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Microsoft: No Visual FoxPro 10

Visual FoxPro 9 will be the end of the line for Microsoft's under-appreciated desktop database developer tool, the company formally told third-party developers Tuesday.

The announcement likely came as no surprise for VFP MVPs gathered in Seattle for Microsoft's MVP Global Summit. It has been an open secret for some time that the company was pulling back from further development after the release of VFP9 in December 2005.

But Tuesday, Microsoft made it official.

"We have no plans to ship a VFP 10," said Alan Griver, group manager for VFP. "[While it was known] we felt we needed to be public about it."

In the meantime, current work continues. That includes the "Sedna" project, which aims to give VFP developers interoperability with parts of the .NET Framework and increased compatibility with SQL Server 2005, as well as wrappers for Vista APIs to make it easier to write applications that run on Vista machines. Sedna is built using VFP9’s extensibility model. Microsoft is also in the process of finishing VFP9 Service Pack 2.

The company released the latest community technology previews of Sedna and VFP9 SP2 two weeks ago.

Microsoft is still on schedule to release Sedna and VFP 9 SP2 sometime this summer, Griver said. At the end of the summer, the company plans to turn the Sedna source code over to the developer community via CodePlex -- a community site hosted by Microsoft that lets developers post and share open source -- similar to SourceForge.

The company will continue to provide mainstream support for VFP9 until January 12, 2010 and extended support until January 13, 2015, according to Microsoft’s support lifecycle page.

Meanwhile, VFP will continue to gain additions via open source projects such as VFPx, Griver added.

Microsoft originally acquired FoxPro when it bought out Fox Technologies in 1992. While always being the poor stepsister to Microsoft's homegrown Access database product, FoxPro -- later Visual FoxPro -- has garnered a global following that most industry observers agree is one of the most enthusiastic communities ever for a commercial developers tool.

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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