Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 11: Bob Pierce on synchronizing offline SqlServer/MySql data with live Fox data

Our next meeting is Tuesday, December 11.

This month, Bob Pierce will speak on synchronizing offline SqlServer/MySql data with live Fox data: I have a couple of projects that I need to have VFP tables interact with SQLServer/MySQL to be consumed by a program that is disconnected/remote. I plan to be converting the my main application over to SQLServer but am not yet ready to make that jump, so I am using some small scale projects to become familiar with some of the issues and allow me to solve a couple problems in the short run. I will explore a couple of techniques I have tried and give a sense of some challenges I faced to get to a working solution.

Mark January 8 for the return of Menachem Bazian with more on PHP. We’re looking for speakers for meetings after that. Let Jim Connolly (JConnolly@jtca.com) know if you have something to share with the group.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 13: Dan Baker on Using VFP as your CMS

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, November 13 at 7 PM. Member Dan Baker will speak on “Using VFP as Your Content Management System for an Information-Rich Website.” This is part 1 of what Dan sees as several presentations on this subject. Dan Baker is a market research analyst in the telecom market who lives in the Poconos and has used his VFP skills to develop what he calls a “information rich” website for his business. The website is an on-line magazine, Black Swan Telecom Journal http://bswan.org. Here’s a short list of the topics Dan plans on discussing in his first talk on the subject. 1. Why website development is a VFP business opportunity of its own, regardless of whether VFP web applications are used or not. 2. What is an “information-rich” website actually? Why is the VFP desktop with FTP uploads an excellent choice for managing a website of this type. 3. The kind of websites where a VFP solution does not make sense as a business opportunity. 4. Why a VFP developer should not be intimidated by rich websites or by competition from Dreamweaver and traditional web designers. 5. How to create a professional site by “standing on the shoulders of giants”, borrowing great design concepts all over the web. 6. Why VFP is often a better choice than web-based content frameworks. 7. How I organize images, CSS, articles, “include” files and other content in folders for easy management. 8. How you can retrieve server-side files and webpage components without using any on-line database. 9. How an information rich website’s pages are organized. 10. Naming conventions in organizing your webpage. 11. Bringing out the artist inside. A quick discussion on the value of images and how to manage them. 12. Helpful training websites and places to find great stuff to enhance your knowledge and make life easier as a website developer. Dan also plans to distribute sample web files including simple server-side code written ASP so that you can play with the concepts and see how the website is organized on your own. In addition, we’ll have a Southwest Fox 2012 review. We need speakers for upcoming meetings. Please let Jim Connolly (JConnolly@jtca.com) know if you have something to share with the group.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 9: Tamar Granor--"VFP: Ideal for Tools"

Our next meeting is Tuesday, October 9 at 7 PM. As usual, feel free to bring some dinner and come as early as 6:30 PM. Tamar Granor will be previewing her Southwest Fox session, called “VFP: Ideal for Tools.” Abstract: We've had developer tools written in the FoxPro language since the days of FoxPro 2.0. Quite a few come with VFP, and the community has built lots more. In this session, we'll explore the Visual FoxPro language features that make building developer tools possible. We'll look at how the VFP language allows you to dig into projects, classes, data and code. Examples will be drawn from a variety of VFP tools, including those in VFPX.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

September 11: Menachem Bazian on SQL Server 2012 (and maybe some Php)

Menachem Bazian returns for another Southwest Fox preview on Tuesday, September 11. He'll present "SQL Server 2012"; the abstract is pretty simple: Learn what's new in SQL Server 2012 and what features it brings to your Visual FoxPro applications. If time permits, he'll also revisit some of the Php material from last month's session.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Getting to our meetings on public transit

New Yorker Peter Rooney and I have had an ongoing discussion for some time about whether it's possible to get to our meetings by public transit. With the demise of New York's VFP user group, our Philadelphia group is the closest to the Big Apple. This month, with the strong incentive of Menachem Bazian's PHP session, Peter finally gave it a try. Here's his report:
Yes, I did it! I considered it an adventure and a proof of concept.

I'm coming from New York City. By Greyhound bus from Port Authority New York: 2pm - 4pm, $15.75 one way. You can schedule and buy/print the ticket online at etickets@greyhound.com .

Arrives Philadelphia, 11th St (Chinatown), across the street from the Septa Market East Station.

By express Septa train directly to Fort Washington. Leaves about 4:14, arrives 4:34. Cost round trip $10.50.

From the station, it might be walkable, but better to take bus #201 from a bus shelter near the station. Leaves about every 20 minutes. Cost $2.00,.

Arrives across the road from De Vry University about 5:40.

If the meeting goes to 9:30, there is a problem because the #201 bus stops running. at night, so it's not a way to get back to the Fort Washington Station. (and you wouldn't want to walk).

To get a taxi, call 877 711 8294, and figure about 20 minutes to be safe. Or maybe somebody can drive you to the station.

Trains from Fort Washington back to central Philadelphia leave at 38 minutes after the hour. A 9:38 train arrives at Market East Station at 10:10; a 10:38 train arrives at 11:10.

Unfortunately, the last bus from Philadelphia to NY leaves at 11:05. To get around that limitation, you can take the Septa to 30th St station, and catch another Septa train to Trenton NJ. Cost probably $5. Then from Trenton, take NJ Transit which runs about every 30 minutes, and costs about $7. It's pretty fast.

