In March of 2007, Microsoft made an announcement that they would be discontinuing the product Visual FoxPro®. Mainstream service for VFP then ended in January of 2010, but Microsoft offered an extended paid support option that is available until January 13, 2015. When this support is discontinued it will mean that there will be no paid support or security updates. Development teams will be operating on their own without any assistance from Microsoft.
Microsoft released a statement saying, “Customers are highly encouraged to move to a supported product as soon as possible.”
The VFP software will still be operational, but a business analysis needs to be made - can your business successfully operate if your VFP database crashes?
Operating With an Outdated Server
There are also other concerns that need to be taken into account if you are still operating on a FoxPro server or any other out-of-date server. The first consideration, and most important, is diminished security. Data security has become a hot button issue, and an outdated server may not be able to meet updated industry security and data protection requirements.
Another problem will be running required Windows updates which can easily disrupt an old VFP system causing it to be immediately disabled with no available fixes. Additionally, decreasing in house personnel resources for VFP have already become a huge issue. Developers want to stay current with technology, and there are very few skilled developers remaining who are able or willing to maintain the outdated system. This problem will only get worse when all support is dropped.
2015 is quickly approaching, and companies who are still operating on a FoxPro server need to make changes now to ensure they are functioning on a supported server by 2015. This will include purchasing a new server, implementing it and going live within the next year. This is not a short term project.
Below is a timeline of the final releases and service deadline’s for Microsoft’s Visual FoxPro.
- December 17, 2004: Visual FoxPro 9 was released
- March 2007: Microsoft announced there would be no Visual FoxPro 10
- December 8, 2005, October 11, 2007, January 25, 2008, April 3, 2009: Final fixes and updates were released for VFP 9
- January 12, 2010: Mainstream support from Microsoft is discontinued
- January 13, 2015: All extended support and security updates are discontinued