How can we replace FoxPro?

We know that FoxPro support from Microsoft will cease in 2015 so anyone whose business relies on a FoxPro database will have to give some thought to their business continuity plans. Our own business runs on Access databases for accounts and administration but FoxPro brings in a lot of our income so we too are having to think about the future.

We're looking at four options for ourselves and our clients over the next decade. Follow the links for more details or read the summary below.


There is a lot of overlap between these four strategies but in broad terms they might suit four different categories of user.

  • A small company where the FoxPro database is useful but not critical might decide to carry on using FoxPro and to face the problems of replacement in ten years time.
  • A site where there are two or three users who rely on the database for their day-to-day work might migrate to Access.
  • A company where there are many users working on a large FoxPro database might consider moving their data to SQL Server as a first move and then starting the development of a dotNet front end.
  • Any user who is using a stable FoxPro database and needs no immediate changes to their system should perhaps wait to see what 2008 brings.

One overriding piece of advice to any FoxPro users is that this change provides an opportunity to reconsider the design of your database. If you have to change the technology that you are using then you may find that there are new choices open to you. This may be because the database is an old one and there has been a lot of progress in computing, it may be because your circumstances have changed and you need some new features in your new database. Don't just blindly replace your existing system with an exact replica.

Other alternatives

I make no apology for concentrating on Microsoft solutions. There are other databases, both commercial and Open Source but if your system runs under Windows then the Microsoft solution is usually easier. It is possible to write an Open Source solution to work with tools such as Microsoft Office or some old VB COM interface components but development is much more difficult.