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Comparison of Databases:

Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Visual FoxPro


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SQL Server and Visual FoxPro are two databases presently support by Microsoft.  SQL Server was developed by Microsoft to be it High End Database for the Window’s environment while Visual FoxPro was purchase by Microsoft and was originally designed for the DOS operating system.


SQL Server is a robust all purpose database that can continue to expand as your company grows.  More users can be added by upgrading the hardware with recent benchmark test supporting up to 4,600 users[1],[2].


It allows for maximum security.  Your data is protected from unauthorized access by integrating network security with server security.  Since there is user level security, users can have restricted access to the data records thus protecting them from modification or retrieval by specifying user-level access privilege.  In addition, with the data stored on a separate server, the server acts as a gateway that limits unauthorized access. 


SQL Server processes requests from users and only sends to the user the results of the request.  Therefore, minimal information is transmitted over a network.  This improves response time and eliminates network bottlenecks.  This also allows SQL Server to be an ideal database for the Internet.


Maintenance is easy on SQL Server.  Both changes to the data structure and system back up are allowed while the server is active.

Maintenance is easy on SQL Server.  Both changes to the data structure and system back up are allowed while the server is active.

 The two main application development languages used to retrieve information from SQL Server are C++ and Visual Basic. These languages are part of Visual Studio.Net, Microsoft latest integrated development environment.  Purchasing an application developed with these products ensures that the software will be upgradeable and expandable in the future.


SQL Server is the database application of choice when working on  .Net, Microsoft’s newest development framework.  By selecting Microsoft SQL Sever as the database for company information, your application can expand and adapt as the business climate changes.


Visual FoxPro is an adequate database for small networks with the average number of user around 50.  FoxPro is a File-Server application that was introduced on the DOS operating system.  It originally was used on individual computers or in-house local area networks.  The data structure is simple to use, maintain, and security is minimal.  However, they do not have the security or expandability to be used in larger networks. 

Network security is all or nothing.  Once a user has access to the data, they can add, modify or delete information.  An application program the user is using can add more protection but if the user is able to by-pass, this, they then have complete access to do any changes desired.  If the data is stored on a local area network, a request from the user sends data to the user’s computer.  The request is then processed on the user system.  This causes many data blocks to be transmitted over the network causing slow network response and bottlenecks.


System Back-up and modification can only happen when the system is brought off-line.


The application language used with the FoxPro file-server is the Visual FoxPro development language.  Technically Visual FoxPro can be used to retrieve data from SQL Server.  Still, any application previously written for a FoxPro file-server would have to have large sections rewritten in order to optimize SQL Server data retrieval.  Since Visual FoxPro is not part of Visual Studio.Net this might not be the ideal language to choose for a rewrite.


Visual FoxPro is adequate on limited networks but cannot be expand to larger number of users.  Many experts predict that the long-term support by Microsoft for this aging system may be limited.

[1] PeopleSoft Financials Online Benchmark, SQL Server 7.0 Enterprise Edition and Windows 2000 Advanced Server on Compaq 

[1] http://www.microsoft.com/sql/




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For further information call:  (617)739-9925 
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