Letters to Redmond

Letters@Redmondmag.com: February 2006

Which is it: mirroring or clustering? Plus, readers sound off on the future of FoxPro.

SQL Specifics
[In the "To Market, to Market" sidebar to the December 2005 feature "SQL 2005: The Integrated Stack Is Back," it says]: "Microsoft may have found that out when it was forced to forego clustering functionality in the initial release of SQL Server 2005." This is the only reference I've seen that Microsoft will forego clustering in the initial release. SQL 2000 already had that functionality. Is it possible the authors meant that Microsoft will forego "mirroring" instead of "clustering"? This has been widely reported. Mirroring and clustering are two different technologies.
- Carl B. Kepford
Naples, Fla.

Editors Scott Bekker and Michael Desmond respond:
We did mean the database mirroring technology that was actually included in SQL Server 2005 but wasn't supported and that could only be turned on with a special key. In a broad sense, mirroring fits within clustering as Microsoft defines it. At last count, Microsoft had about half a dozen different technologies that fit under the clustering label. We probably should have said "database mirroring" or "a specific type of clustering."

FoxPro: Six Feet Under?
I've been a FoxPro developer for well over 15 years, and I have developed solutions with every version of FoxBASE, FoxPro (DOS and Windows), and Visual FoxPro (Windows) that has ever been released. I think I qualify as a "FoxPro faithful," as Mary Jo Foley put it in her December 2005 column, "FoxPro Not an Endangered Species."

I read Foley's column with some interest because what I see is FoxPro features being moved into .NET, something that Microsoft has done for a long time (moving FoxPro technology to other tools, such as Rushmore in Jet).

I see it looking at FoxPro and listening to developers to determine what it can do to improve .NET. I see the potential of Sedna, but maybe I'm jaded from so many years of working with an excellent tool that has for the most part been ignored by Microsoft. I believe it's going to take a lot more than this to restore our faith in Microsoft, and a whole lot more than this to convince us that FoxPro has any future at all. And it will take even more of an effort by Microsoft to stem the mass migration away from FoxPro that has been happening for years and continues to this day. The damage has been done, and the damage is severe. My personal opinion is that it's too late for FoxPro. It is, for all practical purposes, already dead, and I personally do not believe that Microsoft has any desire to do anything to change that.
- Matthew Reed
Vancouver, Wash.

FoxPro: Here to Stay!
Visual FoxPro [VFP] has been my warhorse for more than 10 years now and I still love it. I have not yet met any faster dev tool, not only to ship the product and make a bang for a buck, but as a database tool as well. It doesn't really matter what kind of back-end there is, VFP can connect to it and eat, crunch and swallow data, then spit it out faster than you can blink your eyes. Mary Jo, this article is right from my heart. Thank you for a very good article!
- Boudewijn Lutgerink
Huissen, Netherlands

I think that FoxPro is here to stay. It's a very stable development and database tool. I have used everything from Fox 2.5 to Fox 9 over the past five years. I have also had occasion to use other development tools and find FoxPro to be the best choice for desktop applications, plus, it's much more affordable.

I agree that Microsoft should have marketed this product better but it was afraid of "cutting its own throat," as FoxPro does compete with the company's other products. I love the fact that there are so many Fox resources and forums on the Web and I love talking with all the "Foxes" out there!
- Cheryl Adams
Upton, Mass.

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This page is compiled by the editors of Redmond magazine from your letters. Write to us at letters@redmondmag.com and if your letter is printed in the magazine, you'll be entered into a drawing for a free Redmond T-shirt.

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