2010 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!

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Date Topics Presented By
Annual Elections - 2009 elected positions were:

President: Jody Meyer

Vice President: Cathy Pountney

Secretary: Mike Timpe

Treasurer: Mike Potjer

Webmaster: Jody Meyer

Also, Discussed: Budget / What's Next?

Cursor Adaptors & PEM Editor
MVPCathy Pountney
Open Spaces:
  • Share a cool tool
  • Show us your app
  • Bring a topic you want to discuss
  • Have an idea or challenge to ponder?

Love these sessions. This is an awesome group of people. We always walk away with some great ideas and new found knowledge!


1) VFP and MySQL: Case Study for Remote Data

For many years Visual FoxPro developers have found backend databases to be a compelling alternative to the DBF data store. There are many good reasons to move to a backend database. The business model of distributed locations and facilities is not uncommon. Because of the way Visual FoxPro caches tables and indexes, DBF data does not scale well over the WAN, pushing people to a backend data store. Another business concern is the security of the DBF files and easy access to anyone with network/workstation access to the folder where they are stored. Businesses cannot afford to have their competitive advantage walk out the door on a thumb drive. Then there is the ever unpopular technical limitation of the two gigabyte table size limit.

There are lots of good reasons you or your customer might want to migrate to a server-based backend database.

Visual FoxPro is very flexible in working with backend data. In fact, even though Visual FoxPro has a long history deeply seeded with the DBF standard, the development environment and the language is really data store agnostic.

In this session, you'll see how you can leverage MySQL (or for that matter, any backend data) to have data sit on a server (Web, file, or data), and have a Web application and a VFP desktop application both access the same database. The demonstrations will be performed on a live application developed as a prototype for two production applications created for actual customers that fit this model. The session is filled with real world experience and the wisdom shared should give developers a huge head start if they are just getting started with remote data, and some things to consider even if you have experience working with backend databases.

You will learn:

  • Fundamentals of working with MySQL and other backend databases
  • Pros and cons to different access techniques to remote data (remote views, cursoradapters, SQL passthrough)
  • Performance vs. ease of use vs. flexibility considerations approaching backend data
  • Simple model for architecting a distributed application
  • Lessons learned in setting up a distributed application
  • Challenges to consider before you decide to make the jump to a backend database

2) Resume and Other Job Related Topics.

MVPRick Schummer

White Light Computing
Prefilling PDF Forms with Data Sending a Visual FoxPro report to a PDF file is a wonderful thing. It makes it easy to attach to emails and saves on paper. It's one of the green things to do. But, like always, customers want to take it a step further. They want to have their PDF forms prefilled with their data from their application. It makes sense too. It saves time, ensures accuracy and there is no need to print the PDF to fill it in. It's another green thing to do. Well, they can have that. I would like to show you how.
Jody Meyer
SQL Server Log Shipping in the Cloud - Log Shipping is an automated process that backs up a database and restores a standby copy on a secondary server. A key feature to Log Shipping is that it uses transaction log backups, which can be much smaller and faster than full backups, to keep the servers in synch. Frank will demonstrate how to implement Log Shipping using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2).

Creating Gadgets in Windows Vista & Windows 7 - Desktop Gadgets, such as clocks and weather controls, are those cool little mini-apps you can add to your Windows desktop. Ever want to create your own but figured they were probably too complicated? Paul will take us on a quick tour of what is involved in creating and deploying our own custom gadgets – you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to get started. We’ll build a real “business” gadget to show you what’s involved.
Frank Perez
Paul Mrozowski

both of
White Light Computing
No Meeting - Hope you have a wonderful summer.
How Craig Boyd Makes Me a Hero! (German DevCon) Craig Boyd is one of the most generous developers in the Fox Community. Over the years his blog has been the source of many posts where he flat out delivers some cool FLL file that extends the functionality of a VFP application, or straight VFP code with numerous benefits, and in turn makes me look like a hero to my customers.

Ever have a customer ask you to provide a feature where compressing a file is best handled with the ZIP format? Do you have users who want automated email and you are tired of battling Outlook security, but MAPI is the easiest way to get email through their email system? How about encrypting information in a table, or encrypting an entire file in your secure customer applications? Need to use FTP, SFTP, or other Web interactions to satisfy even the finickiest customer situations? Run up against the not-so-new Excel 2007 XLSX format and find it breaks your modules where previous versions of Excel worked fine? Ever wished for a smart grid that made it easier to develop data entry grids and made it so it is less painful to implement?

Yeah, me too.

This session is going to go through the best of the best of Craig's FLLs and other tools, show you how what they do, and how simple it is to look like a hero too.
  • How VFPCompression.FLL will make zipping files a snap
  • How email with attachments is simple thanks to VFPMapiEx.FLL
  • Why security of the data is trivial with the VFPEncryption.FLL
  • VFPConnection makes working with the Web as easy as cutting butter with a warm knife
  • How the grid can easily be extended without writing a ton of code thanks to GridExtras
  • How Excel 2007 introduced the XLSX file format and the Fox Team did not respond, but fortunately Craig did

Southwest Fox 2010 Mocking Your Customer (SWFox) In the past I have found that customers like to change their mind about what they want. This normally happens once they see the implemention of what they asked for during the first round of requirements discussion. Developers work hard to put together the user interface using the designers, but it is relatively expensive to the customer base if it gets thrown away. Sure there are times when we hit the nail on the head, but normally I find the real solution does not shine until the customer "spits on it."

