Screencast: Windows Utilities and Tips

New screencast for Windows power users and developers added at:

http://mashupx.com/screencasts




Windows Utilities and Tips

Utilities, apps, services, and tips for Windows including:

Adapter, Audacity, Data Recovery Wizard, Dropbox, GO Contact Sync Mod, Google Calendar, iExplorer, Image Resizer, Instapaper, Join.Me, Kindle for PC, Kindle Cloud Reader, LogMeIn, PCTV, Remote Desktop for PC, Remote Desktop for Mac, SendTo folder, UltraVNC, Virtual PC, Yahoo IMAP Connector, ZoomIt, and more.

Preview video excerpt (5min):
http://www.screencast.com/t/6pIQilUPt

Screencast: Class Browser for Visual FoxPro

Today I’m announcing MashupX screencasts presented by Ken Levy, starting with one on the Class Browser in Visual FoxPro.

I have the first in a series of JavaScript for VFP developers going online later this week. Future ideas for topics include Class Browser add-ins/automation, Component Gallery, Creating custom Builders, and topics non-VFP related such as apps/utilities tips for Windows, Mac, and iOS.

The Class Browser screencast is for any VFP developer who is or has used it since VFP 3.0, which I originally designed and wrote over 16 years ago. For this first screencast, optionally to consider it a donation if you think you’ve benefited at least $10 of value from the Class Browser over the past 15+ years.

The overall donations for my screencasts will determine how I can justify preparing and recording more screencasts for those who are interested. Feel free to provide constructive feedback on this first one in the series to help improve future screencasts.

Screencasts page:

http://mashupx.com/screencasts



Class Browser in Visual FoxPro

Tips and tricks using the Class Browser in Visual FoxPro including:
Various techniques and tips for launching and persisting.
Filtering, drag-and-drop, moving, copying, redefining, and more.
Many tips and features undocumented in the VFP 9.0 help file.

Preview video excerpt (5min):
http://www.screencast.com/t/WpBHl2v2Wiys

Price: $10 | Length: 68min | Date: Feb 2, 2012 | Screencast #1

Screencast: Creating Cloud Hosted Servoy App with Existing DBF Data

Yesterday I created a full screencast video recording which is now available online (at the screencast.com link below). The first 20 minutes or so is my own introduction to Servoy, with the demos starting at the 23 minute marker. I also enabled the screencast to be downloaded as an MP4 file to be viewed offline, while it is also available as online streaming via Flash in a web browser as usual. It’s recommended that the video is viewed in full screen mode. The MP4 video file download is resolution 1024×768 and plays crystal clear on an iPad. I also included the slides from the presentation on the download page, exported to PDF format, available in the screencast page Attachments tab section.

The demos in the screencast not only show VFP DBF data being used in an IBM SmartCloud virtual machine server with Servoy with a live public IP address, but also included is how Servoy can automatically create and update a SQL based relational database (in this example, PostgreSQL), but also how Servoy handles updates to the database schema in the database when application updates are deployed. The presentation includes an overall introduction and example of how Servoy can easily deploy and manage hosted applications that can be used for desktop, web, and mobile solutions. Please feel free to email me with any follow-up questions, or contact Servoy with any technical or sales related questions. More information on Servoy for FoxPro developers can be found at http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Screencast: Ken Levy Creates Cloud Hosted Servoy App with Existing DBF Data
Online streaming and MP4 download:
http://www.screencast.com/t/a7YTkpXh2
Length: 1h 22min
Description: Ken Levy, former Visual FoxPro Product Manager will host this comprehensive one-hour webinar — including a demonstration and discussion on building a web based application using existing DBF data hosted in the Cloud, all created from scratch within the one hour webinar. Many Visual FoxPro developers who have learned to develop with Servoy have found Servoy’s development platform easy, powerful, and beneficial; as well as appreciate Servoy’s dynamic programming features and rich data model functionality. Ken considers Servoy the logical evolution dev tool for VFP developers. In this demo-centric one-hour session, Ken will create a new Servoy web application from the ground up using DBF data from an existing functional Visual FoxPro application – then host it in the IBM Cloud making it available for public internet access without any changes to the VFP application, all within an hour. The various demos will show how Servoy is the ideal development platform for cross-browser, multi-device, and optionally cloud hosted line of business applications – for either migrating or extending existing Visual FoxPro based applications.

Webinar (free): FoxFire! Reporting for Servoy with Andrew MacNeill and Ken Levy – Jan 18, 2012 11:00am PT

Webinar: FoxFire! Reporting for Servoy with Andrew MacNeill and Ken Levy

Date:  January 18, 2012 11:00am Pacific Time

Register (free): https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/135427224

Description: As many Visual FoxPro developers know, Foxfire! (foxfirereporting.com) from Micromega Systems is a great report writer that’s easy to use and powerful for everyday business people. With Foxfire! you can extract and mine data from databases and create a variety of outputs for reports, spreadsheets, charts, pivot tables, data files, and more – without having to be reporting or database expert. Foxfire! 8 within the product line includes both Windows and web based versions. Along with the announcement and launch of the new latest version 9 of Foxfire!, this webinar will demonstrate how Foxfire 9 can be easily integrated into Servoy development, and even complement and extend existing report management of reports created with tools such as JasperReports. With Foxfire! 9 and the upcoming Foxfire! SDK for Servoy, there’s a new era of Foxfire! with an additional and unique offering in the Servoy ecosystem. Join Andrew MacNeill (lead developer of Foxfire!) and Ken Levy (former Visual FoxPro product manager) for this special launch and announcement of Foxfire! 9 with Servoy to see how to create powerful reports quickly with great management tools that integrate within a Servoy application, all with a power SDK for Servoy developers.