Total cost: about $50. Next time I'll rent a car, get a passenger, and see what that costs.
I'll add a couple of things. First, Bolt or Megabus may offer a cheaper alternative to Greyhound. Second, we have some members who drive in from central New Jersey each month; it may be possible to connect up with them to avoid having to go all the way to downtown Philadelphia. (In fact, Peter got a ride back to Hamilton, NJ, and used transit from there.) In any case, I'm delighted that Peter finally made it to one of our meetings and that he's willing to give it another try. If you're interested in being Peter's car passenger next time, post a reply here and I'll make sure he sees it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

September 11: Bazian returns for SQL Server 2012 session

After his highly successful PHP session,Menachem Bazian has agreed to join us again on September 11 to preview his Southwest Fox session "SQL Server 2012": Learn what's new in SQL Server 2012 and what features it brings to your Visual FoxPro applications.

Monday, July 30, 2012

August 14: Bazian on PHP

Menachem Bazian returns to Philly for a Southwest Fox preview on August 14. He'll be rehearsing his preconference session "PHP for the VFP Developer." Here's his abstract:

Often a Visual FoxPro application will have to share data with a web application. You may be asked to write web reports or simple routines to interact with your data.

When it comes to web technologies, Linux is far more prevalent than Windows. In fact, 66.1% of all internet web servers are running Apache whereas only 18.4% are using IIS. When it comes to server side languages, PHP commands 77.3% of the market.

PHP and Apache also have the benefit of being cross platform. Apache runs on Linux and Windows, PHP runs on Apache or IIS.

Although PHP can look very strange at first, there are strong correlations between Visual FoxPro and PHP. Learning to work with PHP is not that difficult, even if you have never seen it before.

This session will give a primer on PHP and discuss how you can work with your client-server data in both Visual FoxPro and on your web application.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

No July meeting; Bazian in August

We're having no meeting on July 10. Stay home and enjoy the All-Star Game. But save August 14, as Menachem Bazian will preview one of his Southwest Fox sessions.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 12-Tamar Granor: Try Thor's Terrific Tools

Our next meeting is Tuesday, June 12 at 7 PM. I’ll be doing a preview of my Southwest Fox session “Try Thor’s Terrific Tools.” Abstract: The VFPX project, Thor, includes dozens of tools to aid in development. In this session, we'll look at some of what Thor has to offer. The session will explore as many Thor tools as time allows, including Document View, Create Locals, Compare Objects, and much more. We'll also see how to make any Thor tool available with a keyboard shortcut. We’ll also look at how to add your own tools to Thor.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

April: Jim Connolly and Steven McCann on using West Wind Web Connect to put a legacy application online

Our next meeting is Tuesday, April 10 at 7 PM. As usual, feel free to come as early as 6:30 and bring some dinner. This month, member Jim Connolly and his co-worker, Steven McCann, will present the work they’re doing with West Wind Web Connect. They show the web site for Volpe Express Trucking. They created a customer interface for rating, tracking and access to accounts receivable. They also created access for the employees to allow access of the tracking of the deliveries and the drivers. They interface with Google APIs to allow tracking and to calculate distances between stops. They use XFRX to present reports on the Web site. They’ll explain how West Wind gives them the ability to interface with their legacy FoxPro system and can show examples of easy web pages to interface with FoxPro. Jim has been working since 1985 with FoxPro. He created the Volpe Express legacy system since 2003. Steven has been working with FoxPro since 2008 and has been working for Jim since the fall of 2011.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March 13--Triple-header

Our March meeting features a tripleheader.
Part 1—Bill Fitzgerald: A tool for keeping SQL Server Tables in synch with VFP tables

Some richly-featured VFP applications might co-exist with SQL Server/.NET applications indefinitely, with the need for current reference data on both platforms.

This tool is aimed at synchronizing reference tables that are used and updated in a VFP application, but are needed for read only reference in SQL Server/.NET applications.

Part 2—Tamar Granor: The Method Tracker

The Method Tracker is a new developer tool that fills the niche between the Debugger’s Event Tracker and Coverage Profiler. It allows you to track the start and end of each method in form or class without adding any code to the tracked object. You can control what methods are tracked, and even track changes to properties.

Part 3—Open discussion on multi-user applications

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

February 14: Menachem Bazian on Class Design

Just in! Our February 14 meeting will feature Menachem Bazian, presenting his Southwest Fox 2011 session "Class Design Strategies":

When is a class needed and when isn't it? How can you design classes that add power and flexibility not only to your current application but to all your projects? How can you simplify the development and maintenance by using classes?

The "textbook" answer is to do a full blown object orientation analysis and design. But what do you do if you don't have the time for that formal process?

This session, which is both theoretical and practical (code based), will discuss how to think in "OO" mode and how the traditional Cowboy Programmer approach of Visual FoxPro and the formal world of Object Orientation can come together and live in harmony.

The session will also discuss how to modify classes safely.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

January meeting: Bob Pierce on status info

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, January 10. Our speaker this month will be Bob Pierce. He will demonstrate building a small VFP project that can be used to display status info and data that is simple to build yet has a modern App/Gadget feel using just basic VFP controls and classes.  If there is time he will discuss his recent adventures in bar-coding and lot control and some of the issues he ran into as well as the advantages it has delivered already and future planned enhancements.

We’re looking for speakers for upcoming meetings. If you have something to share with the group (whether it’s 10 minutes or the whole session), please get in touch with Bob, rpierce@smooth-on.com.