Thursday, September 30, 2004

Randy Brown - Keynote Demos

Randy - thanks for continuing to support the product (Visual FoxPro) and you really inspire us to make it better for you.
 
Extensibility
 
Great set of tools - Class Browser, Object Browser, Task Pane, Toolbox . Now expanded with the new Data Explorer (written by Ryan Katri).
This tool lets you browse through various remote servers directly in VFP. This can be run inside the Task Pane or on its own.
Persists access to the existing data sources that remembers the connections after Fox closes. The Data Explorer makes browsing data just like the Server Explorer in DotNet. To me, it feels like the Data tab in the project manager but now, it does it with remote servers (without the need to create views) - definitely a time saver if you work with remote data.
 
It also includes its own little Query tool so you can write SQL against remote servers and see the results. It also supports running and viewing, adding and editing stored procedures. Also provides access to SQL functions.
 
The DataExplorer also lets you read new data types found in SQL, like the new XML data type in SQL Server Express.
 
You can drag and drop support from the Data Explorer right onto programs. It will write out all the code required to connect to it.
 
CursorAdapter - new MapBinary property creates fields with the new Blob data type. This Blob type works back and forth with data directly. Running something like:
APPEND MEMO Media FROM GETFILE() and grabbing an image
The content of the memo field will be the binary
 
MemberData allows you to extend information about properties to your form. With MemberData, you can extend customizations about properties. By default, custom properties are lower case. But by opening the MemberData Editor, he was able to relabel it with a proper case, move it to the new Favorites tab. Memberdata is written as an XML. You can even specify your own Property editor, demonstrated with the new Anchor property.
 
The Anchor property lets you resize controls based on their relation to others. (no more resizing code - it's handled automatically). It runs from an Anchor Property Editor (written by Doug Hennig).
 
Demonstrated the new MENUCONTEXT that lets you replace any system menu. This is described in better detail in FoxPro Advisor's October 2004 issue. But as an example, you can actually re-define the new Property dialog and do even more.
 
No longer need to use a General or Image file. You can use the PictureBind property which will link directly to the binary blog data, as if it was a table.
 
More of a neat tool - Randy demonstrated his new Fox Media Player which played music, videos and more, using the new shape and PolyPoints capabilities to create its own "player effects". Not only a player, it actually took streamed video and added it to the Blog data and then displayed it directly, playing "cowbells" just for Ken.
 
Also showed the Rotating Labels property.

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