BackDoor Fox


I implore your help. My job may be on the line.
It is, though, not technical assistance that I need. Please allow me to explain.

Of course, I love Visual FoxPro! I have been using it on and off for over 20 years. I am, by no means, an application programmer and have used little of VFP's OOP capabilities. I am, however, very good (I think) at seeing, analyzing and CRUSHING data to ultimately deliver wicked, meaningful and insightful analysis and reports with FoxPro. You, I and the rest of the FoxPro Community know how superior FoxPro is for manipulating data to provide deep, thought provoking results for such analysis and reports. The problem is that my boss does not.

Despite his words to the contrary, The Boss, by his actions and mandates, loves, as you may have already guessed, Crystal Reports. No doubt, as an end user tool, it is a heck of a product. But The Boss believes that the analysis and reports that I create in FoxPro can be done using Oracle's stored procedures, PL/SQL and Crystal Reports. He wants me to "standardize" on CR as he and the rest of the office has. I do, for The Boss's amusement, dump FoxPro processed data into CR for reporting purposes. DUMB!

I am learning PL/SQL, but really, just to crate a cursor is mind boggling compared to FoxPro. Also, I just don't see how PL/SQL can possibly be as nimble as FoxPro is when it comes to "manhandling" data.

From yet another shouting match with the boss, I get the impression that he believes that the simple reports for analysis generated by the office assistants in Crystal Reports are on the same caliber as what I create with FoxPro. Stunning.

I'll spare the details of what I create and the data that it comes from. Suffice it to say, if I must say so myself, it's good stuff. Damn good stuff.

While I have created some rather complex queries in Oracle's SQLplus, I am not well enough versed in PL/SQL and Oracle's stored procedures to provide The Boss with a point to point comparison as to how and why FoxPro is superior for manipulating data to provide meaningful results. As The Boss is a bright guy but, never the less, like most administrators, a "bullet point" thinker, he may be enlightened by such a point to point comparison.


What can I tell The Boss to make him understand that for the kind of sophisticated analysis and reports that he needs, FoxPro is THE tool for the job and that it would be counter productive and, in many cases, simply impossible to use Oracle's tools and Crystal Reports to produce what is needed

Or.....

Am I wrong Can Oracle's PL/SQL create "back to back to back" cursors on the fly - update macro substituted fields, sum, collate, control records and counts, create tables and keys and distribute data across tables and fields as gracefully, powerfully and intuitively as FoxPro - not to mention all the "little things" that FoxPro does with data that, well, makes FoxPro the best tool for "doing" data


73
BackDoor Fox




Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

Adamus Turner


You can win the battle but lose the war. I've been there many times.

In my experience as a contract programmer, the common philosophy is "It's perfect. We love it. Now change it."

Adamus







Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

BackDoor Fox

My apologies for the BUMP!

I've edited the subject to be a bit more descriptive.

I feel, yet, another storm brewing.

The boss would have me make bricks without straw.

How do I convince the boss that FoxPro (VFP) is superior to PL/SQL and Crystal Reports for manipulating data to deliver rich analysis and reports

Thanx again

73

BackDoor Fox






Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

Cindy Winegarden

Hi,

Part of you value to the company is your understanding of the business context and your ability to turn data into useful information. (I call this "shaking the data till the answers fall out.") That value will be available no matter which tool you use, and anyone coming after you would need to learn the same things.

The real question, which your boss may not realize, is how will he replace you if you are no longer available Fox people are hard to come by. They are also on the expensive side since many are older and further along in their careers. Also, I've seen talk that Windows Vista will be Microsoft's last 64-bit operating system. VFP will always only be a 32-bit application. I imagine that Oracle and Crystal Reports will be further developed to run on 64-bit systems if they aren't already.

