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Visual FoxPro 9 Service Pack 1 Ships

Microsoft shipped at the end of last week Service Pack 1 for Visual FoxPro 9.0, a quiet update that fixes 200 or so bugs but that adds no new features to the revered database development tool.

The latest version of VFP shipped last March. At that time, the company also disclosed that it will adhere to Microsoft's latest support policy of five years of mainstream support and five years of extended support. That means mainstream support will last until Dec. 31, 2009 and extended support will run until Dec. 31, 2014. (See, “Visual FoxPro 9.0 Generally Available, Supported Until 2014,” March 16.)

Microsoft acquired FoxPro in 1992 when it purchased Fox Software, which had been working on the database development tool since 1984. All but left out of Microsoft’s mainstream database and development tool plans, the product has for years garnered an almost cultish following among developers, especially in the United States and Europe. Much of that has been due to the close-knit community of supporters that has developed over the years. With support lasting until 2014, that promises VFP a 30-year useful lifecycle.

But the future of VFP is not merely to be “maintained.” Microsoft officials announced earlier this fall that they are working on project “Sedna” – named for a recently-discovered and very distant celestial object.

“The primary goal of Sedna is to expand on the ability of Visual FoxPro-based solutions to better integrate with other Microsoft products and technologies,” a company statement said at the time. “Features in Sedna will target Visual FoxPro interoperability with application components created by using Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0, and SQL Server 2005.” Sedna, which is set to be released in the first half of 2007, will require VFP 9.

“It sounds funny to say that I started using Fox as a teenager and I'm about to turn 40. I just passed the point of using ‘Fox’ products for over half my life, which I call the "Fox half-life factor," joked Ken Levy, Microsoft Visual Studio data product manager and VFP product manager in a posting on the VFP Developer Center Web site.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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