Silverswitch world roadshow 2011 of the dFPUG, a free SWFox post-conference workshop

The FoxPro user group of German language (dFPUG), founded in 1992, herewith invites you to a free post-conference day workshop in English at the SWFox DevCon. Below you find the session descriptions of the Silverswitch Roadshow 2011 of the dFPUG.

The Sessions of the Silverlight Roadshow 2011


2:00 – 2:15
Welcome / Registration

Check-in of the participants, a welcome coffee, general information about the event, handing out of the Silverswitch roadshow USB sticks


2:15 – 3:30
A free entry into a new world!
Migrating VFP forms with the free Silverlight Wizard of the dFPUG

You certainly remember the sample application of Visual FoxPro named Tastrade. Introduced with Visual FoxPro 3.0 (and since Visual FoxPro 8.0 not quite complete in the VFP Installer any more), "Tasmanian Traders" is a textbook case of a classical order processing system. By means of the free Sedna Upsizing Wizard we first convert the data model into the equally free SQL Server Express version. Then, using the free Microsoft Visual Web Developer 2010 Express, we create a Silverlight business application as our base. In the next step we migrate all forms of the application to Silverlight via the free Silverlight Wizard of the dFPUG and then we check the result in various browsers in Windows and MacOS. In other words: With these tools, converting the user interface and the data storage of a VFP application (upsizing from VFP-DBF to client/server) into an Internet application which runs on different operating systems and in different browsers is feasible, it will run and can be demonstrated! And you find all the required components, free, on the USB stick accompanying the roadshow. Thus you can e.g. check whether the layout of your existing forms can be taken over completely.


3:30 – 3:45 break

3:45 – 5:00
Professional introduction to a new world!
Migration of a VFP application into a Silverswitch solution for Visual Studio

Converting forms and databases is a nice first step, but we need a complete application with all the usual standard functionality! And to the standard functions a user login and user management does belong as well as a toolbar (with XAML icons) for navigation and filtering, a (data-driven) Open dialogue for forms, and especially an MDI user interface for the multiple, parallel opening of forms. We’d like to resize these forms and open the same form multiple times. By means of the VFX Silverlight Wizard we convert Tastrade as our sample VFP application once again, but this time into our Silverswitch solution for Visual Studio. Our second conversion has something special about it: We can work with DBF as well as with client/server, switching between both, according to the customer’s requirements, and even if it was only a DBF-based application before. Our Silverswitch Solution extends Silverlight by all the named features. Beyond that there is another form of deployment: Cloud computing. This will also be briefly demonstrated.


5:00 – 5:15 break

5:15 – 5:45
Stepping up instead of changing over!
Extending a Silverlight application with a webcam and multi-touch

We don’t just change, we step up! We’d have a hard time explaining to our customers that the Visual FoxPro developers regrettably have to change their development environment. So much better it will look if we show the customers new features which in fact were not available so far. We modernize our applications to enable customers to use webcams, picture recognition (e.g. for bar codes) and especially multi-touch. Let us take a brief look which new features we will be able to deliver to our customers soon or a bit later.


5:45 – 6:30
Taking over the Visual FoxPro business logic
Usage of VFP code in the back-end of Silverswitch applications

Currently the market sees numerous new products that want to open up the brave new Internet world to us in free demonstrations, but they do not support FoxPro code or FoxPro tables and they do not permit free distributing. We want to use DBF directly, use our code in the back-end, use our business logic in VFP, keep the way our forms are controlled. Above all, we basically want to keep programming in VFP, the language in which we are ahead of the pack. We want to keep doing all that although we build new applications, support modern software architectures, and offer browser-independent Internet apps. And we want to achieve that in a parallel operation of the existing applications. What we especially don’t want is to start over from zero in a different programming language. Therefore our business logic arrives in a VFP COM server and, for the purpose of a switch-over capability of the data storage, in cursor adapters. Of course you can also implement direct DBF access in the back-end by USE / SEEK / SCAN. Structured legacy code can be taken over into a VFP COM server (without controlling the user interface). The simple call happens via our Action button which from the Internet user interface directly runs business logic at the back-end.



8:30 – 9:45
Writing Visual FoxPro Code in the interface
Programming VFP Code in the front-end of Silverswitch applications

We don’t just have business logic, but also a lot of code for refreshing and validating in the user interface. Using the exclusive GUINEU Silverswitch version we can convert this code and execute it as an .FXP file in the browser at the client. To that end, a multitude of Visual FoxPro commands and functions are available native. You can also write code in C#, though. This approach will be briefly demonstrated, too, because some requirements can be fulfilled faster that way. And in both cases you can make use of the Visual FoxPro COM server in the back-end, within the multi-tier architecture of the Silverswitch solution.


9:45 – 10:00 break

10:00 – 11:15
Finale: The professional conversion
Conversion of a VFP application into a Silverswitch solution for Visual Studio

Our Silverswitch solution addresses all FoxPro developers, but users of our framework Visual Extend (aka VFX) will find it a little bit easier because the applications have a uniform structure. Thus arise a whole lot of automatically migrateable power features of VFX like e.g. document containers, pictures (Up-/Download), incremental searching in grids and sorting by a column header click. Equally important are table-controlled pick lists and ready-to-use text boxes for Skype, e-mail, Internet, calculator, date selection, date/time selection and further controls. Apart from that, we can locally control Word, Excel, Outlook, Powerpoint, and Mappoint, nota bene from an Internet application! And our application shall run multilingually, with a localization at runtime. Lots of elements from VFX for VFP apps can be taken over automatically. As far as it makes sense and is feasible, this will be made available in the future for pure VFP apps as well, via switches.
Note: With the VFX form builders you can create e.g. a new layout for basic data forms very quickly. The intermediate step via VFX may perhaps sound a bit like a detour, but it’s often the faster way.


11:15 – 11:30 break

11:30 – 12:15
And that works, too, of course:
Converting reports to Silverswitch and running VFP reports in Silverswitch

In Silverswitch there are two basic ways of report output:
Running existing reports in the back-end or converting existing reports to Silverswitch. We show you the results of these two approaches. A third one consists in the grid reports, a powerful professional feature which you will see as well in a short demonstration.


12:15 – 12:45
What else do I need to know?

Closing session, questions and answers about the Silverswitch Roadshow