Home » Uncategorized » Getting started with Visual FoxPro

In the last couple of years I have observed a lot of newbie type questions on the forums, and get a feeling that there is a slight influx of people new to Visual FoxPro showing up online, or maybe just getting online. Please don’t interpret this observation that Visual FoxPro is surging in popularity worldwide, but in certain parts of the world it might be. In recent emails and over the years on forums I have answered a number of posts with the question: how do I get started learning Visual FoxPro?

Here are my current recommendations:

  1. Use the product and try things out. I don’t think there is any better way to learn Visual FoxPro than trying things. There is a reason I put this as my #1 reason, it is the most important.
  2. Open the Help file and read. Sure there is the command syntax, but the VFP Help file is chock full of information about the product and approaches you can take to solve problems.
  3. Buy books and start reading:
    Any of the VFP books at Hentzenwerke Publishing are worth reading and have good information, especially the Fundamentals book, HackFox, KiloFox (1001 Things), the Report Writer, and Deploying Visual FoxPro Solutions. If you are new to VFP 9 and need to understand what is new in Visual FoxPro, get all the What’s New books to get up to speed quicker. Soon there will be new books published by FoxPro User Group of German Language (dfpug, publishers of FoxRockX).
  4. Subscribe to FoxRockX (formerly FoxTalk 2.0).
  5. Scan Foxite.com, FoxForum.com, ProFox List, MSDN Forums, Microsoft Newsgroups, Tek-Tips, the UniversalThread, the Virtual Fox User Group, dfpug (German), and PortalFox (Spanish/English). Read as many messages as you have time for. Many of links are on the admittedly outdated Favorites page of my personal website. (Yes, feel free to send me more and the corrected links {g}).
  6. Read as much of the Visual Fox Wiki as possible. Yes, I know there is a lot to read. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (sorry to those who love elephants – it is just a saying related to tackling large tasks, not a slight on elephants or elephant lovers)
  7. Read as many blogs as possible. Lists to start are here: Visual FoxPro Wiki – BlogWatch and the UniversalThread Blog List. You might consider getting a RSS feed aggregator. I currently recommend FeedDemon (now free).
  8. Sign up for one or more of the upcoming conferences (German DevCon (Frankfurt), Prague DevCon (Czech Republic), Atout Fox (France), SDN VFP Conference (The Netherlands), Brazilian Conference (Sao Paulo), VFP Conference Teheran (Iran), and Southwest Fox) (USA))
  9. Find a local FoxPro user group if one exists, otherwise band together some other Fox developers in your area and start one.
  10. Surf the web (Google is your friend), there are plenty of sites available with VFP information. You can start with some of the favorites on my site. From there you will find hundreds more.
  11. Consider hiring a mentor.

This should get you started and there might be stuff I missed (post comments on this blog entry). I realize that there is a huge financial investment and you will spend a lot time learning. The challenge you face is one many VFP developers have conquered in the last 13+ years. You have a lot of support waiting to help you out on the forums and way more resources than we had in 1995 when many of us were cutting out teeth on VFP.

Good Luck!

6 Responses to “Getting started with Visual FoxPro”

  1. August 26th, 2008 at 12:21 | #1


    Just read the blog post. I didn’t see a link to the Profox List (subscribe at http://leafe.com/mailman/listinfo/profox, archives at http://leafe.com/archives/search/profox or a link to Planet Fox, which is where I read your posting http://www.tedroche.com/tedsriver/. You may wish to update your favorites page to reflect these!


  2. Dave Aring
    August 26th, 2008 at 16:00 | #2


    I will not go into the details here, but this post did get me to thinking about a couple of issues (always a good thing!) and I have elaborated on our blog at… http://blog.visionpace.com/


  3. August 26th, 2008 at 17:08 | #3

    Thanks Bill, I noted in my post I don’t have all the links. Appreciate the help.

  4. August 26th, 2008 at 17:11 | #4

    Heh Dave, to each their own, and your points are well taken.

    Most people asking me about learning VFP don’t care about using the state of the art “shiny” tools. They care about delivering reasonable solutions with stable technology they can afford. In many cases, this is where VFP “shines”.

  5. Dave Aring
    August 27th, 2008 at 09:13 | #5


    You are right, of course; to each his own. I think, ultimately, for me, it is still a schizophrenic question with a schizophrenic answer. Having had the chance to sleep on it, I realized that all answers are good, but the real issue is giving a range of answers that is complete or, at least, qualified by the circumstance causing the questioner to ask the question in the first place. Like you said, many (nay, many, many) times, VFP is STILL a very viable answer (and aren’t we still thankful for that?). I guess my bottom line point was that a better answer would have been to preface YOUR answer with some probing of the questionee’s ultimate goal. Blog space and the need to be concise may have prevented you from mentioning, what is to me, an obvious step. Enough said. Long live VFP! Keep up the interesting and informative blogs.


  6. Ron
    August 28th, 2008 at 14:24 | #6

    Also for learning vfp, u can take a look at the site of http://www.garfieldhudson.com/FreeVideos.aspx, for a lot of learning videos about this subject.

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