More information on Servoy for FoxPro developers can be found at http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Webinar (free): Ken Levy Creating Cloud Hosted Servoy App with Existing DBF Data – Dec 13, 2011 11:00am PT

Webinar: Ken Levy Creating Cloud Hosted Servoy App with Existing DBF Data

Date:  December 13, 2011 11:00am Pacific Time

Register (free): https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/774547784

Description: Ken Levy, former Visual FoxPro Product Manager will host this comprehensive one-hour webinar — including a demonstration and discussion on building a web based application using existing DBF data hosted in the Cloud, all created from scratch within the one hour webinar. Many Visual FoxPro developers who have learned to develop with Servoy have found Servoy’s development platform easy, powerful, and beneficial; as well as appreciate Servoy’s dynamic programming features and rich data model functionality. Ken considers Servoy the logical evolution dev tool for VFP developers. In this demo-centric one-hour session, Ken will create a new Servoy web application from the ground up using DBF data from an existing functional Visual FoxPro application – then host it in the IBM Cloud making it available for public internet access without any changes to the VFP application, all within an hour. The various demos will show how Servoy is the ideal development platform for cross-browser, multi-device, and optionally cloud hosted line of business applications – for either migrating or extending existing Visual FoxPro based applications. More information on Servoy for FoxPro developers can be found at http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Online Training: JavaScript 101 for VFP Developers (August 3rd)

JavaScript is the most popular programming language worldwide, its use is growing with new development tools along with the evolution of the HTML5 platform for rich web based apps. This unique JavaScript programming training webinar targets VFP developers who have little or no experience with JavaScript and want to get quickly productive with JavaScript from a FoxPro language perspective. This 4 hour webinar will be fast paced, demo-centric, very few slides, and will be recorded for on-demand viewing.

JavaScript 101 for Visual FoxPro Developers
Presented by Ken Levy

August 3rd, 10:00am – 2:00pm (Pacific Time)

– Introduction to JavaScript language and programming
– Using JavaScript in VFP with the Script Control object
– JavaScript in a webpage
– JavaScript in Servoy with new Servoy 6 Command Console
– Functions, objects, loops, arrays, data types, libraries, and more
– Event and error handling
– Mapping VFP functions to JavaScript
– Resources, Q&A


Registration is for both access to the live online webinar event as well as the on-demand recorded video after the event (participating in the live webinar is optional).

Register ($99US – PayPal or credit card via PayPal):

PayPal


For organizing private custom training/mentoring (remote or on-site), contact me directly.

More information and resources on Servoy for Visual FoxPro developers including a link to the free full featured Servoy Community Edition download, visit http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Webinar: Servoy–the Logical Successor to VFP (Ken Levy and Jan Aleman): May 19, 2011, 11am-12pm PT

From http://servoy.com/events:

Ken Levy, former Visual FoxPro Product Manager, and Jan Aleman, Servoy CEO, will host this comprehensive one-hour webinar — including a demonstration and discussion on using Servoy with existing Visual FoxPro applications, and Servoy for FoxPro developers.

Many Visual FoxPro developers who have learned to develop with Servoy, have found Servoy’s development platform easy, powerful, and beneficial; as well as appreciate Servoy’s dynamic programming features and rich data model functionality. This demo-centric one-hour session includes a wide variety of technical areas of Servoy — from data-centric development to using VFP COM based DLLs within Servoy. In the webinar, Mr. Aleman and Mr. Levy will also discuss ideas; answer questions; and share knowledge on both technical and business scenarios offered to VFP developers evaluating Servoy.

For more information about Servoy for VFP developers, visit http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Date: May 19th, 2011
Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Webinar registration: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/660395384

Servoy 101 Online Training for VFP Developers (March 21st)

Based on the success of my series of event presentations and one day workshops in the U.S. and Europe over the past year, I’m hosting a special fast-paced demo-centric 4 hour online training webinar on getting started with Servoy for VFP developers.

Servoy 101 for Visual FoxPro Developers

March 21st, 10:00am – 2:00pm (Pacific Time)

Introduction and Architecture Overview
Installation of free Servoy Community Edition
Eclipse IDE for Servoy
Working with Forms and Controls
Web Client and Web Forms
Programming with Servoy Objects and JavaScript
Database Connections (DBFs and Relational Databases)
Working with Data and Relations
Object-oriented, Object-based, and Event-driven Programming
Working with VFP COM Objects
Extensibility (Plugins and JavaBeans)
Data-Driven UI and Programming
Mobile Devices
Debugging
Reports
Security
Internationalization/Localization
Team Development and Versioning
Deployment
VFP to Servoy Conversion Tools
Servoy Version 6 Preview
Resources, Community, Q&A



Registration is for both access to the live online webinar event as well as the on-demand recorded video after the event (participating in the live webinar is optional).

Registering after the event starts provides access to the recorded video only (within 24 hours after registration) and not the live webinar event.

Register ($99US – PayPal or credit card via PayPal):

PayPal



For organizing private and custom Servoy training or mentoring (remote or on-site), contact me directly.

More information and resources on Servoy for Visual FoxPro developers including a link to the free full featured Servoy Community Edition download, visit http://servoy.com/foxpro.

Launch of ServoyCast Podcast Show

I’ve decided it’s time to start a new podcast show called ServoyCast for the Servoy community. I’ve spent over two years and 100 episodes co-hosting and producing the CodeCast podcast show for CODE Magazine, the late night show for .NET developers.

ServoyCast will include Servoy community and ecosystem related conversations of interest to existing and potential developers and decision makers. You can listen to the shows online, subscribe via RSS or the iTunes link, or download the MP3 for each episode manually.

ServoyCast is currently hosted at on screencast.com, and you can subscribe using the RSS or iTunes feed. ServoyCast is also listed in iTunes Preview.

