using VFP7 obtained with MSDN can be determined will be a lot more difficulty. It would be real interesting if MS counts the number of unique downloads for a VFP Service pack, even though not everyone downloads and applies them. -- Mike Feltman
And what about people that download it multiple times like I did? -- Craig Berntson
I sorta thought unique would cover that! :) -- Mike Feltman
Nope. I downloaded it once at home and once at the office. Different IPs. -- Craig Berntson
Or people that download it once for everyone in their shop? -- Craig Berntson
I think that's somewhat of a rarity. -- Mike Feltman
When VFP XP is released it will include a mechanism that increments a counter, unique by product id and tied to your Microsoft Passport. :) -- Mike Feltman
[2001.04.06 10:44:51 PM GMT]

I know of several VFP developers who don't have the same craven < g > need the rest of us do to 'hang out' online. From my personal subjective observations I'd say the ratio was somewhere around 6-10/1. For every one online VFP developer I'd guess that there was 6-10 more who never set foot in cyberspace. -- Doug Dodge

I'd agree with that, Doug. We have 15 coders trained in VFP here where I work, but only 5 have current and on-going VFP projects. Of those five, I am the only one who frequents UT. On occasions they'll ask me to look something up, but most of the time they consult our Programmer's Knowledge Base in Lotus Notes, or the "Hacker's Guide to Visual FoxPro 6.0".
I would estimate that if 1 out of 15 were translated to UT regular vistors then there is about 225,000 active VFP coders in the US and Canada. - jLK
Here comes an attempt at deconstructing voodoo numbers (lol).

Seems to me the ratio of US and Canadian VFP developers not on-line to those on-line is somewhere between 15-20 to 1. I base this on my local user groups and casual conversations with people at cons. I would also have to believe that there are a huge number of foreign language VFP developers underrepresented online due to language and technical issues. My WAG would be that this ratio is probably 60:1. I mean websites when I say on-line, not the newsgroups.

The Spanish MS VFP newsgroups are heavily trafficked. At least 2/3 the traffic as the English NGs.

Take the top 2 VFP online forums, UT and VFUG. Each has about 30,000 members but I would venture a guess that 1/3 the UTers never go to VFUG and 1/3 of the VFUG (v-fuggers?) members never use the UT. So a distinct count of 40,000. About 45% of the UT members are US or Canadian; 55% are other. Let's assume that ratio holds for VFUG.

Here goes: .45 X 40000 X 20 = 360,000 US/Canadian VFP developers.
.55 X 40000 X 60 = 1,320,000 Other VFP developers
1,680,000 Worldwide.

I think maybe 20% of this, max are 2.6 developers. There are probably a slew more 2.6 and earlier version developers not represented by this number.

-- John Koziol
I agree with Doug. I have some clients with in-house people using the fox (mostly DOS) and I don't see evidence of them using online resources much, if at all. (even though I encourage them to do so every chance I get) -- Randy Jean
[2001.04.07 05:14:38 AM GMT] In that case, starting with the 500,000 number that Craig mentioned let's cut it to 200,000 (which I personally think is low) and multiply that by 7. That equals 1,400,000 FoxPro folks out there or a little less than 1/2 the VB users. Now, is that users, developers or both?

Personally, I think a lot of what drives the VB market are all the aftermarket OCX add-ons. Is that because the product is extensible, lacking in features or both?? My vote is both.

-- Doug Dodge
The VB number is definitely inflated. Do they count copies sold? How about Corporations with site licences? Are they talking professional or at least part-time developers or just everybody that's even looked at VB once? -- Alex Feldstein
On the VFP side, I know several local VFPers that do not go online and are not/do not care to be members of any online community, including VFUG lists.

Also, the numbers mentioned here are mostly US/Canada based. How many users are there in the world? We see many in the UT but those are the cream of the crop. I help regularly in the VFP Spanish Newsgroups and there are many that do not go online to the places we know but to Spanish-speaking fora (sp?), because of lack of English skills, or because they are just newbies. Yes, many newcomers to VFP in Latin America. And many that still have not jumped to VFP and are working with FP2.6 Do we count them too? -- Alex Feldstein
[2001.04.08 03:57:29 AM EST]
Maybe divide development in a few classes:

Profesional development of any kind, creating "packages".
Is done via VB or C++ or any other tool depending on the environment.

Development of business-functions, done by the businesses themselves in a professional manner.
May be done in any language, but usually not C++;
VB will be used, started at Business Basic from the old days.
FoxPro (Dos or Win) will be used, started at DBase-time.

