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Microsoft talks to Paradox developers

Summary of a talk given by a Frank Fischer, MS .NET evangelist, Microsoft Germany, to the audience at the International Paradox Convention held in Frankfurt in 2004. .NET, of course, but also the ugly truth about Access and Visual Foxpro (VFP). Convention photo.

Reminder: these are just short notes scribbled while he was talking and that complement the full presentation available on the convention site. These necessarily sum up what was detailed during the speech.

Items to check at MS' site when considering .NET for a Paradox developer:

FGM at the Frankfurt Paradox convention.

  • IBF = Information Bridge Framework
  • Microsoft Research's site
  • SQL Express : is to SQL Server what Firebird Embedded is to Firebird/Interbase: no install required, no registration. Supplied with Visual Studio Express editions
  • FXCop is a rule-based checker for .NET assemblies
  • Process and Architecture Guidance available for download
  • Orcas is the code name for Visual Studio for Longhorn (later than VS2005)
  • Visual Studio 2005 Team System will be priced at roughly 1/10 the price of current "architect" suites (Q: including Borland's ? A: Yes)
  • Until Longhorn, .NET is built on top of COM. Starting with Longhorn, the building direction is reversed: COM has been rebuilt on top of .NET
  • There are 8600 object classes in .NET 1.1
  • To this day, there are 34 compilers on top of .NET, and .NET supplies the tools to compiler builders.

Now for the big questions from a Paradox point of view:

  • Q: What about Access ?
  • A: Access does not scale.
  • Additional answer, summarized: MS will have migration tools to .NET in the next version of Office. Use VS instead.
  • Q: What about Foxpro ?
  • A: We are forced by customers to maintain it. We have an eight-year commitment to maintenance
  • Additional answer, summarized: But don't move to it: it's a dead-end. Use VS instead.

Wrong window

Interesting that he is actually wrong about the window - VFP has a 9 year maintenance window.

Who is this guy anyways?

Don't blame him

Dunno. You might want to ask this to the Convention organizer.

Note that the poor guy was rather stuck between a rock and a hard place, facing this type of crowd. As I saw it, he made a good job of promoting .NET, and not bashing other MS products (which the audience had already been doing enough). To Paradox developers, seing a manufacturer offer a 8 year (9 years would apparently have been more accurate) guarantee of maintenance seems like a farfetched dream, considering the mess situation Paradox is in.

Paradox vindicated ?

At long last, Microsoft somehow confirms the message given at the time : No Foxpro 10.. Dead-end confirmed, Sedna components (as opposed to the product itself) placed under the MS "Shared Source" license.