I have plans for several ServoyCast episodes per month. Below is a list of the first 3 episodes:

ServoyCast_001 – Servoy Development with Scott Butler
Scott Butler (servoyguy.com) of itechprofessionals.com and servoyu.com discusses his 7+ year history working with Servoy, consulting, ServoyU, Servoy 6 alpha, ServoyWorld, plus web and mobile development with Servoy.
Duration: 29:52

ServoyCast_002 – FmPro Migrator with David Simpson
David Simpson of fmpromigrator.com/servoy discusses the FmPro Migrator product and how the product and services combined offer conversion of forms, data, and much more to Servoy from various development platforms such as FileMaker, Access, and Visual FoxPro.
Duration: 41:33

ServoyCast_003 – VFP ERP App to Servoy with Jeroen de Vries
Jeroen de Vries of softwear.nl discusses his experience in successfully moving from Visual FoxPro to Servoy for an ERP application for the fashion industry, with the VFP app running side-by-side of the during development with Servoy. Jeroen talks about how Servoy can be considered like an evolution of VFP, experiences of a VFP developer learning and using Servoy, and how the Servoy community includes many of the same passion as the FoxPro community.
Duration: 38:26

CodeCast Episodes 1 – 102

Since the launch of the CodeCast podcast (the late night show for .NET developers) in October 2008 at PDC, I’ve co-hosted (with Markus Egger and Gary Short) and edited/produced 102 shows. CodeCast is associated by CODE Magazine (EPS Software).

Website: http://codemag.com/codecast
Twitter: @CodeCast

CodeCast Episodes 1 – 102:

