Posts Tagged ‘Sedna’


Earlier this week I finished writing the chapter on the Upsizing Wizard for the upcoming Sedna update book we are close to completing. In the chapter review Doug Hennig pointed out a possible third way to run it (the first two being from the VFP Command Window and from the Data Explorer). He suggested trying to rename the Sedna Upsizing Wizard to the name of the old Upsizing Wizard and copying it in the Wizards folder under the VFP root.

This got me thinking. All the Wizards are driven off a table called Wizards.DBF. What if I just added a record in this table and pointed it to the new Sedna version? It works. All part of the extensibility of the Visual FoxPro IDE.

First locate the Upsizing Wizard record in the Wizards table:

USE (HOME() + "WizardsWizard.DBF") ;   IN 0 SHARED ALIAS VFPWizard


LOCATE FOR Name = "Microsoft SQL Server Upsizing Wizard" ;      AND Type = "Upsizing"

Change the Program memo field to:

c:program filesmicrosoft visual foxpro

Or alter the path to your environment setup as needed.

If you want both the original and the Sedna version, just do a SCATTER and GATHER and make the change in the second one. I recommend also changing the Name column because each time you start up the Upsizing Wizard from the menu you will select between the two and the Name column is displayed for you to pick which one you want.

The downloads for the chapter will include a program you can run to correct the registration.

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I have talked to a lot of Visual FoxPro developers since VFP 9 SP2 was released in October 2007. I have read many of the posts on the forums. In my unscientific poll I can safely say that less than 20 percent of the developers have even loaded SP2 and there are a number of reasons for this:

  1. Developers are comfortable with the stability of SP1 and don’t need any of the fixed bugs deployed in SP2.
  2. Some developers do not have the resources to system test all of their applications and cannot adopt the new service pack until the resources can be allocated to their projects.
  3. The first release of VFP 9 SP2 eroded the confidence of VFP developers because of the missing fixes, and the “beta” splash screen.
  4. The reputation of SP2 is further eroded because of the number of serious regression bugs discovered since the release of “SP2a” (however, most developers are going on the experiences of a few who have blazed the SP2 trail, and have not loaded it themselves).
  5. Developers do not understand you can have VFP 9 no service pack, VFP 9 SP1 and VFP 9 SP2 loaded on the same development machine.
  6. Anger at Microsoft over the decision the product is feature complete, and the sloppiness of the release cycle for VFP 9 SP2.
  7. Something else?

I believe the biggest reasons are the confidence eroding regression bugs posted by the trail blazers, and the fact many developers have not considered the possibility you can host more than one version of VFP 9 on the same machine.

There is a big problem with this situation, and one really concerning me. The problem is that too few people have installed, tried, and tested the release of VFP 9 SP2. This means the brave few who have installed it possibly have revealed only a subset of the problems with SP2. I am confident that the most serious and obvious problems have been revealed. But more developers running their code through the release will better establish the complete list of issues we might have to work around for years to come.

You can see the current list on the Visual FoxPro Wiki’s VFP9Sp2BugList page. You can also see some of the workarounds for the bugs on the SolutionsToVFP9SP2Bugs page. I would like these two pages and other pages added if necessary to this important knowledgebase so the Fox Community has a centralized list of the best practices in dealing with VFP 9 SP2 issues. These pages are referenced over and over as developers come online with VFP 9 SP2 and hit the same problems others have already solved. It also allows developers supporting each other a place to refer developers who are new to SP2 where to go to get key information.

As to the new regression bugs without workarounds, the sooner we can identify these the better. The identification of the problems has a potential four-fold advantage:

  1. Developers who are making the business decision to adopt or not adopt VFP 9 SP2 will have the best information when testing and certifying their decision.
  2. A centralized set of best practice workarounds for core VFP9.EXE problems is continually refined. Bugs in the VFP XSource components can be identified and a plan to make corrections by the Fox Community can be put into motion through VFPX.
  3. If more developers adopt SP2 the Fox Community as a whole have an easier time supporting each other on the online forums.
  4. A business case to have Microsoft consider fixing some of the serious regression bugs without reasonable workarounds can be developed and presented to Microsoft. The sooner we can do this, the better the chance it will be considered. And please, never say never.

