Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for SWFox 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! I've been out of town the last few days in California installing my software at a on-line university. This is the latest version of my software converted from VFP6 to VFP9 and using all views instead of a mix of tables and views. The trip was a success, but not without challenges.

I was told before I got there that their server setup was a terminal server. I was nervous about that, but after attending a session at SWFox on Thin Clients I was actually looking forward to giving that a try. I had also been told that their workstations were a mix of XP and Win7. Since I had attended a session on Win7 and VFP I knew there could be some issues. But, since they were using terminal server I wasn't too concerned and didn't create any installation files for the workstations.

Once I got on site in turns out they are not using terminal server; they are using just a file server with a LAN setup; call it a language problem as the IT guys are Koren and misused the term terminal server. Shucks, I really wanted to see how terminal server was going to work with my application. Now I needed to make an installation file for the workstations. I had an old installation file that was created with PC Install, but it was quite outdated. I knew that I really needed a new installation routine, but until recently I had no idea how I was going to create it.

At SWFox 2011 I was talking with Doug Hennig about the Win7 problems and he told me that he uses Inno to create his install files. I hadn't had a chance to look at it yet, but I figured that is what I would use. While I was in CA I downloaded Inno and spent the better part of a day playing with it. It turns out that many in the FoxPro community use this program and I was able to find several scripts on line to show me how to install all the files I needed for this installation. Monday night I created my install routine and then on Tuesday I installed. All worked very smoothly.

The real point of the post is that I'm thankful for SWFox. The past conference was very good for me. Going to the session on Win7 opened my eyes to potential problems installing on a Win7 machine. Then, having that conversation with Doug where I learned about Inno was very beneficial for me. I would say that those two things paid for the conference for me. There are still several other things I learned at this year's conference that I haven't even got to yet; so there are still dividends to come from attending the conference.

Thank you SWFox! And thank you to Rick Borup for posts I found on Inno scripts.

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