Microsoft has announced that it will not be releasing any new versions of Visual FoxPro, although it will continue to support the technology for another 8 years or so. This is no surprise to anyone, I’m actually amazed that Microsoft continued to maintain FoxPro for as long as they did.
I may be dating myself by admitting this in public, but way back when DBF was a big part of my life. Does anyone else remember Ashton Tate’s dBase III and III+, the ill-fated and very bloated dBase IV, SAY and GET statements, NDX files (and the MDX versus CDX debates), Concentric’s superb R&R Report Writer, PRG files, Borland’s tragic Ashton Tate acquisition, little upstart Fox Software being acquired by Microsoft, Nantucket’s wonderful Clipper (which, like many other quality products, was acquired and then killed off by CA), Borland’s pathetic attempt to port dBase to Windows, …?
Way back when, just about all of the contract work I did (while still in school) was DBF based. Those early experiences helped create a strong database background which has served me well ever since. Of course, in hindsight the limitations of the platform and products are painfully obvious. Still, for many of us it was DBF and the companies built around it that formulated our understanding of databases, and influence our thinking to this day.
And so, while unsurprising and not unexpected, it’s sad to see the announcement of the end of an era.