Development of business-functions, performed by the end-user.
Will be done in Excel, but historically in DBase, and the later therefore now in Fox.

So what do we have ?

No 1 leads to many VB and C++ developers; just count the number of commercially available packages (thousands).

No 2 leads to the number of companies still depending on their own software. How many these are ? difficult to say, but should be any company not using SAP, Peoplesoft, Oracleapp and more of this heavy - or less-heavy stuff. However, think in millions.

No 3 leads to ... can't count them, but I can say something about that;
Where ODBC etc. is more difficult for an end-user, DBase was not, and where it comes to own-PC-based-resports on the companies database lots of them used DBase, and know Fox.
I can say that aout a quarter of our customers, thinking in "companies" use Fox at the end-users, not knowing too much on how many end-users these are for one company. Now where our customers may be representatives for all companies and millions of companies exist, we have millions of Fox-users if each company has only one end-user useing Fox.

Here and there are a few professional Fox-developers belonging to no 1, as we are ourselves; in Holland only, there exist -for what I know of- a few more Fox-packages, amongst which at least one financial package sold a few thousand times. This package anticipates on adding scripts from the end-user, so ... they will use Fox.
Thinking of ourselves only, we are no Forum-guys, so you don't know about us. Okay, I'm here know since 2 weeks, but I am "one" for 100 % sure not representing all of ours.

Now again 1, 2, 3 :

1. Thousands of VB plus thousands of Fox plus a few hundreds of our own environment only (us developers plus our known end-users).

2. Millions times 1 of Fox, when each such company has one developer.

3. Millions times at least 1 of Fox, depending on how many end-users at one company use Fox.

What do I do wrong here ? short-thinking ?

-- Peter Stordiau
Russian newsgroups and are more or less active with 10-30 messages daily. It's interesting how popular were various flavours of Foxes there in the beginning of 90th. Almost any programmer had his own Accounts payable/receivable written.
Anatoliy Mogylevets
I received the following in an email this morning. This is from a forum I visit on occasion. Apparently, VFP activity on Tek Tips ForumsOffsite link to
is on the rise:

You are getting this mail because you are a member at the VFP (Visual FoxPro) forum. We have expanded the VFP forums. 19,000 members and increasing volumes drove this decision. Similar splits were made in the past to the VB, Access and Crystal Reports forums and they have done well.

It goes on to list the separation into these categories: General Coding Issues, Automation, Mail & 3rd Party, Databases, SQL and Reports, Web Related Issues, Forms, Classes and Controls.

So, I think it can be concluded that despite the lackluster marketing and decline in VFP books, etc. that the VFP community is strong and the outlook may be better than some would have you believe. Also, didn't I see recently there are a couple NEW VFP developer conferences? -- Randy Jean
About six years ago I remember seeing an estimate of the number of worldwide MS Visual tool programmers, attributed to sources at Microsoft. It was:
Visual Basic : 2 million
Visual FoxPro/2x : 500,000
Visual C++ : 200,000
Of course, these numbers have little relevance today, but the ratio has probably not changed too much. From my own experience, as a project manager and person who hires and works with VFP people, I met very few that shared my level of interest in FoxPro newsgroup participation, web site memberships, subscription to developer magazines, user group attendance, taking software training classes, devcon attendance, or book purchasing. I always encouraged them to make use of the resources available but their lack of continuing interest always puzzled me. I think there is a larger, unknown number of programmers that don't get counted, especially where VFP licensing is not respected or enforced.

I always had a hard enough time getting programmers on my team to talk with each other, let alone asking questions or sharing code experiences with others. This has always led me to believe that there are many more VFP programmers out there that do the work but don't feel the need to participate, for whatever reasons. -- Mark Rietman
Back in August 2002, Ken Levy stated the following on the Universal Thread Message ID: 689755:

This is a complex question, because there are many FoxPro developers world wide using various version of FoxPro. There are many still using FoxBase, many still using FoxPro 2.x, many still using VFP 3/5/6 but not VFP 7.0. The FoxPro commuity is only a fraction of that total since community means active and partipating members online, conferences, user groups, etc. People using some version of FoxPro is probably 200,000.

In April 2003, another estimate was made which you can see at :

We don't know the exact amount of VFP developers, probably about 125,000 which includes all versions of FoxPro and VFP as well as people to did not obtain VFP legally. It appears about 10% of those people are active in the community in some way (mainly online or user groups and conferences). -- Joel Leach
[2004.03.12] If there really ARE over 19,000 FoxPro users out there, I have only one thing to say...