#

Episode

102

Surface 2.0 with Dr. Neil Roodyn

101

History of Microsoft with Stuart Johnston

100

2010 Year in Review

99

Workflow 4 and AppFabric with Maurice de Beijer

98

Technical Resources for .NET Developers

97

Microsoft Tag with Didier Caron

96

Cloud Computing with Remi Caron

95

LightSwitch Scenarios with Beth Massi

94

PDC 2010 Summary – Silverlight, Azure, Async for C#/VB

93

Xamalot.com – Free XAML Resources for WPF and Silverlight

92

Windows Live Essentials 2011 with Kip Kniskern of LiveSide.net

91

Servoy Development Suite with Sean Devlin

90

Surface and Multi-Touch UI with Dr. Neil Roodyn

89

Windows 7 Development with Ritscher and Wildermuth

88

LightSwitch for .NET Developers with Jay Schmelzer

87

PostSharp for VS with Gael Fraiteur

86

News on Mobile Devices, WebMatrix and Razor

85

Cool Apps, Utilities, and Tips for Windows, Mac, and iOS

84

IronPython 2.6.1 for VS 2010 with Jimmy Schementi

83

10 Years of CODE Magazine with Markus Egger and Rod Paddock

82

INETA.org with Mike Vincent

81

CodeRush for VS 2010 with Gary Short

80

VS 2010 and Office 2010 Development with Beth Massi

79

VS 2010 Shell Products with Nathan Halstead

78

iPad for Developers, iPhone OS 4

77

State of .NET – Spring 2010

76

PowerShell for Developers with Ed Wilson

75

Visual Studio Tips with Zain Naboulsi

74

MIX10 News on WinPhone7, Silverlight 4, and IE 9

73

F# with Michael Hale

72

VS 2010 Start Page Customization with Adrian Collier

71

Microsoft MVP Summit and Windows Phone 7 Series

70

Code Camp with Chris Kinsman and Walt Ritscher

69

Virtual Brown Bag Meetings with Claudio Lassala

68

Convention over Configuration, AOP with JB

67

VS 2010 IDE Shell with Weston Hutchins

66

SOLID with Claudio Lassala

65

iPad, Tablet/Slate/Netbook PCs, Kindle

64

MSBuild with Chuck England

63

2009 Year in Review

62

GiveCamp with Chris Koenig

61

RIA Services with Silverlight and more

60

Visual Studio 2010 editor with Chris Granger

59

VS 2010 SDK and Extension Manager with Quan To

58

msdn.com content and strategy with Kerby Kuykendall

57

Expression for WPF and Silverlight

56

Videos on msdn.com with Jeremy Kelley

55

TechEd Europe 2009 Review and Silverlight 4

54

PDC 2009 Review

53

UML, VS 2010, .NET 4.0 with Kevin McNeish

52

Windows 7 for Developers

51

Software Project Management with Mike Yeager

50

Visual Studio 2010 Beta 2 with Doug Seven

49

Using Code Templates and Refactoring with Visual Studio

48

iPhone Development for .NET Developers

47

WPF and Silverlight with Walt Ritscher

46

Upcoming Microsoft PDC

45

Development Constraints with CSS, HTML, HTML 5

44

Virtualization with Brain Randell

43

Real-time vs. Cached Search, CODE in Kindle Format

42

Project Complexity, Snow Leopard, CODE Mag on Kindle

41

Windows Live and Live Services with James Senior

40

Developer Methodologies, Windows Live, and Tech News

39

CodePlex with Sara Ford

38

Windows 7 for Devs, Digital Software Purchases

37

ASP.NET MVC with guest Rick Strahl

36

Chrome OS, eBooks with guest Rick Strahl

35

TechEd Aus/NZ and Field Evangelists with Andrew Coates

34

Surface, Win7 Multi-Touch, iPhone SDK with Dr. Neil Roodyn

33

Silverlight 3 and Expression Blend

32

Roadmap for VB, C#, and F# with Luca Bolognese

31

Google Wave, Apple, Bing.com with Ken Levy and Gary Short

30

CodeRush Xpress with Gary Short

29

Dynamic Language Features in C# 4.0 with Alexandru Ghiondea

28

Adding Features to C# and VB Compilers with Sam Ng

27

Extensible Start Page in Visual Studio 2010 with Noah Coad

26

IronRuby with Jimmy Schementi

25

Advanced .NET Programming with Eric Lippert

24

MDSN Forums and msdn.com with Jeremy Kelley

23

VS 2010 Extension Manager and Visual Studio Gallery

22

F# with Chris Smith

21

.NET, Java, Oracle-Sun, New IT Cold War with Ted Neward

20

Biz Apps Team and VB with Beth Massi

19

Windows Mobile Dev Community with Constanze Roman

18

IronPython and Dynamic Languages with Harry Pierson

17

Visual Basic 2010 with Lisa Feigenbaum

16

MVPs and Connected Systems Community with Ed Hickey

15

Oslo and M with Paul Vick

14

Expression and MDSN Developer and Design Centers

13

IronPython and Dynamic Languages

12

Visual Basic and the VB Community

11

REST and jQuery

10

DevExpress – CodeRush, Refactor!, and DXCore

9

2008 Year in Review

8

Rod Paddock – Editor-In-Chief of CoDe Magazine

7

Twitter, F#, WPF, Surface

6

PEX, Twitter, AJAX

5

VSX, VSIP, Aggiorno, DBI-Tech Controls

4

State of .NET, IE8, ASP.NET MVC, and O’Reilly Media

3

PDC, C#, IE8, and Surface

2

Live from PDC 2008

1

The Pilot

Visual FoxPro Strategy at Microsoft

The purchase of Fox Software for $173 million in 1992 was very strategic for Microsoft, and was the biggest corporate purchase Microsoft had ever made up until that time. Borland had purchased Aston-Tate’s which included dBase III and IV, and had Paradox. And growing in popularity at the time was PowerBuilder as the king of client/server tools, with Sybase releasing PowerBuilder 12 last year ironically based on the free Visual Studio Shell runtime. Microsoft needed three things from the Fox Software deal – the Fox developer team, the Fox technology, and the customer market share of FoxPro/FoxBase. Microsoft was just starting work on Access and it was more targeting power users, but there was still some overlap. Visual Basic was still in its early days.

There was an estimated 500,000 FoxPro developers at the peak around 1995, and millions of computers with FoxPro apps running (either DOS or Windows based). It took almost 4 years, not until after VFP 5.0, for Microsoft to focus more strategy around VB and less for VFP. Basically, the VFP customer base and sales went from increasing to decreasing, as the saying goes in business: if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. In the initial years after the Fox Software merger, Microsoft put a huge effort and lots of resources into creating VFP 3.0. There were about 50 people on the Fox team with a big marketing budget. In the following years, both Access and VB grew in market share and also competed in ways with the VFP market (and messaging), and by the time VFP 5.0 was released, many upper managers wanted Microsoft to just end VFP there. In fact, they did for a short time. I was there, in a meeting with 40 people, and the formal announcement was made to the Fox team that VFP was dead. It was very early 1996, and that meeting lead to the Gartner Group releasing their report that VFP was dead, which had a major impact on future VFP sales. But the Fox team members along with the community helped convince the developer tools management to keep VFP evolving while decreasing the resources. In fact, the primary reason VFP lasted another decade with 4 more versions released was more about Windows sales than VFP sales. There are many Windows machines running VFP apps. When Steve Ballmer jumps around like monkey boy and yells "developers, developers, developers", he’s thinking about selling Windows and Office more than sales of developer tools.

For each new version of VFP like 6.0 and 7.0, there were less resources, team members, and marketing budget. When VFP was included the Visual Studio box, it was just a bundle, no integration. When the VFP community saw VFP running inside Visual Studio and the possibility of running on the .NET framework, they also learned that if VFP went that path, it would seriously break FoxPro code backward compatibility and the VFP IDE would be gone eventually. Microsoft never had a goal to work on both VFP stand-alone and VFP for .NET. Having a new VFP for .NET would just take away resources from evolving VB.NET and C#, make it harder to sell Visual Studio and the .NET framework, and not really result in anything useful since it would not run old VFP code as-is. Then after VFP 7.0, it was decided to keep VFP as a stand-alone product outside of the Visual Studio bundle, since it would not be part of the .NET platform. This made sense, and allowed VFP to ship on its own new version timeline. Each new version released, it was expected that was the last version. Nobody on the Fox team, not a single person, expected a version after VFP 8.0 released. Sales continued to decline annually, and so did the marketing budget.

The only way to grow/increase sales of VFP would have been to compete with Visual Studio and take away budget and resources from Visual Studio. In reality, the biggest competitor to VFP was Access, Visual Basic, and then Visual Studio (not Delphi or any non-Microsoft product). Most developer division marketing teams and management at Microsoft would have preferred Fox developers use Borland’s Delphi.NET rather than Microsoft VFP, since they would be building on the .NET platform rather than the old legacy COM. COM became the enemy, to move people away from it, just like HTML/JavaScript is a current enemy to the Microsoft platform today as well. For VFP 9.0, there were only about 10 people on the Fox team, and even so, VFP 9.0 was a better release than VFP 7.0 and VFP 8.0 according to the community. Soon after VFP 9.0 released, Microsoft decided to create an Xbase add-on to give away in order to maintain initial upgrade sales and an upbeat perception of VFP. The result was a plan for Sedna, a download of useful sample apps and utilities that focused on VFP interop with other Microsoft products (.NET, SQL Server, Office, Windows, etc.). The other reason for Sedna was to delay the announcement of the end of VFP in order to save sales of VFP 9.0 as well as to protect the Fox community and the job market for VFP developers.

In the final 5 years of Visual FoxPro at Microsoft, while I was the last Product Manager (marketing/ community) for VFP, the strategy was to market VFP to the existing community (mainly via upgrades), to do what was possible to keep the Fox community as strong, and to get VFP developers to adopt additional Microsoft products (.NET and SQL Server). In my role, I always viewed myself in 2 positions – one representing Microsoft as an employee, and the other as a FoxPro community member doing everything I could for Fox within the walls of Microsoft to evolve, save, promote, and help VFP and the community as much as possible. I spent nearly half of my time marketing VFP within Microsoft, at the Redmond headquarters and to the field offices, on messaging and keeping the VFP message positive/alive.

