Questions and Answers

 

Are there any runtime fees for Xbase++?

This is easy to answer: no! Your resulting Xbase++ applications will be royalty free. You can offer your Xbase++ application to thousands of customers without any additional costs.

For you as an Xbase++ developer, we recommend buying into one of our subscription plans: Foundation or Professional. These subscriptions guarantee 12 months of product updates, fixes and even new versions when available. Of course, you can upgrade the subscriptions by adding Technical Support and expect great help from our Xbase++ technicians.

When will Xbase++ 3.0 be available?

Alaska software does not give any estimated time availabilities for products or projects under development. However, according to our current product roadmap we plan to make a preview of the transpiler as well as the VFP compatibility library available in 2017. Xbase++ 2.0 customers will get access to these technologies as part of their subscription plan as soon as possible.

Alaska Software recommends starting as soon as possible. The reason is easy to explain: the major point is that Xbase++ is a large, complete development tool/platform and you need to become familiar with it. Remember how many glitches you are avoiding with VFP, but you have learned to work around them without any awareness - which makes you today a master of VFP and a very productive developer. The truth is that there is, of course, also a learning curve with Xbase++ and it is better to learn in small steps without time pressure.

What is PolarFox?

PolarFox is the project name for a development tool that will support the modernization of existing VFP solutions. The final product will be in Xbase++ 3.0. The aim of the PolarFox project was research into the technical ability to achieve compatibility as well as create a future oriented technology base, to have a development platform for the next decades.

How to use Xbase++ today to extend an existing VFP solution?

Xbase++ 2.0 already includes a lot of features which increase VFP compatibility. Xbase++ natively supports touch/multi-touch web-application development and n-tier application server development, which makes Xbase++ an ideal tool for adding new features to your existing VFP application.

Integration can be done in various ways. Use your DBF/FPT/CDX data files from within Xbase++ natively, connect to the same DBMS using ODBC, or encapsulate your VFP solution's business logic into a COM component which you can transparently use from within Xbase++.

Please think about this scenario: export your business logic and UI into a COM component and use Xbase++ to implement a touch UI on top of your VFP COM components.

All this is already available with Xbase++ 2.0.

How compatible will Xbase++ 3.0 be with VFP?

This is an overview of all FoxPro/VFP components which build an application:

  • VFP application .APP becomes a native and standard Windows PE executable created by the Xbase++ tool chain (compiler and linker).
  • VFP .FLL becomes a native Windows DLL created by the Xbase++ tool chain (compiler and linker).
  • VFP projects .PJX are migrated to .XPJ (Xbase++ project) files with an import wizard into the Xbase++ WorkBench to ensure version control support and extensibility.
  • PRG source code is transformed by an Xbase++ tool, called the transpiler, into Xbase++ PRG code. The changes are minimal, as Xbase++ and VFP already speak a similar language and have similar roots: xBase/dBase.
  • .VCX becomes Xbase++ PRG code with class declaration and source.
  • .MNX, .SCX will be transpiled to Xbase++ PRG code and XML form/menu definition (XFF), to support version.
  • We also plan to have FRX/LBX support by re-using the exisiting VFP9 report engine.
  • DBF/FPT/CDX files have already been supported since Xbase++ 1.9. This includes concurrent usage of tables with respect to lockings.
  • DBC read only support.

Conclusion: Xbase++ 3.0 will be able to migrate any VFP9 application to Xbase++, thus into a new future with forthcoming Operating Systems and requirements.

As a VFP developer, when shall I start with Xbase++?

Alaska Software recommends starting as soon as possible. The reason is easy to explain: the major point is that Xbase++ is a large, complete development tool/platform and you need to become familiar with it. Remember how many glitches you are avoiding with VFP, but you have learned to work around them without any awareness - which makes you today a master of VFP and a very productive developer. The truth is that there is, of course, also a learning curve with Xbase++ and it is better to learn in small steps without time pressure.

 

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