Visual FoxPro Exam Help, Finally!
Don't go it alone. Here's an exam self-study guide for the FoxPro developer.
- By Paul G. Brown
Visual FoxPro developers looking for a guide
to help them study for the VFP certification exams have
been out of luck until now. Hentzenwerke Publishing has
released Visual FoxPro Certification Exams Study Guide,
an in-depth discussion of the exam objectives needed to
pass both the Distributed and Desktop VFP exams. The bonus
is that it's also an effective tool for experienced developers
to quickly leverage the power of VFP.
The book closely follows the Skills Being
Measured guide from Microsoft; in fact, chapters titles
are the same as major topics in Microsoft's guide. The
similarity makes for an effective method for maintaining
focus as you study. Each chapter presents the items needed
for that topic along with some references for additional
Chapters 1 through 3 cover the conceptual,
logical and physical designs and the logical data model.
The authors have managed to include one of the most concise
explanations of normalization and normal forms. Couple
this with the definitions for object-oriented programming
concepts, such as encapsulation and inheritance, and you
have a decent primer for a new developer who needs a good
understanding of database applications and theory.
Chapter 4, Establishing the Development Environment,
should probably be read by every VFP developer. I guarantee
you'll find something new here just due to the sheer depth
of the integrated development environment. It covers common
settings, such as how to remove the Print button from
the Print Preview toolbar, to the tools integrated into
VFP, including Visual Source Safe, Microsoft Transaction
Server, Internet Information Server and Microsoft Messaging
One of benefits of VFP is that it is data-centric
and offers more than one approach for accomplishing a
task. Chapter 7, Creating Data Services, covers a few
of the commonly used methods that Microsoft recommends,
plus ways to use those methods to your advantage. This
includes native tables, parameterized views and SQL pass-through.
You'll also find buffering, locking and transactions,
which you'll find on the VFP exams. Plan on reviewing
this chapter thoroughly before exam day.
The only real complaint with this book is
the lack of review questions and practice exams. There
are sample questions at the end of each chapter, but I
found myself wanting more. The inclusion of practice exams
to assess one's preparedness would also help. One or two
with the topics shuffled and various levels of question
complexity would differentiate between remembering the
chapter and knowing the topic.
The goal of this book is to insure that the
reader is qualified to pass the exam. This means that
the information presented is based solely on the requirements
for the test. You won't find in-depth discussions on various
techniques and styles outside of the exam objectives,
but if you're looking to pass the VFP exams, this book
is right on target.
Paul G. Brown, MCSD, a developer, speaker, and a frequent contributor to MCPmag.com, lives in New Berlin, Illinois. When not in front of the computer, he can be found chasing Jerry, Wesley, Jordan and Dillon for Mom.