Management at Microsoft above the core Fox team were the decision makers for things related to VFP strategy. Nobody on the core Fox team had decision making ability around marketing budget or resources for the team, or what was done after each version shipped. There were a few key people on the team who, working together, probably extended the life of VFP an least one additional version and several years. I think the customer base loyalty was yet another factor in how long VFP was extended beyond 6.0. But by the time VFP 9.0 was released, the amount of sales for all versions of VFP combined annually was less revenue than Microsoft sales of Visual Studio in only one day. The cost to evolve VFP relative to the amount of money it generated (ROI) was far less than putting more resources into Visual Studio and .NET languages. Plus, some Fox team members were ready to move on or leave Microsoft, and it was nearly impossible to find qualified people to replace them. It helps to put this all into perspective if you think of Visual Studio as a competitive product to VFP, even though it was owned by the same company. Remember when Apple worked on both the Mac and the Lisa computers at the same time, only one survived. In the case of VFP, it survived an entire decade after it was essentially killed (by it no longer being strategic).

Microsoft will never release VFP source code into open source because, for Microsoft, there is no business reason to do so and a list of reasons not to. The request for Microsoft to make the Visual FoxPro code base open source is a common (and logical) one. Here is some insight to why Microsoft will never release Visual FoxPro source code into open source. There is technology in VFP, like Rushmore optimized indexing, that is used in other Microsoft products SQL Server and Access. It’s not the same/C++ codebase, but many techniques and algorithms originated from VFP. Microsoft considers this intellectual property, an asset Microsoft does not want to be released. But the two more significant reasons have nothing to do with the reason above. They have to do with business. While Microsoft is not focused on sales of VFP, it is focused on sales of Visual Studio and adoption of the overall Microsoft platform(stack of products and services). Releasing VFP into open source would result in less VFP developers using the current (modern) Microsoft platform of products, but may also result in someone or some company creating a competitive product against Microsoft. Microsoft would not want to see the code used to enhance a competitive product nor would they want to see a new product created that interferes with Visual Studio sales or .NET platform adoption.

On January 15th, 2010, VFP 9.0 standard support ended. While paid extended support will exist for 5 more years, I don’t expect any additional hotfixes or anything to be done for VFP, unless in the rare case it impacted VFP runtime on Windows 8 preventing customers with VFP based apps to upgrade to the latest version of Windows. Some suggest that Microsoft killed VFP before it should have, and another way to look at the behind the scenes history is to see that VFP lived many years and versions beyond what it was planned. While Microsoft could have done more for VFP, it just really couldn’t happen with Microsoft promoting and giving resources to Access, Visual Basic, and then Visual Studio at the same time. Only developers who have used FoxPro really appreciate it for what it was and still is.

Webinar video online: Servoy for VFP Developers

The Servoy webinar I presented on June 15th is now available to view on-demand or to download (MP4):

Servoy for Visual FoxPro Developers
Recorded Webinar: Ken Levy, former Visual FoxPro Product Manager, and Sean Devlin, Servoy Senior Technical Engineer, present this comprehensive 90 minute webinar with demonstrations and discussions on using Servoy for FoxPro developers. This webinar is demo-centric and focuses on how features common to Visual FoxPro applications are developed in Servoy, cool Servoy features not supported in Visual FoxPro, how Servoy works with DBF tables in existing FoxPro applications, and the benefits to FoxPro developers in adding Servoy expertise to their toolkit.

Servoy Screencasts by Ken Levy
View online or download Servoy screencasts by Ken Levy.
- Subscribe: RSS | iTunes

Information and resources about Servoy for VFP developers:http://servoy.com/foxpro

Webinar with Ken Levy: Servoy for Visual FoxPro Developers – June 15th

I frequently present the FoxPro community with ideas and techniques around new products and technologies that would be of interest to VFP developers. There are generally two types of product technologies that greatly interest developers with Visual FoxPro experience. First would be a product that integrates well with existing Visual FoxPro applications and data. The other is a product with features and technologies that allows Visual FoxPro developers to easily leverage their developer existing skill set and experience. A powerful data-centric developer platform, increasing in popularity annually over the past decade, which falls into both categories above is Servoy.

I’ve been learning and using Servoy, and the more I use it, the more I find it’s a powerful and fun developer tool to use building new smart client and web client apps connected to existing VFP DBF data, as well as for building new applications based on VFP programming experience. In working with various members of the Servoy team, both executives and technical engineers, I’ve found that Servoy is a very community oriented product with passionate users reminding me of the enthusiastic FoxPro community. The source of both these vibrant communities are based on the great product features in an actively evolving and growing product often based on direct customer feedback and suggestions.

Servoy is an application server, not a database server, which means it’s designed to be used with a wide variety of relational databases including ability to use DBF data as a data source. Servoy’s application server model allows developers to create very powerful multi-user and web-based application functionality with little or no coding while offering a very rich data-centric programming object model.

The fact that Servoy works great using existing VFP DBF (or other) data while providing many powerful rich and web clients primarily using the easy to use JavaScript dynamic programming language makes it a potentially powerful product for VFP developers to add to their skill set. The developer platform for Servoy is built on an open standards stack, while the Servoy developer tools have recently been added into open source.

The community edition of Servoy is free and includes all the full functionality of the Servoy developer platform and application server. Servoy is cross platform, and I currently have it installed on a Windows machine, a Windows based Virtual PC image, and also on my Mac OS. With a runtime based license model, as are many server based products, the cost of use is tied to the maximum number of unique concurrent users. And a new optional revenue sharing subscription model is offered which essentially allows businesses to create and deploy Servoy apps with no licensing costs at all. This opens the door for a low cost barrier of entry for VFP developers to either enhance existing VFP apps or create new apps that leverage the benefits from the modern (SaaS – Software as a Service) model.

The online webinar I will host tomorrow, along with Sean Devlin, Servoy Senior Technical Engineer, will be a comprehensive one-hour demonstration and discussion on using Servoy with existing Visual FoxPro applications and Servoy for FoxPro developers. This webinar will be demo-centric — focusing on how features common to Visual FoxPro applications are developed in Servoy; cool Servoy features not supported in Visual FoxPro; how Servoy works with DBF tables in existing FoxPro applications; and the benefits to FoxPro developers in adding Servoy expertise to their toolkit. A live interactive Q&A session will immediately follow the presentation.

