There was a point when Visual FoxPro (VFP) was one of the best development tools out there. Some would argue that it’s still one of the better ones. Unfortunately, Microsoft has decided to move on and no longer update Visual FoxPro so this means that handwriting is on the wall and it’s time to find a new development tool.
CULLY Technologies has released a Visual FoxPro to Real Studio converter. More info can be found at http://cully.biz/2012/03/05/visual-foxpro-to-real-studio-converter-0-1beta/.
This converter is open sourced so you can tweak it to suit your own preferences and fix any bugs you might find. It converts VFP forms to Real Studio forms. Converting the User Interface can be a huge time waster so I’m sure many will find this useful.
No converter is perfect and neither is this one. It does not convert reports, menus and a few other objects. It also does not convert any code.
We’ve looked at converters over the years and, honestly, I don’t think code conversion is worth the effort. You could spend a ton of development time in coming up with a halfway decent converter only to still have to tell the end user they’ll have to go line-by-line to modify the code to suit the Real Studio frameworks. At that point why not just rewrite from scratch to begin with? The new to Real Studio developer will have to learn and use the framework anyway and I think giving them a crutch to help them bridge whatever language they’re coming from to Real Studio does them no favors in the short-term or long-term, in my opinion.
Kevin Cully of CULLY Technologies spoke about Migrating from Visual FoxPro to Real Studio (members only to view) at the 2011 Atlanta Summit. It was an interesting topic as I have never done development in VFP. I would love it if Real Software added some of the features of VFP into Real Studio. Kevin is also speaking the 2012 Real World conference.
Conversion tools, while always flawed, are a good thing as they make some aspects of converting from one language to another easier. This one from VFP to Real Studio should be fun to watch.
Are you a fan of Visual FoxPro? What do you think its strengths are over Real Studio? What about the other way around?