If you were to have taken bets as to when Visual FoxPro would end as a supported, updated product from Microsoft, chances are the dates picked would have been long past. Most people expected this product to wither away many years ago as Microsoft focused on Access and then on SQL Server.
In truth, FoxPro has been a leading product in the use of technology. Many of the OOP features of Visual FoxPro were used as models for some of the later enhancements to the other programming languages at Microsoft. Additionally, Visual FoxPro has a hardcore, loyal user base that has contributed input into the evolution of the product. With approximately 100,000 users, it isn’t lacking in an audience.
Unfortunately, the betting is over and the end of Visual FoxPro has been announced. Later this year, Microsoft will release Service Pack 2 for Visual FoxPro 9. That will be the last release related to the core Visual FoxPro database.
Will this be the end of Visual FoxPro?
It will be the end of updates. With FoxPro, however, a lot of functionality comes from the extensibility features and add-ins that the product has supported. Microsoft has decided to allow this extensibility to continue even if the core of Visual FoxPro won’t. The extensibility features of Visual FoxPro will be posted to CodePlex.com. It is worth noting that according to Microsoft, 70 to 80 percent of all new features have come from community suggestions. As such, the move of the extensibility features to CodePlex could result in continued evolution of the extensions.
While there will not be future editions of Visual FoxPro, support will continue under standard Microsoft support guidelines. This means that you have until around 2015 before support could go away.