Do you consider it part of your job responsibilities to prepare for those eventualities by leaving them in good shape to replace you when you are no longer there or when they're forced to use 64-bit machines, or, are you more interested in protecting your territory and proving that Fox is the only way to go

First off, you need a way to impress on your boss that, due to your knowledge of the business context and data techniques in general, the information you generate would not be easily generated, if at all, by staff assistants who lack the knowledge of the business context and data techniques in general. In other words, your boss can't just pull in an Oracle/PLSQL/Crystal person off the street and expect them to know the business context and how to present data in useful formats.

Second, you need to examine your priorities. How much stake do you have in the future of the company Is it to your advantage or your goal to do whatever you can to move the company forward and cause it to prosper Think how preparing for a non-VFP future fits this priority. Or, do you see your time at that company as just one stepping stone in your developing career If so, and you really want to continue with VFP, then you might think of looking elsewhere for a job.






Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

vfpBry

You can't convince you Boss of this because VFP is not superior to SQL. Like MS Access, VFP can only handle databases sizes up to 2GB. This severly limits VFP to small to medium business applications. Business with 20 employees and more enterting consecutive data will be forced to do continuos cleaning of the VFP history tables.

I would stick to the .Net environment also because VFP is not going to be supported and developed anymore by Microsoft.





Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

Naomi Nosonovsky

You can use VFP as a front-end application with any back-end you would like MS SQL Server, Oracle, MySql, FireBird, etc.





Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

Alex Feldstein

vfpBry wrote:

You can't convince you Boss of this because VFP is not superior to SQL. Like MS Access, VFP can only handle databases sizes up to 2GB. This severly limits VFP to small to medium business applications. Business with 20 employees and more enterting consecutive data will be forced to do continuos cleaning of the VFP history tables.

I would stick to the .Net environment also because VFP is not going to be supported and developed anymore by Microsoft.

>Like MS Access, VFP can only handle databases sizes up to 2GB.

Not exactly. It is true that it handles table sizes up to 2GB per file (not per database which is not the same as MS Access which has that limit).

>This severly limits VFP to small to medium business applications.

>Business with 20 employees and more entering consecutive data will be forced

>to do continuous cleaning of the VFP history tables.

That's is a matter of opinion. I have had myself, and have seen in the past, apps with over 100 users and millions of records in VFP tables with no problem. I've had had a website running many concurrent users with 12 million records before we had to switch the database back-end to SQL Server, due to thew 2GB limitation. It was an easy switch due to the program's architecture and to this day the VFP middle-tier, web-front, is still running and it has grown to over 40 million records (SQL Server 2000).

>I would stick to the .Net environment also because VFP is not going to be supported

>and developed anymore by Microsoft.

That's OK. I always try to use the best tool I know for the job at hand. There are many jobs that VFP can do easily and perfectly. As Naomi said, it can serve as a front end - or middle tier- to any database back end out there through either OleDB or ODBC, or even XML.

I use VFP when needed, as it is the case for WIndows Forms-based database applications. I use ASP.NET and C# myself for websites.

Your comment on Microsoft support may or may not be relevant. Some employers may think it is an issue. Not really. Besides behing supported by MS for several more years, the community support and forums like this one will exist for even longer time. The product support was always really done by the community through Newsgroups and Forums, not by MS.

There is nothing wrong with using, and recommending VFP for the jobs it is suited for, as there is nothing wrong with using and recommending .NET for the jobs it is best suited for.





Re: Convincing THE BOSS - FoxPro (VFP) vs. PL/SQL & Crystal Reports

PB_UK

It's very hard to convince someone (especially your boss!) of something if they already have their mind set on something. On top of that, he already has "standardised" on Crystal etc. and has people writing reports in that. It may be easier to produce the reports in FoxPro for you - but not for anyone else necessarily.

What you have going for you (by the sounds of things) is a deep understanding of the data and reports required. It may be that you have to move to the "standard" if you wish to stay there long term.

Alas VFP is heading towards it's end, and like it or not we will all probably have to accept that at some point.

Cheers.