In the webinar we will also discuss ideas, answer questions, and share knowledge on both technical and business scenarios offered to VFP developers evaluating Servoy. For additional information about Servoy for VFP developers and to view a recommended prerequisite screencast Servoy with Visual FoxPro – Introduction, visit the special http://servoy.com/foxpro page.

Register: Servoy for Visual FoxPro Developers
Live Webinar: June 15, 2010 11:00am PT

Various Servoy resources I’ve created are listed on my mashupx.com/servoy page (link on blog sidebar under the Pages section).

Rick Steves’ travel site, center, and podcast show: Redux

Note: This is an updated (redux) blog post from one similar I did on my old blog just over 3 years ago.

I’m a long time loyal customer of Rick Steve’s guidebooks and travel gear. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Europe 16 times over the past 13 years speaking at various developer conferences and events. If you plan to travel to Europe, check out the various books, maps, videos, train tickets, and travel gear that Rick Steves’ company offers. And if you ever visit Seattle and you are a European traveler, I highly recommend visiting Rick’s Steves Travel Center walk-in store in Edmonds, WA. Edmonds is about 15 miles north of downtown Seattle. Edmonds is a nice place to walk around, and it’s on the shore of the Puget Sound with a ferry dock, shops, restaurants, all walking distance to Rick Steves travel center.

A few months ago I was in Paris for a week, and while there I read Rick’s travel book on Paris via the Kindle eBook format on my iPhone via the free Kindle for iPhone app.

Last March, I attended one of Rick Steves’ presentations on Italy, a 2 hour session part of an all day event near his store in Edmonds, WA. The Rick Steves travel book on Italy is apparently the #1 selling European travel book in the U.S. There are now several Rick Steves iPhone apps available for the iPhone and iPod Touch via the iTunes App store. Search on Rick Steves at http://appshopper.com or in the iTunes App store for a listing and details. Later this month I go back to Europe for my 17th trip, this time back to Prague, Germany, and Austria.
 
In 2005, I blogged about the CIA World Factbook which contains great detailed information for any country you might visit. There are now many iPhone apps based on the CIA World Factbook data. I have the called World Facts installed on my iPhone. Back in 2004, I also blogged about 6 detailed posts while touring around in Europe in June 2004, including one entry that describes how I was in 5 countries within 9 hours by car. It was that series of blog posts in June of 2004 which got me started in blogging, now 5 years ago.

Two additional useful related articles I found back in 2005 are Rick Steves: Helping millions explore Europe and Europe: by train or by car?. One thing you won’t find many of on the roads in Europe are SUVs and large pick-up trucks, almost none. The price of gasoline is over twice as expensive in Europe as it is in the U.S.. The price of gas in Europe was around $6US back in June 2004 when I was in a car touring 2500miles (4000km) around Europe. I’m not sure what the price per liter is there now, probably a bit more.

Trains are a great way to get around Europe, and traveling by car allows you to stop and see many interesting non-tourist locations. The sightseeing and tourist type hot spots are usually fun and interesting, but the best part about European travel is socializing with people who live there. The train system in Europe is a great way to get around and to talk to people, both locals and other travelers.

Rick Steves has a podcast show and audio tours at http://ricksteves.com. Here is the RSS feed for the Rick Steves podcast show. There are now over 200 MP3 podcast shows already, not just about European travel but also about locations world-wide, wines, food, and sports in Europe. He as a great travel blog at http://www.ricksteves.com/blog/. As Rick Steves says at the end of all his Rick Steves’ Europe travel shows on TV, “happy travels”.

My interview with InternetNews.com about eBook Readers

Last week I was interviewed and quoted in an InternetNews.com article New Kindle a Billion-Dollar Baby? The interview was done just a few days before Amazon announced their new Kindle 2, to be priced the same as Kindle 1 at $359 for the February 24th launch.

Visual Studio Tips by Sara Ford

Sara Ford has her new Microsoft Visual Studio Tips book released this week. All of the proceeds for this book go to students at a school impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

I had pre-ordered by copy a while back and copies are arriving starting today, so I’ll get mine when I return home from PDC later this week. You can see from her PDC Day 0 blog post that they are selling the books starting.

Sara is a friend of mine who lives near me, and we meet for wing or burgers and beer at the Wing Dome in Kirkland about once a month.I met with her the night she completed writing her book, and last Friday night I met her just after she received the first copies. Here is a photo from that night, probably the first photo taken of her with the new book:

SaraFord1

CodeCast – The Late Night Show for .NET Developers

The first episode of the new CodeCast podcast has been released, at http://codemag.com/codecast/. This is a weekly podcast for CoDe Magazine. The RSS feed to subscribe is: http://feeds.feedburner.com/codemag/codecast

CodeCast tag line: The Late Night Show for .NET DevelopersCodeCastLogo1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m the primary CodeCast host, with co-hosts Markus Egger and Gary Short.

Each CodeCast show episode should be about 30 minutes even though this first one is about 44 minutes. The file download will typically be just under 100MB since it is recorded and in MP3 format at 320K bit rate for maximum voice and music quality, so it could be called CodeCast HD.

Update: Based on feedback, we are going to make the default podcast 128K which will keep the file size down to about 25MB-40MB. The result is not that much different when listening, especially the vocal audio only.

This episode introduces the podcast, the hosts, CoDe Magazine, as well as previews the PDC 2008 (Microsoft Professional Developer Conference) this week and several of the technologies expected to make an appearance at the event.

Twitter.com/KenLevy

I’ve been spending time with Twitter at http://twitter.com/KenLevy rather than blogging over the past month. While I will continue on Twitter, I have many things to blog about here and I’ll be posting more here starting today.

10 Reasons to attend VSX DevCon 2008

Next week, September 15-16, Microsoft will host the first developer conference for VSX (Visual Studio Extensibility) open for anyone to attend (in the past it was for Microsoft partners only). The event is also referred to as VSX DevCon 2008, web site for the event: http://msdn.com/vsx/conference.