I wish they'd all buy my book!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. -- Kerry Nietz
I've read Kerry's book and it's awesome! A must read for any VFP, FP or xBase user. Kerry is a great writer. It's interesting and kind of a nice shift in gears from reading pure tech journals. It also puts personality into the many key people like Dr. Dave that we've always heard of but probably haven't met. -- Peter Diotte

Wow! Thanks for the kind words, Peter! ('s that $20 I owe ya...)

As for the topic at hand, based solely on book sales so far, I'd say the number of interested FoxPro readers is much, much less than 19,000. Of course, it may be too soon to tell... -- Kerry Nietz

Of course, if you called the book, "Sex and the Software Developer" you probably would have out sold Harry Potter! -- Bob Archer

My first reaction was "Naw, too unbelievable" but on second thought, a tale with that as a title may be on a scale with Harry Potter in terms of it being 'epic fantasy' . -- Kerry Nietz

Geez - I always thought it was because I was a Software Developer that I never get sex....and all those good software opening lines...yes, it would be an epic fantasy work. Peter Diotte

I really wanted to get that book but you can't get an e-version and Will won't ship hardcopy o/s. Bummer ! -- Jamie Osborn

Then the solution is to BUY FROM A BOOKSTORE THAT DOES. Got to and enter theISBN - there are 7 on-line bookstores (that they crawl) that carry it. Evidently Whil is correct in leaving the FoxPro market - FoxPro people seem to be whiners who can't see beyond their own noses. -- anon

Thanks to the coward above ! I never knew that Hentzenwerke books were carried by anyone but Whil. They definitely aren't in bookstores down here. I had never seen any reference to outside distributors on the Hentzenwerke site. I am constantly updating my professional library and thus can see a bit beyond my own nose - a few feet at least ! I do wonder why someone who is so obviously anti-Foxpro is lurking here ...... Jamie Osborn

[Off-topic rant - feel free to move delete as you see fit] I'm not anti-FoxPro, I've used FoxPro off and on since 2.0 for DOS, and use it at times at my current position (cleaning up the mess from the previous developers who abused it in many ways). I am anti-whiner - and that's what most of the (online) community seems to be - most of the popular topic on this wiki are whines (including this one - do you think VB, C++, or even COBOL people care how many other people use the same language?). I'm also anti-BS - FoxPro is not the end-all and be-all language that everyone should be using - it has its place, but I prefer to use the right language in the right situation (I know the 'fox is best for everything' isn't a universal view, but the vocal minority is making the entire community seem like fools). This also goes to the people that say "We don't need SQL Server/Oracle/DB2/..., FoxPro can do it better and faster" - yes, in certain instances, a Fox 'database' is be
faster then a real client-server DB - but people who use/manage/understand real database servers either dismiss or laugh at people who make that sort of blanket statement (and, again, I know that there is a vocal minority [I hope] exposing this view). So, I'm not anti-FoxPro, I'm more anti-Fool - anon

FYI - I have worked with COBOL,Informix,VB,VC++,SQL,Oracle AND VFP and am currently playing with .NET. I never whine about VFP vs the world. I am interested in reading Kerrie's book and simply thought that I couldn't get it in Oz. If you are sick of the sentiments displayed here - don't lurk here. Simple. --- Jamie Osborn

Dunno why you can't find it here Jamie -- I've been carrying it for about 6 months now. All the non-us distributors are listed at You can order it from me at -- Andrew Coates

In the words of a famous man - Doh! I ordered it through Amazon last week. Last time I looked I didn't see it at Civil Solutions. Too much time coding ! I apologise for all of the off topic noise - I just got annoyed at the "real database servers" statements. I have worked with Oracle and am not very impressed with it. I'm happy to use the "toy" VFP backend where it makes sense -- Jamie Osborn

For the lazy, ISBN 1930919506 should link you right to the book. See Isbn Linker - ?wgcs

Yeah, there are a number of sites online that seem to be selling the book. Just search for 'Nietz' and 'Fox Tales' in your favorite search engine and you'll get a couple pages of potentials. All the Amazon international variants have it too (,,, so hopefully everyone can find one within shipping distance. Hope that helps, Jamie. (and anyone else that cares) Buy my book! And happy reading! -- Kerry Nietz

Based on the Law of Empicial Observation, FoxPro developers number At Least Five(TM), on the basis that I can see four others in the room with me right now. :-) --AnonymousCoward

Category Rants
( Topic last updated: 2010.12.14 10:23:49 AM )