2008 ScheduleSchedule

We're always looking for speakers to present topics at our meetings. If you'd like to present a topic, please send us an email describing the topic you'd like to present and whether you have a specific date in mind. We appreciate all presenters -- professional and amateur. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a new career path for you!

Click here to submit a topic.

Comments or suggestions are welcome.

Date Topics Presented By

Annual Elections

Currently held positions

  • President: Cathy Pountney is stepping down ... will really be missed.
  • Vice President: Jody Meyer
  • Secretary: Cathy Pountney is stepping down ... will really be missed.
  • Treasurer: Mike Potjer
  • Webmaster: Jody Meyer

Reading/writing Excel 2007 (and earlier) files without using automation

Mike will demonstrate how Excel 2007 (and earlier) spreadsheets can be read from and written to using the Microsoft Excel ODBC drivers.  The primary advantage to this technique is that the user is not required to have any version of Excel installed on their PC.  The older version of the ODBC driver, which supports Excel 2003 and earlier, is included with all versions of Windows going back to Windows 98.  The newer ODBC driver, which supports all version of Excel through 2007, is installed with Office 2007, and is also available as a free download from the Microsoft Download Center.  Using the ODBC drivers can provide functionality similar to VFP’s COPY TO and APPEND FROM commands, but with the added ability to retrieve the list of worksheet names, as well as creating or writing to a worksheet with a name you specify.  Since the ODBC drivers treat worksheets as tables, rows as records, and columns as fields, this dovetails nicely with VFP’s powerful data handling capabilities.



Mike Potjer


Southwest Fox 2008 in Review by Jody Meyer and anyone else that attended


Mike Potjer will present: Objects and data session scope

Jody Meyer


Mike Potjer

Customizing Your Vertical Market Application

Presenter: Cathy Pountney
Level: Beginner


Writing a vertical market application can be very rewarding. You write one application, sell it numerous times, and sit back while the money rolls in. Well, that's the theory anyway. The reality is that often times, new clients want to buy your software, as long as you can change this one little thing. Managing custom code for various clients within your application can easily turn into a nightmare as your client base expands. This session shows you how to implement a customization methodology in your vertical market application that keeps your standard code independent from your custom code, yet have the two code bases play nice together.

You will learn:

  • How to provide custom menu options
  • How to implement companion tables for storing additional data
  • How to customize existing forms and controls
  • How to implement new forms and controls
  • How to implement custom reports
Cathy Pountney

Extending the Sedna Data Explorer

Presenter: Rick Schummer
Level: Intermediate


The enhanced Data Explorer shipped with Sedna has improvements to help VFP developers be more productive with data of all types (VFP or backend SQL). This session will show you numerous ideas to extend this powerful tool and inspire add-ons you can share with the Fox Community. During the session Rick demonstrates and walks through several extensions he has written to help make his life inside the VFP IDE easier when it comes to working with data.

You will learn:

  • What is new in the Sedna version
  • How to leverage existing extensions
  • How to alter behavior of the drag and drop features
  • How to write add-ons to the Run Query dialog
  • How to extend the functionality of the Data Explorer by adding features to the menu

Suggested prerequisites: Familiarity with the Data Explorer in VFP 9

Rick Schummer
08/08 Summer Vacation - No meeting  
07/08 Summer Vacation - No meeting  

Special Event: The Andy & Marcia Show!

...and if you attend....We have swag and we’ll be giving it away at the Andy & Marcia Show. TechSmith has graciously given us a bunch of stuff including a full blown copy of the SnagIt and Camtasia Studio Bundle. This bundle retails for $319.00 so it’s a steal when you consider the low cost of this training session! 

GRAFUG is proud to announce that Andy Kramek and Marcia Akins will be coming to Grand Rapids for a special all-day GRAFUG meeting. Space is limited so please reserve your spot now to ensure you’re part of this great event. Andy and Marcia will be presenting five different topics that have been presented at numerous FoxPro conferences around the world. This is your chance to learn from this wonderful team without having to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to attend a conference.

Time: 9:30 am – 4:30 pm

Cost: $10 for GRAFUG members, $40 for non-members

               (Price includes beverages, snacks, and lunch)

Space is limited so please RSVP to Cathy Pountney (cathy@frontier2000.com) by March 31, 2007


Implementing Design Patterns in Visual FoxPro, Part 1  Design patterns offer a standard language for recognizing, defining and describing solutions to software problems. A knowledge of design patterns makes it easier to understand existing systems and to describe requirements for complex new systems. However it is important to recognize that Design Patterns are not, themselves, the actual solutions to specific problems. They are simply ways of identifying problems and describing generic solutions that have been proven to work. The actual implementation of a design pattern is still the job of the application developer.

Implementing Design Patterns in Visual FoxPro, Part 2  The first session in this series concentrated on the basic patterns that underpin the most common aspects of software design and covered a few key patterns. More generally, Design Patterns can be classified into four main groups, Structural, Creational, Behavioral and Architectural. In this session Andy takes examples from each group and shows how they can be implemented in VFP to solve some of the more complex problems that confront all developers.

