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I had posted this snippet on some newsgroups with some interest...Thought this might be a valuable thread to start here....
A term my boss uses to describe a sales tactic is the "elevator speech".
Meaning, if you were stuck in an elevator with a potential customer for the typical 3 minute ride, what would you say to convince them to use your product? You have to summarize your case in a very powerful, and persuasive manner. Here is a first draft of a VFP elevator speech...It might be a good thing if we could develop a concise and powerful reason as to why someone should use VFP...I believe this is a start in describing VFP's strengths...What do you think? It is such a disservice to potential clients if they are unaware of VFP.

"Visual Foxpro is Microsoft's only data-centric development environment. It is part of Visual Studio, Microsoft's "best of breed" set of development tools. VFP is a true object-oriented language that supports inheritance. Using VFP's native database engine can give your website a substantial performance boost over using ODBC or ADO. Since it is a data-centric language, development time can be considerably less than with general purpose languages. VFP can work just as easily with SQL Server as it can with its own database, it is totally transparent. VFP is about data, not DBF's. No matter what the data store is, you can always realize the benefits of VFP's native cursor engine and OOP language.

VFP is a great choice for the middle-tier, data-intensive component of your website..."

Possible questions...
  1. "Why do I hear more about Access?" Access is an end-user tool that is packaged with MS's other end-user product line, MS Office.It is designed for small single-user desk-top applications. MS Office has many more users than Visual Studio making it much more well known.

  2. "I want to use SQL Server not VFP..." Fine, SQL Server can be the data store for VFP. You still need a place to put your business and application logic. Nothing will process the data faster than VFP. (if they can understand the technical side, the COM overhead involved is using ADO could be discussed.)
What other points would be good to promote? The objective here should be to provide real economic and sound technical reasons as to why VFP is a good choice...

Other possible points:

Since VFP has an advanced data-centric, OOP language as opposed to a limited scripting language (ASP), the amount of code that is written is considerably less and much easier to maintain. Scripting languages like ASP are not end-all be-all languages. They are frequently misused and the result is unmanageable applications with many thousands more lines of code than are necessary. If doing an application that handles data, using VFP can realistically save months of development effort. (Seen it!)
This could easily be expanded to include things that haven't been listed here. It could give the VFP community some realistic way of responding to tool choice. Rambling on to a decision maker about how great VFP without real reasons, gets us nowhere... This might help! If you have any thoughts that should be added, please e-mail them to me and we'll try to update this more often than Muzak gets updated on the elevator.

Thanks for your time!

Harold Chattaway
Senior Software Engineer
When asked to compare to VB, many of the same arguments apply...
  1. VB does not have any native cursor engine, must rely on a separate COM component. This is consistent with other MS products..If you are in Word and need spreadsheet functionality, you can automate Excel through COM to get what you need...but it does not make Word a spreadsheet application!
  2. With no native data engine, VB is also not data-centric at all..Makes a huge impact on development costs...requires substantially more code to perform the same operations that VFP can do with its native language/cursor engine.
  3. It does not support inheritance. This has always been a huge benefit to VFP. Instead of adding complexity as many VB developers state, it is what allows a developer to manage complexity. Without inheritance, many projects become a nightmate to write and to maintain. No cut&paste...Web Connect is a great example of this, when the foundation classes are updated, just drop them in, no cut & pasting of custom changes needed...

What needs to happen is for people to think of VFP for data the way an Office user thinks of Word for word processing...If you are using Excel for word processing (probably has happened), you are screwing yourself and the customer..This is what is happening when developers use VB for database apps...

Visual FoxPro is very economical. VFP applications can be distributed without paying a per seat license like SQL Server.
See also Visual FoxPro Bullet Points
Category Learning VFP, Category Consulting
( Topic last updated: 2008.06.06 12:59:51 PM )