I know by myself I cannot turn the tide with respect to the eroded confidence, but if more developers give SP2 a try we can take advantage of the benefits I have outlined in this blog post. Those developers with a positive SP2 experience need to post their successes too. Too often humans focus on problems than the positive experiences, and the positives get overshadowed.

I definitely want to see the best practices flushed out and fixes applied to the XSource code. Several have already been identified to ease the adoption. If we can identify the VFP 9 core EXE show-stopper bugs to Microsoft and get those fixed, big bonus!

To help those who have not loaded VFP 9 SP2 on their development machine I have written a short white paper detailing the steps I have taken to load VFP 9 original (a.k.a. RTM – released to manufacturing), Service Pack 1 (SP1), and Service Pack 2 (SP2) on my primary development machine. This white paper is available for you to review and help guide you to install more than one of the VFP 9 versions. This process has been refined over the years and others have stepped through it, so it is tested by more than one developer.

If you are interested, you can find the white paper here:

  1. PDF file (584K)
  2. ZIP file with Word document (747K)

I am open to any feedback about the white paper and the process for the installs. I have identified the feedback mechanism in the white paper. I am sure people will see different things they want to do to make it work better. As I have noted, this process works for me and is being provided as a guide to get you through the challenge and give you some food for thought on the process.

If you are one of the those important language translators in the community (and you know who you are) and you want to translate this document to your native language, please do and let me know so I can also host it on my Web site too. I have granted general permission to everyone who has ever requested permission to translate blog posts over the years. This information should not have artificial barriers because people cannot read my writing (and no comments from the peanut gallery on my English {g}).

Special thanks to Pamela Thalacker, Mary Pilon, Tamar Granor, and Cathy Pountney who kindly responded to my request to review this document. They helped me think thorough many of the steps and offered gentle advice on improving it. This document is better because of their help, but any bugs or confusing details you may find in it are all mine.

Call To Action!

It is my hope you will install VFP 9 SP2, and will post your VFP 9 SP2 issues on the Visual FoxPro Wiki so we can identify the best practices and workarounds discussed. I also hope you will post some discussions on the various community forums. I cannot promise to engage in all the discussions because I am only one person and having an expanding customer base to serve in my day job, but this is what the FoxPro Community is all about, masses of people helping each other out.


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I am sure anyone who reads my blog looking for VFP advice and insight already reads Craig Boyd’s blog, but since this is an important discovery and set of instructions I thought I would mention it here.

Last week a friend asked me about installing the Sedna component DDEX for VFP in Visual Studio so he could work with VFP data in Visual Studio.NET. These instructions are a byproduct of the initial inquiry.

Check out Craig’s detailed research and corrections/enhancements to this component here.

Thanks Craig, once again your contributions to our community are huge! I love his statement at the end of his post, and maybe will become our new mantra: “That’s one of the things I love about VFP… the VFP Community can provide for themselves.”

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Looks like Craig Boyd was up all night putting the Sedna source into VFPX on CodePlex. You can read more at the Sedna page on VFPX. Craig also reveals the location for the very cool DBi Technologies ActiveX controls released with Sedna too!

Thanks Craig!



Over on ProFox there has been some minor grumbling about Sedna requiring SP2. I do not think SP2 is required. I can see some of the components requiring VFP 9, but my guess is the components will work fine with SP1 and maybe even the RTM version.

I think the only things required is the .NET 2.0 framework for the NET4COM, Visual Studio for DDEX, SQL Server for the Upsizing Wizard, and Vista for the VistaDialogs. I believe the SP2 requirement on the Web site is one of those things where Microsoft puts the latest version up because it is what they support.