The 26 Hour Day  It has often been said that good programmers are lazy. It’s not so much a question of being lazy, but more a question of making the most of your available time. Any tool that helps you to automate the trivial repetitive tasks that go along with the brain work of programming gives you more time to be really productive on the complex portions of your application.

Little things mean a lot. Any tool that saves you 30 seconds on a each task that you repeat several dozen times a day can add up quickly. Saving 30 seconds, 240 times a day effectively adds 2 hours of time to be productive to your day

Using ActiveX Controls  ActiveX controls have been around for quite a while now, and are quite widely used by developers working in other languages. However, they have never been really popular among FoxPro developers. This is a shame because there are some very good ActiveX controls available, completely free, that provide useful functionality with little or no effort. In VFP 9 SP2, DBI-tech has generously provided 8 more free activeX controls with a fresh new modern look. In this session, Marcia shows you how you can leverage some of these controls to extend your Visual FoxPro applications.

Event Handling in Visual FoxPro  VFP 7 gave us the ability to implement interfaces. This, together with the EVENTHANDLER() function, allowed us to run our VFP code when events fired in automation servers. Successive versions of Visual FoxPro have extended the capabilities of developers to interact directly with the product culminating, in Version 8.0, with the introduction of the BINDEVENT() function which gives direct access the VFP Event Model. Version 9.0 has exposed even more of Visual FoxPro’s event model and allows even greater control and interaction. In this session Marcia shows how you can put the event handling capabilities of VFP to use in your applications.

Andy Kramek and Marcia Atkins

Collection Iteration and Arrays


Visual FoxPro has great support for collections. Virtually all of the objects that can contain other objects have a native objects collection that can easily be traversed to access their members. Object collections provide a great access point for performing the same or similar actions on groups of objects. They also provide the means necessary to locate and act upon objects in a loosely coupled fashion. In this session Mike will introduce some utility functions and classes that:


1.       make it easy to dynamically create and act upon collections, 

2.       dramatically reduce the amount of redundant code you write in dealing with collections,

3.       helps you to eliminate object dependencies and write code that is more adaptable and easier to maintain,

4.       eliminate drill down code


Visual FoxPro also has a wealth of functions for dealing with arrays, however; developers often write very redundant code when it comes to dealing with arrays. In this session Mike will also provide a set of utility functions and classes that streamline redundant array operations and add more power and flexibility to arrays.


Attendees will learn...

  1. How to easily access objects and groups of objects from anywhere within a containership hierarchy with a single line of code without drilling through the object hierarchy or writing error prone lengthy object references.

  2. How to perform operations on groups of objects that are not contained within a single container.

  3. How to make single line calls to convert an array to a string, merge 2 arrays, remove specific items from arrays, remove duplicates from arrays and more.

  4. How to create loosely coupled object references that won’t break when controls are moved or even renamed.

Mike Feltman

PLEASE NOTE:  Meeting Location is at MAGI. 

Presentation on VFP 9 SP2, also part of an application, and maybe something on Advantage Database Server .... aka Fuzzy Topics

Rick Schummer 

PLEASE NOTE:  Meeting Location is at MAGI. 

Personalizing VFP Applications by Jay van Santen

Personalizing applications can be a challenge. If multiple customers use an application, it is important for the developer to maintain application and custom code as separate code bases. The presentation will illustrate different mechanisms for doing so, with multiple examples of increasing sophistication. Jay will provide code samples in this interactive session. This will be a fun opportunity to explore object oriented design and may provide a useful tool in your programming toolbox.
Jay van Santen has been a Fox developer for the past 18 years. He has developed his own applications and worked on a number of major vertical market applications at corporations based in Indianapolis. He is past president of the Indianapolis FoxPro SIG. In the literary world, he was a contributing author to VFP 3.0 Special Edition published by Que. Currently, he is consulting with manufacturing companies on ERP technology.  A new business venture -- a web enterprise -- will launch in 2008.

Jay van Santen

Jody Meyer, System Engineer for MAGI will be demonstrating their WinMAGI software.

Who is MAGI?

MAGI develops and supports high quality ERP business solutions for small to mid-sized manufacturers. MAGI has been developing software solutions since 1985 and has installations worldwide.

Our premier product, WinMAGI, is a world class manufacturing ERP system for small to mid-sized manufacturers.  It blends solid accounting and manufacturing practices in an easy to use and implement package.  Subjected to continuous critiquing and improvement, it is used in industries as diverse as consumer products, aerospace & defense, hazardous chemicals, food and beverage, furniture, computer imaging, plastic molding, electronics, automotive components, fishing tackle and others.  WinMAGI is used by small startup companies and divisions of Fortune 100 multi-national organizations.

Jody will show you a little on how the system was put together.  This application allows our customers to modify their on data dictionary, grid views, change process out put, etc. It is extremely flexible. Want to add a new menu option? WinMAGI will allow you to do it. Want to add a new report? WinMAGI will allow you to do it. MAGI is getting updated? WinMAGI will not blow away your customization.

Jody Meyer
01/12/08 Review Survey Results Everyone

Return to Schedule