Chapter 1: Interactive Development Environment

Life has gotten easier for developers in each version of Visual FoxPro. VFP 8 is no exception. It brings improvements in window docking, adds IntelliSense to the Watch window, and more.

Chapter 2: The Toolbox

It seems every new version of Visual FoxPro introduces some new tools. VFP 8 brings three of them, all written in VFP itself. This chapter looks at the Toolbox, which provides a new way to access controls and much more.

Chapter 3: Code References

Among the cool new tools introduced in VFP 8 is Code References, which lets you search the files in a project or folder, provides replace capability, and much more.

Chapter 4: The Task Pane Manager

The last of VFP 8’s new tools, the Task Pane Manager, provides easy access to a number of common tasks. It also offers one-click connection to a variety of VFP resources.

Chapter 5: Better Tools

Along with a good selection of new tools (described in Chapters 2, 3 and 4), VFP 8 brings significant improvements to a couple of existing tools and small changes to many of the rest.

Chapter 6: Improved Data Access

There are several ways you can access non-VFP data (such as SQL Server or Oracle) in VFP applications: remote views, SQL Pass-Through, ADO, and XML. VFP 8 introduces an exciting new technology called CursorAdapter that makes accessing remote data much easier than it was in earlier versions.

Chapter 7: XML Classes

VFP 8 greatly improves upon the XML features added in VFP 7 by providing new base classes that can work with more types of XML and provide more control over XML input and output. The existing XML functions also have a few improvements.

Chapter 8: Other Data-Related Changes

The thing that sets VFP apart from every other Microsoft development tool is its built-in database engine. VFP 8 adds features to the engine developers have requested for years.

Chapter 9: OOP Enhancements

Visual FoxPro 8 introduces a variety of enhancements to the object-oriented portion of the language. Two key changes are the ability to specify the class to use within a number of container objects, and a new base class for collections. Many controls sport new properties as well.

Chapter 10: COM and Web Services Enhancements

While VFP can work well in a COM environment, there’s always room for improvement. Fortunately, VFP 8 provides additional capabilities to VFP COM servers and clients. It also greatly improves the ability to work with Web services.

Chapter 11: Event Binding

VFP 7 gave us the ability to bind our code to events of COM objects. VFP 8 goes a step farther, allowing us to bind code to events of VFP objects. In addition, this version gives us the ability to fire events.

Chapter 12: Error Handling

VFP 8 now has structured error handling. This powerful new feature provides a third layer of error handling and allows you to eliminate a lot of code related to passing and handling error information.

Chapter 13: Language Improvements

Visual FoxPro’s programming language is a hybrid of Xbase, SQL, OOP, and a variety of other components. Thanks to its long life, it’s a rich, full language. But there’s always room for improvement. Beyond the major enhancements described in other chapters, VFP 8 includes a variety of small changes in the language that make it easier to get the results you need.

Chapter 14: Bits and Pieces

This is the “what’s left over” chapter—it discusses changes in VFP 8 that don’t fit into a specific category.

Appendix: Setting up SQL Server 2000 XML Access

An add-on for SQL Server 2000 called SQLXML allows access to SQL Server over HTTP, with results returned as XML. This appendix describes how to set it up.