Thursday, November 30, 2006

Need to Diagram your FoxPro programs?

I just got a news release from a company in Finland touting the latest version of Visustin, a flowcharting program that reported to work with Visual FoxPro, among other languages. I was definitely curious and for good reason - one thing I always used to love about FoxDoc, that old venerable project documenting tool, was its flow diagram. (granted it was in ASCII but it was still useful)

Here's a screen shot of Visustin with a sample VFP program:


It's very cool and I can definitely see where it would be useful in figuring out new pieces or "inherited" pieces of code. The fact that it also helps diagram VB, C#, Java, T-SQL and other code as well, definitely should make it invaluable to anyone.

You can open a program or simply cut and paste code in the screen and hit Diagram and away it goes.

It even lets you export out to Visio, Word and Powerpoint - great for code reviews! A bulk flowchart program (disabled in the demo) looks like it would let you chart out a set of files and create images based on the charts.

In my few tests, it looked like it supported the standard VFP constructs including newer ones such as TRY...CATCH, etc.

But then there are the things that caught me up:

1. While it was able to scope out a 2800 line program, it took several minutes to do so. If you were working

2. I wish it had support for other VFP components such as VCX and SCX files or perhaps more importantly, project and menu files.

3. I wish it had an open API so I could write an Addin for it - that said, it does have a command line syntax so you could do one if you needed to.

There's a free demo that you can try. It's limited but does give you a good idea on how to use it.

Press release: Visustin v4 Automates Flowcharting and UML Diagramming


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