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Win Forms


Namespace: WIN_COM_API
A new Microsoft technology. Part of Visual Studio Net

From Microsoft:
"Win Forms is a new forms package that enables developers building Windows-based applications to take full advantage of the rich user interface features available in the Microsoft Windows operating system. Win Forms is part of the new Microsoft .NET platform and leverages many new technologies including a common application framework, managed execution environment, integrated security, and object-oriented design principles. In addition, Win Forms offers full support for quickly and easily connecting to Web Services and building rich, data-aware applications based on the ADO+ data model. With the new shared development environment in Visual Studio, developers will be able to create Win Forms applications using any of the languages supporting the .NET platform, including Microsoft Visual Basic® and C#."
Home at: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/nextgen/technology/winforms.asp

Does "any of the languages supporting the .NET platform" mean only CLR apps? what about VFP? -- ?CFK

VFP will be in the IDE but otherwise won't participate in the system. Same database, same forms, with the addition of whatever improvements there will be in VFP itself.

I think the official statement right now is that only VB and C# will be able to put code behind Win Forms controls... -- MarkusEgger
I just finished going through the two primary areas of public information on Win Forms:
http://216.87.1.125/quickstart/winforms/
http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/nextgen/technology/formsdefault.asp

When I see Win Forms, I see the merging of the great UI development features of Visual FoxPro and the power of the Visual Basic Language. And in addition, we have what appears to be very powerful and flexible new language in CSharp Language.

Going down the feature list of Win Forms, I noted the following:

Architecture for Controls: Win Forms offers an architecture for controls and control containers based on concrete implementation of the control and container classes.

It appears to me that all controls can be expressed in code. This is very cool indeed. I wonder if Win Forms will be a true 2-way tool like Delphi.

Data Aware: Win Forms offers full support for the ADO+ data model.

This always seems to be the holy grail for VFP developers. ADO+ looks extremely cool in the way it seamlessly interacts with XML.

ActiveX Support: Win Forms offers full support for ActiveX controls. You can easily host ActiveX controls in a Win Forms application. You can also host a Win Form control as an ActiveX control.

So, Win Forms can host ActiveX controls. And in turn, winforms can create ActiveX controls..

Printing: Win Forms offers a printing framework that enables applications to provide comprehensive reports.

This has always been one of the primary bitches amongst the VFP development community - "When are we going to get an updated report writer and printing services?"

Also, I took note of how often the word framework was used in describing Win Forms... And of course, I took special notice of Visual Inheritance!

Granted, it is very early and there is a lot of ground to cover. I still ask the question of whether from a business standpoint, MS is being too radical. I asked this question over on the off-ramp. This question and discussion is primarily aimed at the VFP camp...

When I look at Win Forms - that to me is the next generation of Visual FoxPro. Or at the very least - the next logical step for Visual FoxPro Developers. Sure,the next version of VFP will be an important upgrade. These comments however, are really aimed at the long-term.

When you look at the innovation occurring with the VFP product and what MS is doing as a whole company - it is clear that if the wall has not been hit with respect to what will happen with the VFP product - the wall is close.. With that in mind, what is the VFP developer to do? If you look at things in an objective manner, you will see that this is a golden opportunity. I have always stressed that the most important thing MS should do is provide a migration path for VFP developers to make the final leap into Visual Studio. Like all big changes, this is one that cannot occur overnight. Rather, for best success, it needs to be gradual.

For those clients that are happy with their applications and there is no need to take them further - continue using classic-VFP. For new development however, why not take the step of employing Win Forms. I know what the downside is - I don't have the local data engine in winform clients... Personally, I think that is a momentary hiccup. If you are going to or have embraced n-tier development, then you know that clients are not here for massive amounts of data manipulation. That is what the middle/data tiers are for. Also, if you have embraced SQL Server - trust me - leaving DBF's behind as a primary data store will not be a big deal... Again, getting back to that gradual process, you could hook your winform clients up to VFP components. For me personally, I don't see the big benefit because if I don't have the local data engine, there is no reason to use Fox. Sounds extreme, but that is my opinion. Also, I know VB so I guess it is easy for me to take that stance. But, for the developer who is comfortable with the VFP language, there is no need to totally give that up. And, with all the discussions that are now almost 2 years old on integrating VFP and ADO - folks have a plethora of material to get them going...

Lately, I have been labeled as this VFP-Basher guy.. Nothing could be further from the truth. I love VFP. But at the same time, I also recognize the realities surrounding us all. You look at VFP and you look at the rest of Visual Studio. We always knew eventually, a fork in the road would be encountered. Well, that day has arrived and we have reached the fork. VFP is going to continue down one path and Visual Studio - for the most part - is going to go down another path. Sure, there will be areas of cross-over. VFP is going to have support for building web services and to take advantage of COM+. All that is great. However, I am already looking to the next version. What happens then? Where do I want to be? Do I want to be stuck over in some area where I have even more territory to cover to get back to the mainstream? Or, do I want the tool I use to be where the focus of attention is? For me, it is a very simple question with an equally simple answer.

Just my 2-cents.....

John Petersen

Going forward, it seems like just another little Microsoft Band Wagon. -- Steven Black

Not so sure I would go that far with J++. After all, the Win Forms package was essentially lifted from J++ -- John Petersen

Steven, compared to the technologies on the list of the Microsoft Band Wagon, these announcements seem much larger in scope. -- Michael Chean

Is J++ even going to be in VS7? It seems like CSharp Language is a direct replacement for it. -- ?wgcs
No, Visual JPlus Plus is dead. Look at the list in Microsoft Band Wagon. -- Alex Feldstein
See also: Visual Studio Net
Category Visual Studio Category DotNet
( Topic last updated: 2000.10.14 11:28:43 AM )