Visual FoxPro

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Visual FoxPro is a programming language from Microsoft. The primary use of the language is for database development. The programming syntax is similar to that of Visual BASIC. The language uses weak-typed variables that don't have to be declared before being used. It compiles to pseudo-code which is interpreted by the runtimes.

Visual FoxPro is based off of FoxPro, based off of FoxBASE, based off of dBASE. The language is no longer being updated, though it is still supported by Microsoft.

Though I had seen FoxPro icons since my first days with Windows 3, I never knew what FoxPro was. I got my first taste of Visual FoxPro in 1999. It was the main programming language for the company I started working for. I was familiar with Visual BASIC, so it was pretty easy for me to pickup the syntax, and I had just developed an Access application for my school, so I knew enough about databases to secure my job. I've used VFP from version 6 to 9 for over 11 years now.



  • The language has a built-in database creator, editor, and viewer, the best I've ever seen.
  • It has a full SQL interpreter as well as many additional database features, and they're very easy to use.
  • The SQL speed is lightning fast, even to the point of outpacing SQL Server at times.


  • The database format is way out of date and doesn't support any of the new data types, or even some primitives. You can't store a short or double long integer, there is no support for unsigned integers, no Unicode support, etc.
  • Functions that affect file names like Copy File don't preserve text case.
  • The UI does a poor job of storing the position of windows and the code block you last viewed.
  • Although VFP is mostly object oriented, it has a lot of legacy commands and functions that are procedural. This lack of standards creates confusion.


  • VFP has really poor ActiveX and OLE support, often to the point of crashing the UI.
  • VFP has really poor array support. Arrays must be 2D (to resemble tables). Single dimensional arrays, or three or more dimensional arrays are not possible.