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Advisor Summit – Day 2

Tuesday is a busy and very long day here in Anaheim. Lots of news from LA area with the fires, but it is northwest from where we are.

The first session of the day is Kevin Ragsdale’s “Best Practices for Deploying Visual FoxPro Applications.” You should be aware of my passion for the topic since I helped write the book Kevin used as part of his research on the topic. He formally recognized the work Rick Borup and I did on the Deploying Visual FoxPro Solutions book he considers essential reading (I agree {g}). He also recognized the work Rick Borup did at GLGDW 2006 on the same topic. Kevin then went through several best practices and shared his deployment successes and failures. One of the things I like to do is learn from other people’s mistakes so I can avoid them, especially with deployment. Kevin made several excellent points during the session and I thought he did a good job. Several people talked to me about our book after the session. It is nice to get the word out about it.

The next session I attended was suppose to be “Simple SharePoint Solutions”, but it was replaced with “Customized SharePoint Sites with ‘Features’.” The two presenters got together a decided the timing should be switched. I was curious more about the solutions, so I bailed out after a short time and went to get some work done. I have already seen Tamar’s session called “Practical Tips for Working with Existing Visual FoxPro Code” before, but I am going to read her white paper because I am living this with a new customer and their FoxPro DOS code. I hope they will move to VFP and SQL Server some day.

After lunch (which several people did not like, but I enjoyed because there were lots of veggies) I skipped Doug’s session on Inno Setup because I have seen it a couple of times already. It is a great session. You can read some of the material in the last couple issues of Advisor Guide to Microsoft Visual FoxPro. It is a fantastic session. The first time I attended I was making changes to my scripts in the session.

Up next was my session “Microsoft VFP Debugging Essentials.” I was not happy with the delivery of this session at all and it was reflected in a couple of the evals. I did not have the energy I normally like to deliver because I had a headache that made me feel dizzy while I was presenting. I was able to communicate, but as one eval correctly stated: “This was not one of Rick’s best sessions.”

The last session of the regular day was Tamar’s “The Why and How of Test Data.” This was another session I was really looking forward to before the conference and is one we selected for Southwest Fox 2007. Tamar shows you why and how to auto generate test data using third-party tools, and her own framework. I have a real need to generate some test data for a couple of projects I am working on so I can use this session as soon as I return home. Highly recommended session.

Right after Tamar’s session we were picked up and attended the LA Fox meeting out by LAX. This was fun. We listened to an interesting presentation by a couple of guys from GeneXus. GeneXus is a suite of development tools that generate applications from it own IDE into source code in VFP, .NET, Java, and several other platforms I cannot recall. At the same time it generates the application it generates the database in VFP, SQL Server, MySQL, and many other popular database backends. It definitely looks like an interesting product. The thing I like about it is the one source (they call the source code a KnowledgeBase) and many different “buzzword compliant platforms.” I was curious what target platform has the best performance, but they did not have any metrics. I have always been skeptical about code generators, but this one definitely looks like it is mature. The product has been around since 1988 and is very current. I am still skeptical, and the cost is a little steep (US$5000), but looks very powerful at the same time.

We had a good view of the fires in LA from the office where the LA Fox meeting takes place and watched it while we ate pizza during the break.

Following the presentation from GeneXus, Tamar, Doug and I did our 20-minute mini-sessions. Tamar demonstrated an app she is working on and how she is using GDIPlusX from VFPX to capture screens shots and print them on a VFP report. I covered Southwest Fox and the user group offer we are doing, and rapidly went through some of the VFPX projects in a quick overview. Doug followed me with part of his VFP and Vista session. It was a fun night. We got back to the hotel around 11:30 and I rehearsed my morning session before hitting the pillow.

More to come…

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