SUMMARY: Foxbase to dbase upgrade issues

From: Charlie Mengel - LGI (
Date: Sat Aug 07 1993 - 15:22:02 CDT

Hello Folks --

I have received a few responses to my earlier posting concerning my planned
upgrade of some systems and the problems I faced with the soon-to-be
discontinued Foxbase for Sun by SCO.

THE BOTTOM LINE: dbase IV for Sun is NOT a direct replacement for Foxbase for
                 Sun. However, there are users out there who use Foxbase 2.1.1
                 in the 4.1.3 and the 2.x environment. While I could simply
                 reword the response from Alan Mintz, I won't because he
                 describes the answer completely and accurately. It is:


My god! Another Foxbase+/Sun user? I was beginning to think I was completely
alone! To answer your original question, which SCO didn't, it works fine
on 4.1.3, and Solaris 2.x. The only thing SunView is used for is to
create a fixed size 25*80 window in which to run it. Of course, on 4.1.3,
with only half-":" SunView support, you can't put anything else in front
of the window once it's up, and you can't min/max it. To solve the
problem, I simply created a shelltool of the proper size and had it auto-
matically run the binary. This works fine. I've included my
mods to the supplied "foxplus" script at the end of my response.

> I called Borland to see if dbase IV could be a direct replacement so that
> changes would not be needed to present applications written for Foxbase.
> They said yes, but with certain qualifications. I feel more than a little
> uncomfortable relying on sales promises (the person who answered the phone
> didn't know Sun was a unix box :^{ ); I have really no time to play around
> with any issues of incompatability - the upgrade starts in 2 weeks.

In a word, "bull". The syntax and abilities of dBase IV are different enough
to require some conversion. A-T, before they were bought out, sold a
product called StepIVWard (step forward) that brings Clipper, Fox, III code
up to IV code. The version I have was written for IV 1.0, and doesn't
deal with a couple instances, notably filtered indices, which I think
are in 1.1.

The script to replace the "foxbase" startup script is:
# Front-end to
# Handles multiple arguments
# 9/12/89: modified for hardware, software scrolling options
# If Fox has been installed on a non-root filesystem
# then the FOXDIR variable should be changed to reflect
# this fact.
#trap "" 4
FOXDIR=${FOXDIR-/usr/lib/foxplus} ; export FOXDIR

case "$1" in
 -W*) labels="$1 $2 $3 $4"
      shift ; shift ; shift ; shift
 *) labels="-Wl Foxbase+ -WL Foxbase+" ;;

#set the defaults by looking at the arch
#set your archetecture defaults here
case $ARCH in

#if options are chosen overide the defaults
case $1 in
        -S | -s | -H | -h)

        exec shelltool -I "$FOXDIR/ $CONS $* " -Wp 122 61 -Ws 912 469 -WP 601 3 +Wi -font courier-bold18 $labels
         exec $FOXDIR/ $term $*

I have altered it to appear in a nice large readable font, but you can change
the -W params to suit your taste. The important thing is that it end up
being EXACTLY 25x80 in whatever font you choose. Also, if you call the script
line with "-Wl xxxx -WL xxxx" as the first four params, they will be passed
to the shelltool as labels for the window, otherwise "Foxbase+" is used.
The only thing I haven't been able to figure out how to do is to get the
shelltool to die after you quit Fox+. It's probably something obvious, but
I can't seem to figure it out :-(

Thanks also to Kurt Sauter who reported that foxbase + is a superset of
dbase III+, and dbase IV is a superset of dbase III+ as well.

"MOST THINGS are compatible between the languages but
not all. My experience shows that most dbase code
will run under foxbase + but not all foxbase + will
run under dbase. Anyway I currently have dBASE IV for unix installed
in a 300 + users sun network environment. dBase
has had some minor problems but on the average it
works ok. I am not thrilled how it handles mult user
code though as I have had bigger problems with
file/record locking."


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:08:05 CDT