I will be attending the event, hosted by the VSX Team, the great group of people I use to work with at Microsoft (see just a few of them on the VSX team profile page).

Here are 10 of many great reasons to attend the event if you can:

  1. The cost of registration for both full days of the event is only $100.
  2. Developers always like to hear two words: free food.  Registration includes two days of breakfast and lunch. There will also be food at the Monday evening event Ask the Experts & Partner / Publisher Fair social gathering (where there will be more free stuff and giveaways).
  3. All attendees receive free stuff including a free copy of the Wrox book Professional Visual Studio Extensibility, a $49.99 retail value (currently $31.49 via Amazon.com).
  4. Receive a copy (or a second copy) of the first edition of VSX CoDe Focus magazine, published late last year which is a full 76 page issue of CoDe magazine dedicated to the topic of VSX. While the contents of the magazine all are online in HTML and PDF download at http://www.code-magazine.com/focus/vsx/ and in WPF format in the free Xiine client application, it’s cool to get a printed copy if you don’t already have one.
  5. There will be several hundred in attendance at the event from around the world including developers who are VSX experts, some new to VSX, VSIP (Visual Studio Industry Partners) who create 3rd party products for Visual Studio, and many people from many Microsoft teams. Networking with others at the event will be worth the time aside from the great sessions, speakers, attendees, and Microsoft employees.
  6. The event includes an excellent list of speakers including some of the key architects of Visual Studio, key members of teams who work on the VS platform and ecosystem, as well as some of the top experts from the VSX developer community. Refer to the Speakers page for a complete list of speakers and bios.
  7. VSX DevCon 2008 also has amazing list of 24 VSX sessions of content over the two day event. See the detailed Sessions page for the specifics. The sessions are split into two tracks, intro and advanced. Refer to the Agenda page for the timeline details.
  8. Not only can you learn about how to extend Visual Studio, but there will be lots of information about the cool Visual Studio Gallery website at http://visualstudiogallery.com. The site currently has over 700 listings including many free applications for Visual Studio as well as a many 3rd party VS products. For more information about the VS Gallery website, check out Mike Yeager’s CoDe magazine article Extending Your Development Experience with Visual Studio Gallery.
  9. The keynote speaker is Rico Mariani who leads the team of architects in the VS division at Microsoft. Rico is an incredibly technical, educational, and entertaining presenter. Expect the keynote to include some information about the next version of Visual Studio (code named VS10, or Dev10 including other components like the .NET Framework) as a prelude to additional announcements at PDC next month. Important to VSX and the VS ecosystem is the future of extending Visual Studio within the VS roadmap plans at Microsoft.
  10. VSX is a growing community with an increasing job market demand. This means that those VS/.NET developers who learn how to extend Visual Studio using the VS SDK will open the door to an increase of opportunity in their own development work/company, possibly get a better or expanded job that includes VSX development, or as a consultant find new clients and raise rates based in the increasingly high demand for VSX developer expertise. For more information about VSX in general, check out Istvan Novak’s CoDe magazine article Visual Studio Platform and Extensibility.

MashupX, LLC – Ken Levy’s consulting services company

Even though I recently joined EPS Software (which is also the company that owns CoDe magazine and VFPConversion.com), the relationship is as a partnership through my company MashupX, LLC and not as a full-time employee at EPS.

I am the President and founder of MashupX, LLC, with EPS being one of my primary clients. MashupX will have some additional partnerships to announce in the near future, while some of my clients will not be disclosed on my site or blog due to confidentiality reasons.

MashupX specializes in consulting for community building around products and services, guerilla marketing techniques, multimedia creation, and software technology.

Ken Levy joins EPS Software Corp, VFPConversion.com, and CoDe Magazine

Just announced today is my MashupX, LLC company partnership with EPS Software. More details to follow soon on my blog here…

http://www.eps-software.com/PressReleases.aspx.

Ken Levy joins EPS Software Corp, VFPConversion.com, and CoDe Magazine

9/3/2008 12:00:00 AM

Houston, Texas, – September 3rd 2008 – For immediate release:
Ken Levy is joining EPS Software Corp. in the role of an Evangelist for several EPS brands. Ken is the founder of MashupX LLC, and through his new partnership with EPS, Ken will focus on EPS’ VFPConversion.com effort as well as CoDe Magazine (the leading independent magazine for .NET developers) and EPS’ custom software, mentoring, and consulting efforts around .NET and Microsoft server products. Ken is a renowned industry expert and was formerly at Microsoft driving community growth and evangelism for Visual FoxPro (VFP), Windows Live (developer platform), and Visual Studio Extensibility (VSX).

Ken’s role in VFPConversion.com focuses on educating companies with VFP applications as well as members of the VFP community who have an interest in utilizing other Microsoft products, such as Visual Studio, SQL Server, and/or the .NET Framework. Ken will represent VFPConversion.com at various events and interact with the VFPConversion community directly. Ken will also spearhead the development of the VFPConversion.com site and accelerate content development on that site. Due to his former role as Visual FoxPro Product Manager and Microsoft Community liaison, Ken has a very unique set of skills and knowledge which will now be available to the VFP community again.

For CoDe Magazine, Ken’s role includes the development of content ideas and concepts in particular for CoDe Focus Magazine as well as CoDe Online properties. In the past, Ken has been involved in CoDe Focus content development at Microsoft, as CoDe works very closely with various groups and departments at Microsoft. In his new role, Ken will be instrumental in ensuring a steady stream of high-quality content for .NET developers. His role also involves him in the currently ongoing re-engineering and re-envisioning efforts of CoDe online properties, which will make CoDe an even richer online destination for .Net developers.

Ken is also in charge of setting up a Seattle office for EPS Software Corp., which in addition to the aforementioned efforts will be used as a basis for EPS’ custom software, consulting, and mentoring efforts revolving around .NET development, including core Visual Studio/.NET development as well as development with Microsoft Server Products, such as SQL Server and SharePoint.