Balsamiq Mockups is a designer that lets developers and non-developers alike build wireframes/mockups. These are blueprints for how the application user interface can look or work. Developers and users can sit down and flow through the application before hours of development are completed. Balsamiq Mockups facilitates the creation of the wireframes with lots of controls developers are using from the toolboxes provided in the native application designers.

You will learn:
  • What the benefits are when you wireframe with your users
  • How you can leverage customers and designers/artists to create mockups
  • How easy it is to create mockups
  • That wireframing actually leads to more business, and doesn't take away revenues from development
  • The different ways Balsamiq Mockups makes you a more agile developer/team
MVPRick Schummer

White Light Computing
Southwest Fox 2010 fxReports - Sharing Custom Report Features (SWFox) With the release of SP2, creating reports in VFP 9 became much more powerful. We now have the ability to create custom features that can be used over and over again on numerous reports. For example, would you like the ability to easily add a watermark to reports? How about the ability to dynamically reduce the font on long text so it fits within a narrow column? The possibilities are endless and no one developer can create them all. My new reporting framework and set of utilities allows each of us to create our own custom features as well as share them with the world and lets us all tap into the wealth of ability the FoxPro Community has to offer. This new project will become part of the FoxPro Community effort on VFPX (CodePlex). In this session, we'll walk through the entire concept from both sides. You'll learn how to use features developed by other developers, you'll learn how to create your own features, and you'll also learn how to share those features with other developers.

You will learn:
  • About the fxReports project VFPX (CodePlex)
  • How to implement custom report features created by other developers
  • How to develop your own custom report features
  • How to share your custom report features with other developers

Southwest Fox 2010 PEM Editor: An Absolute MUST HAVE in Your Development Toolkit (SWFox) The PEM Editor, available for free on VFPX, is a utility created by the collaborative efforts of several VFP Community members. Its early roots come from Doug Hennig and Marcia Akins as a replacement for a few VFP dialogs. Jim Nelson, with help from Doug Hennig, Matt Slay, Rick Schummer and many others, has since taken the project over and evolved this utility into a complete replacement for the Edit Property/Method dialog, the New Property dialog, the New Method dialog, the Properties window, and the Document View. Jim suffers from "Scope Creep" and continues to enhance this tool with mind-blowing features on an ongoing basis. Once you start using this utility, you'll find it invaluable. It's become one of my absolute MUST HAVES for my development toolbox.

In this session I'll start by showing you the basics of installing, using, and customizing the PEM Editor. Then we'll get into the cool stuff like copying properties and methods (including code) from one class into another. We'll look at all the listings available (code, parentage, and PEM descriptions.) We'll explore the Document TreeView feature which can run as part of the PEM Editor or as a stand-alone utility as well as the many plug-ins available. We'll also explore one of my favorite features; the new design-time event handlers and builders. With this feature you can put code in your classes and the PEM Editor can automatically fire that code at various times. For example, resize a container at design-time and objects inside the container can automatically resize too! Think of the possibilities! Drop a container on a form, resize it, and everything inside resizes without any additional design work! We'll also spend some time looking at the code behind the scenes to see how all of this magic was created.

Come see why I'm so passionate about this development tool. And knowing how many new features Jim keeps adding, I'm sure they'll be even more new features added between now and the start of Southwest Fox. Don't miss this session. Come see what all the buzz is about!

You will learn:
  • How to install and customize the PEM Editor to your preferences
  • How to use the basic features of the PEM Editor
  • How to use the bells and whistles in the PEM Editor
  • How to use the PEM Editor to implement design-time features in your classes
  • How the PEM Editor works under the hood
MVPCathy Pountney

Memorial Business Systems
Southwest Fox 2010 Web Development using CSS - 101 (SWFox) Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of your website? Cascading Style Sheets is one of the ways web developers create consistency and a positive user experience for those who visit. Jody will walk you through the basics of Cascading Style Sheets(CSS). Here you can define how your default attributes for your website should behave and look. She will show you how to link the HTML with CSS and create beautiful consistency throughout the website. Understanding the basics of website development and design will help you to be more productive and savvy for future enhancements.

You will learn:
  • What is XHTML/HTML and how to create a basic web page: basic HTML tags, creating tables, lists, formatting texts
  • What is CSS and how to create a CSS file and how it works with XHTML/HTML
  • How to use CSS and XHTML/HTML together so you can have one source for the content and one source for how the content is displayed
Jody Meyer

Memorial Business Systems

Meeting will be at Jody's home
Introduction to Regular Expressions This presentation provides an introduction to a powerful tool called "regular expressions". Regular expressions are available in many types of applications (e.g., editors, word processors and system tools), but their power is most fully exposed when used via a programming language.

In this session Dave will:
  • Introduce the concept of regular expressions
  • Expand upon the concept with some basic examples.
  • Explore a variety of regular expression pattern matching techniques.
  • Demonstrate a real-world example that is used to clean up names in a customer table.

Southwest Fox 2010Southwest Fox Review
Dave Hanna


Jody Meyer & other SWFox participants
No Meeting - Enjoy the time off. Happy Holidays!

* Meeting is not our normal 2nd Saturday - Please check your calendar
** Meeting is at Jody Meyer's Home in Coopersville

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