Visual FoxPro developers, oft-overlooked by Microsoft, are about to get an infusion of new technologies aimed at making the FoxPro language interoperable with Windows Vista, Office 2007 and .Net.
Microsoft quietly released a first CTP (Community Technology Preview) of "Sedna" on February 27, making it downloadable from the Microsoft Download site.
Sedna is the code name for a set of technologies due out in 2007 that will make Visual FoxPro 9.0 interoperable with application components created by using Visual Studio 2005, the .NET Framework 2.0, Office 2007 and SQL Server 2005. Sedna also will allow Visual FoxPro 9.0 solutions to be deployed on Vista, according to Microsoft.
Visual FoxPro is a data-centric language which was developed by Fox Software beginning in 1984. Microsoft acquired FoxPro for $173 million in a 1992 merger with Fox Software.
But by the time Visual FoxPro 7.0 rolled around, Microsoft had decided to unbundle it from the rest of its Visual Studio suite.
Even though there are still hundreds of thousands of FoxPro users, and Microsoft has said it will support FoxPro through 2014, Microsoft has done little to enhance the language.
While Microsoft doesnt state it quite so bluntly, Visual FoxPros foremost competitors are Visual Studio, Microsoft Access and SQL Server. That explains in large part why the Redmond software vendor isnt jumping through hoops for Visual FoxPro.