For more information, contact EPS at info@eps-software.com

About EPS Software Corp.
EPS Software Corp. is a multi-national corporation founded by renowned industry expert Markus Egger. EPS is headquartered in Houston, TX (USA), with offices in North America and Europe. EPS specializes on consulting, mentoring, and custom software development based on the Microsoft developer platform, including Visual Studio (.NET), SQL Server, and other Microsoft server products, such as SharePoint. EPS is well known for its involvement in various community efforts. EPS is involved not just in sponsorship and trade shows, but also in the organization of various special interest groups. Many EPS employees are well known presenters at events of all sizes around the globe. EPS employees have received more Microsoft MVP awards than employees of any other company. EPS is also the owner of brands such as CoDe Magazine, VFPConversion.com, Milos Solution Platform, and Xiine (among others). –
www.eps-software.com

About CoDe Magazine
CoDe Magazine is the leading independent .NET developer print and online publication. CoDe Magazine provides in-depth articles for professional .NET developers. CoDe Magazine has received numerous industry awards. In addition to the main publication (which is printed on a regular schedule), CoDe also publishes CoDe Focus Magazine, which is a series of special issues focusing on specific technologies in each issue. Furthermore, CoDe includes various online properties that can be found on the CoDe Magazine web site. –
www.code-magazine.com

About VFPConversion.com
VFPConversion.com is a community portal and service offering for current or former Visual FoxPro (VFP) developers with an interest in adopting newer Microsoft technologies such as Visual Studio, .NET, and/or Microsoft SQL Server. The VFPConversion.com web site offers a wealth of free information such as articles and blogs. In addition, the VFPConversion.com team can assist developers in assessing their current VFP applications and in converting them to, or enhancing them with the aforementioned new technologies. –
www.VFPConversion.com

Twitter.com/KenLevy

I’ve been using Twitter for a few weeks now, working on getting more active with tweet posts. http://Twitter.com/KenLevy.

I’ve been using the Twitter.com web page for reading and posting on my Blackjack II Windows Mobile based phone, and I use the Twitterific Premium application on my iPhone. While I have the Windows based Twhirl application installed on my computer, I find I generally just use the Twitter.com home page signed in when reading and posting from my PC.

Stephen L. Nelson, a leader in the CPA community

In late July when I was doing research online for creating my new MashupX company as an LLC in the state of Washington, I found a great resource online by author and CPA and MBA Stephen L. Nelson, at his website: http://www.stephenlnelson.com/.

Stephen is the author of QuickBooks for Dummies, Quicken for Dummies, and Excel for Dummies, and has sold around a half a million books worldwide over the past years (just click on Books on his web site to see a list of some of his publications).

One of the great resources on his website is a Do-it-yourself LLC Formation for all Fifty States eBook offering. I ended up buying the eBook version for the state of Washington, the premium version (PDF and Word files) for $49. While I could have stepped through and eBook and created my own LLC online, I realized that Stephen’s office is in Redmond, WA and only about 4 miles from where I live in Kirkland. I had some questions about various company formation options as well as questions preparing general accounting and taxes, so I setup an hour with him a few days later. It cost $235 for the hour with him, and I not only left with every one of my questions answered with additional great advise, I also left with my application all filled in online for applying for the new LLC. The next afternoon, I received a confirmation email from the office of the Secretary of State in Washington approving and confirming the formation of my LLC. I then had to register my new business which was easy with the included document in the LLC formation kit.

I also bought Stephen’s book called QuickBooks 2008 for Dummies (rated with 5 full stars on Amazon) in the Kindle eBook format since I recently bought a copy of QuickBooks 2008 Pro.

Stephen is the type of CPA who helps people as much as he can with his website content and books, and tries to focus on having clients who he can help the most. For example, he encouraged me to do as much as I can myself and then just hire a tax accountant for tax purposes. He said he would be best used for taxes if I were to ever convert my LLC into an S Corporation which requires more complex tax consulting.

Even if you are not located in the Seattle area or in the state of Washington, Stephen’s website has a ton of great resources for businesses, accounting, and taxes including a great FAQ page. If there was some type of MVP program for CPAs for contribution to the self employed business community, Stephen would get my nomination.

Back from vacation and getting MashupX, LLC started

For many this week is back to school. For me this week is back to work. After taking some time off and working on getting my new MashupX  company started as an LLC in the state of Washington, I’m back to start to be active on my blog here with some announcements and other blog topics I’ve been archiving to post.

Blog RSS feed here using FeedBurner

I just updated my blog’s RSS feed to use FeedBurner. So if you’ve already subscribed to my blog here, please delete the existing reader subscription and re-subscribe using an RSS feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/mashupx/klevy.

Update: The URL above goes to a FeedBurner page with various types of methods to subscribe. You can subscribe directly to RSS XML at http://feeds.feedburner.com/mashupx/klevy?format=xml.

Update: I’ve you’ve encountered any RSS XML errors from my blog here, it is due to some WordPress blog bug summarized in the WordPress forum post RSS Doesn’t Work – XML Parsing Error. It has to do with some WordPress plug-in files with extra spaces outside of the PHP code block definition. It appears I was able to fix it after making recommended in that forum thread.

Update: Thanks to a tip from Steven Black, I was able to auto-update the blog default RSS feed to auto redirect to the FeedBurner URL. This means there is no need to unsubscribe and re-subscribe as I indicated above. The information on how to do this with WordPress was at the blog post The right way to redirect a WordPress 2.0 feed through FeedBurner.

Update: I think this will be the final update on this, finally. I did have to install one more WordPress plug-in to get the auto RSS feed redirect working, the FeedSmith Plugin. The trick to get the blog source RSS feed to always work properly was to remove one blank line from the Yahoo plug-in for WordPress called Customizable Permalinks. it took several hours to track down this tiny bug, but in the process I learned a lot about the folder/file structure and architecture of the open source WordPress application.