Everything you loved about FoxPro and more

Servoy for Visual FoxPro – Deep Dive


Have you struggled to find a truly satisfactory successor to FoxPro since Microsoft ended support? You may be interested to know that many enterprises and software vendors have switched to Servoy from Visual FoxPro.

Their reasons include the familiar environment, speed of development, support of standard technologies, comprehensive frameworks and vast choice of SQL databases offered by Servoy.

True SQL Front-end

Much as developers loved FoxPro, they were sometimes less enthused by its database. It had the speed of a SQL database, but sometimes lacked the robustness (2GB limit) and data interoperability.

Servoy recognizes that SQL databases have reached their current level of quality because of the years of continued development and research they invested in their products. This is why applications that combine a database and user interface in the same environment never manage to attain the performance and stability level that SQL databases have achieved.

Servoy addresses this limitation of “all in one” products by ensuring a strict separation of data and application design elements. It supports the many excellent SQL databases that are available on the market and provides a tight integration with their data. All popular SQL databases are supported including: Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Sybase, IBM DB/2, Postgresql and Mysql.

Automatic Data Binding

Servoy is one of the few SQL front-end tools to offer automatic data binding. Imagine selecting columns from a SQL table and having them appear on your form—ready for new records, data edits and deletions—without needing to write any SQL.

Whether you use a screen for data entry or reporting, Servoy handles SQL queries automatically. Of course, if you prefer to write your own SQL, Servoy makes that possible too. You decide. You’re in control.

Smart Client or HTML5, Zero Deployment

Once you have developed your application, you can deploy it as an HTML5 application, or in case you are in need of tight hardware integration or access to the local file system, you can use our smart-client.

The Servoy Smart Client is a native application on Windows, Linux and Mac that provides a rich, event-driven user experience while over the web without Citrix or TS.

The Servoy HTML5 Client is responsive and secure by default (no business logic in the UI), and does not require you having to code your own HTML5, CSS, Angular and such. In addition Servoy allows you to compile to a native mobile client for iOS and Android which offers native hardware integration, offline support and appstore delivery possibilities.

Cross-platform, Cross-database

Servoy can not only connect to any SQL-based database, but can also be deployed on nearly any operating system, including Windows, MacOS, Linux and Solaris.

The Servoy Server will run on server operating systems such as Solaris, HP Unix, IBM AIX, AS/400, OS/390, Windows Server 2003, OS X Server, Red Hat Enterprise Edition and Novell SUSE. In fact, Servoy can run on multiple platforms simultaneously.

You are never locked into a particular database. For your convenience, Servoy ships complete with a robust SQL database engine powered by PostgreSQL. However, you can easily move from one database to another, and Servoy will automatically re-create your schema when you move the data.

For example: You could develop your Servoy solution on Windows using PostgreSQL and deploy the application you built on Mac OS X using Oracle without any recoding.

Professional Programming Environment

Servoy is extremely easy to use. Developers coming from FoxPro find Servoy familiar. Developing with Servoy feels natural.

The Servoy IDE contains Servoy Server components so you can test your application while you are building it (even networked solutions) without having to run the Servoy Server application separately and without having to first compile your application.

Servoy offers a simple two-screen development environment—one for designing user interfaces and another for coding and debugging. Servoy’s advanced integrated debugger allows you to easily spot any typing or coding errors, while the Servoy scripting editor allows you to rapidly automate your solutions.

Servoy also offers code completion, tool tips, sample code, color choosers, date pickers and more to help you build your Servoy solutions even more quickly.

WYSIWYG and More

Servoy takes WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) form design to the next level. It provides all the components you need to easily design a rich user interface: tab panels, portals, buttons, labels, rollovers, images, tooltips, cascading style sheets (CSS) and much more.

If you require specific UI components that are not already included, you can simply add them in as web-components.

And here’s the best part—the entire user interface is scriptable. Just point and click from the large built-in library of functions, and you can control the interface of your Servoy solutions, such as making fields and buttons dim or hide based on user access, running scripts when the “enter” key is pressed, dynamically generating popup menu lists based on a single mouse click and much more.

Last but not least, Servoy takes care of SQL statements that must be executed to make your user interface function correctly.

Why Visual FoxPro Developers Love Servoy

With Servoy, the all-too-frequent locking and broadcasting problems you encountered with FoxPro are now a thing of the past. You can build your front-end and connect it to a SQL database without limits to the number of concurrent users. Your new Servoy application is as scalable as the hardware you select.

Servoy easily connects to your Visual FoxPro DBF data and to any of the popular SQL databases available in the marketplace—Oracle, DB/2, MS SQL Server, Sybase Advantage Database Server, Sybase iAnywhere, PostgreSQL and MySQL, to name but a few—or to multiple databases simultaneously.

Although Servoy ships with PostgreSQL as a matter of convenience for new developers, Servoy is not a database, which means that Servoy does not store your data. Instead, it provides an interface as an easy way to add, edit and delete your data.

With Servoy, you can join data between multiple data sources based in different physical locations and/or between SQL databases from different vendors. Reliability issues caused by “corrupt” databases are gone forever.

Deploying over a WAN or LAN is painless. You have the choice of a rich Java Servoy Smart Client and/or a pure HTML5 Client, both from a single code base.

The Servoy Smart Client uses zero-deployment technology making it seamless to deploy and update native applications. You no longer need to use Citrix or TS to “update” all your client versions manually. Servoy handles all client updates automatically.

Servoy is based entirely on industry standards such as SQL, JDBC, Java, JavaScript, XML, HTML5 and CSS. It contains no proprietary languages or protocols, resulting in a much shorter learning curve.

Over 75% of your existing Visual FoxPro skills transfer directly to the Servoy Developer environment. You don’t need to know Java or SQL to integrate with back-end SQL databases; Servoy handles that for you.

To make your applications more powerful, Servoy includes a large built-in library of functions, a drag-and-drop JavaScript script editor and a fully featured advanced script debugger.

Developers can extend built-in functionality using Servoy’s bidirectional integration layer, which supports using third-party libraries as plug-ins, DLL integration and COM objects, as well as Servoy’s Web Services integration layer, which supports both consuming and publishing of Web services.

Servoy is truly cross-platform and runs on Windows, MacOS, Linux, Solaris, BSD, HP UX—in short, any platform that supports Java 1.5 or higher.

Upscale Visual FoxPro Applications

With Servoy, you will be able to connect to or replace the Visual FoxPro data islands and integrate seamlessly with enterprise environments. Because Servoy is entirely industry standards-based, you will gain an immediate acceptance from enterprise IT.

Servoy is an Eclipse plugin—the most-used programming platform in enterprise IT—and will connect to any SQL back-end without requiring any knowledge of that back-end system on your part.

Because of Servoy’s unparalleled stability and built-in security features such as 128-bit SSL data encryption for deployment, even government and healthcare (Hipaa and SOX compliant) applications can be developed without the need for additional tools and libraries.

Are you ready to move to a true FoxPro alternative? Contact us today for more information.

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