Caller looking for post-VFP development tool

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I received a call from a VFP programmer yesterday. Someone that I had never met or talked with before, but they found my blog on my Converter from Visual Foxpro to Real Studio (now known as Xojo).

We spoke on the phone for about 40 minutes. He had been examining several of the competing technologies still in development but wasn’t satisfied for one reason or another. Microsoft’s .NET was plain eliminated from consideration. He said that he didn’t want one more cent to be put in the pockets of Microsoft. I won’t list out the other technologies he was considering but they had their issues. One was loaded with bugs and incomplete features. Others were web-only solutions. Another had a completely unreasonable licensing terms for non-enterprise level development, including the development of programs for direct sales.

I told him that I’ve thrown in with the Xojo crowd and that I really like it. The IDE is free so it’s easy to take it for a spin as long as you want. No 30 or 90 day trials needed, it’s an unlimited day trial period! You only need to purchase a license when you want to build your project into a stand-alone application. I find the licenses fee reasonably priced for my business needs. There are not any deployment licensing restrictions. Xojo allows me to deploy as many solutions to as many sites as I’d like.

There’s a bit of licensing complication however, but I call this ‘flexibility’. You can get the ‘Professional’ version that gets you everything and all target platforms: Desktop (Win/Lin/Mac), Web, console, as well as connecting to any of the database servers. You can play (a lot) less and get just the targets that you are interested in as well. For example, if you only need to develop server tools that don’t have any UI elements, then you can just purchase the console development license for $100. If you only need to develop web applications, then you only need the $400 web development license.

Is Xojo perfect? No. It’s a good bit slower on Linux than Mac or Windows. The report writer in Xojo is anemic. On occasion the IDE will crash on me. The Feedback system plain doesn’t work at all for me and I haven’t had time to track down the issue. (Probably some javascript problem in the HTMLViewer.)

This developer I was on the phone with had never heard of Xojo before but he was definitely interested in a ‘singular solution’ development tool. All I can say, is that Xojo is the best development tool that I’ve found to fit my development needs. That goes doubly for the Linux platform, my platform of choice. Take Xojo for a developmental spin and I think you’ll find it’s an easy yet powerful development tool. Pretty darn good.

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