If you think about it, Microsoft did not enhance the core VFP 9 EXE other than to fix bugs (and put some new ones in {g}). Even the new Reporting enhancements in SP2 work in SP1 (something I heard from Colin Nichols at OzFox 2007 if I remember correctly).

The one thing I have not tested is attempting the Sedna install on a machine without SP2. I would be very surprised if the installer checked to see if you have SP2 installed first. If we find out this is the case, I have a workaround to have both SP1 and SP2 on the same machine peacefully.

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I know this has been long in coming, but very early this morning (1:00am EST) Microsoft released the much anticipated Sedna add-ons for Visual FoxPro 9.

You can download it from the Microsoft download site. There is a readme file and an MSI file to download.

Sedna includes the DataExplorer updates, DDEX for .NET access to VFP data, the MY IntelliSense extensions, the NET4COM examples to bridge VFP and .NET, the Upsizing Wizard for SQL Server, and VistaDialogs4COM to modernize VFP on Vista.

I will be installing it soon and will post my thoughts a little later.

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I saw this posted on Andrew MacNeill’s blog first (but also reported by almost everyone else I subscribe to in the Fox Community). Microsoft has released the VFP 9 Service Pack 2. We talked about this last night at DAFUG after Cathy Pountney’s excellent rehearsal for her Southwest Fox session “OutFox the VFP Report Writer: Printing on My Terms.”

Head over and read Milind Lele’s brief note on the release. A couple of notes, this is not the release of Sedna (the Xbase tools and .NET extensions to VFP 9). This will be released separately. I am not sure why these were released separately, but can guess that there are some legal issues to be ironed out to get the Sedna code posted on CodePlex under the shared source license.

One small typo in Milind’s letter: he notes about not installing this over one of the “betas.” He correctly instructs VFP developers to not install this over a CTP or beta. You need a clean install of VFP 9 RTM (release to manufacturing with no service packs), or the VFP 9 SP1. The typo is the word “betas.” I am a little surprised that Microsoft only released one beta for this service pack. Sure we had a few CTPs along the way, but those were definitely alpha releases. Alpha releases are made before the feature set is finalized. Even under the normal service pack release process we saw a beta and release candidates. Throw on top of this the concept that this could be the last service pack released I expected at least one release candidate after the original beta. I am a little surprised we only saw one beta.

Last night during Cathy’s presentation she ran into a bug under Vista where right-clicking on the method code editor freezes VFP after the shortcut menu is displayed. You can break the freeze several ways, but definitely a pain in the neck and not something I see in the list. Maybe it was fixed and overlooked in the bug list, or maybe I missed it in the list.

I am hopeful the Fox team listened to the posts about bugs and did some fantastic internal testing. Fingers crossed. Now I have to determine if I override my “no installs” two weeks before a conference rule and get this loaded before Southwest Fox.

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If you want the new Sedna DataExplorer to be the DataExplorer showing up in the Task Pane Manager you need to copy it from the Sedna Beta folder location to the VFP 9 root folder. You might want to rename the existing one before doing this in case you want the old one for some reason. For some reason I expected Microsoft to include the new DataExplorer in place of the old one, but the Sedna beta installs itself below the VFP root folder.

If you are tired of typing in a long path to run the DataExplorer in standalone mode you can do a couple of things to save you time:

1) Once you copy the DataExplorer.APP to the VFP 9 root folder you can type DX in the command window to run it in standalone mode.

2) You can edit the DX entry in FoxCode to run the DataExplorer.APP in the Sedna beta folder. To edit the script you need to bring up the IntelliSense Manager, go to the Custom page, find the DX entry and click on the Script button.

3) Type in the Command Window one of the two:
DO HOME() + “”
DO HOME() + “Sedna Beta\DataExplorer\”

Hopefully you are all testing the new Sedna extensions and VFP 9 SP2.

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