Visual FoxPro 9 IDE Enhancements
Visual FoxPro 9 includes a number of IDE enhancements that make its already rich development environment considerably richer.
Visual FoxPro 9 facilitates development in a client/server world with a new feature called the Data Explorer.
Every version of FoxPro has always included a number of enhancements to the IDE and Visual FoxPro 9 is no exception.
Fonts and Colors Everywhere
One major enhancement to the UI is the ability to configure fonts that are used in many designers and dialog boxes. Visual FoxPro 9 allows you to configure the font used to display items in the Project Manager. To change the font for your projects, right-click on your open project and select Font... from the shortcut menu. This activates the Windows Font dialog box, from which you can specify the font, style, and size you wish to use. Figure 1 shows the Visual FoxPro Project Manager with the Comic Sans font, 14pt, and Bold selected.
Figure 1. The Project Manager with the font set to Comic Sans.
Microsoft didn't stop with just the Project Manager, of course. You can also specify the display font for the Properties sheet. In previous versions of Visual FoxPro, you were limited to changing the font from small to medium or large. You now have full control over the font in the Properties sheet. You can right-click the Properties sheet and select Font... from the shortcut menu to activate the Windows Font dialog box just like you did with the Project Manager.
You can specify colors for ActiveX properties, non-default values, custom properties, and instance properties.
Another enhancement to the Properties sheet is the ability to specify the colors for different categories of properties. You can specify colors for ActiveX properties, non-default values, custom properties, and instance properties. To specify the colors for custom properties:
- Right click on the Properties sheet.
- Select Custom Properties Color... from the shortcut menu.
- Select the color from the Windows Color dialog box.
Figure 2 shows the Properties sheet with a custom property displayed in red.
Figure 2. The Properties sheet with the Custom Property color set to red.
Visual FoxPro 9 added one much-desired feature to its Class designer. You can now specify default values for custom properties added to your classes. To specify a default values for your custom property:
- Open your custom class from the Project Manager or type MODIFY CLASS in the Command window.
- Select Class then select New Property from the Visual FoxPro menu.
- Specify the name of your property.
- In the Default/Initial Value field, enter the new default value (as shown in Figure 3).
- Click Add.
Figure 3.Property Editor dialog box with the default value set to ADD,EDIT.
You should now see the new default value for your property in the Properties sheet (see Figure 4).
Figure 4.This Properties sheet shows the default value for the ceditmode property.
By: Rod Paddock
Rod Paddock is the editor of CoDe Magazine. Rod has been a software developer for more than 10 years and has worked with tools like Visual Studio .NET SQL Server, Visual Basic, Visual FoxPro, Delphi and numerous others.
Rod is president of Dash Point Software, Inc. Dash Point is an award winning software development firm that specializes in developing applications for small to large businesses. Dash Point has delivered applications for numerous corporations like: Six Flags, First Premier Bank, Intel, Microsoft and the US Coast Guard.
Rod is also VP of Development for SQL Server tools maker, Red Matrix Technologies. (www.redmatrix.com).
Visual FoxPro 9 has a number of IDE Changes that continue Visual FoxPro's trend of making developers more productive.