Welcome to the third Fox Focus issue!

As I write this (publishing deadlines being what they are) I've recently returned from a trip to Europe where I spoke at three different Visual FoxPro conferences in Germany, Amsterdam, and France. I showed off many of the new features coming in Sedna as well as a number of the enhancements being created by the community using the awesome extensibility built into VFP.

This special CODE Focus issue for Visual FoxPro covers many of the new features that I showed in detail, including things like My, Net4COM, the Upsizing Wizard and others. My presentation also covered some features that just didn't fit into this magazine-like DDEX. So I thought I'd take the opportunity to give one of my favorite features a quick overview.

DDEX is part of the Visual Studio Software Developer Kit (in other words, one of the ways of extending Visual Studio). It allows Visual Studio to “understand” a data source. Microsoft is creating a DDEX provider for Visual FoxPro, allowing Visual Studio to understand all of the extended properties of VFP. In simpler terms, it allows you to see the DBGetProp() data of your database as well as your stored procs while in Visual Studio. Why is this important? Well, it lets Visual Studio's wizards and IDE perform better against VFP data-meaning that if you use Visual Studio you'll be able to more easily work with your existing information.

The hallmark of Sedna is connectivity. Whether it's connectivity to your data thru Sedna's reporting enhancements; to SQL Server thru Sedna's Data Explorer and upsizing classes and wizard; to .NET via Net4COM and My; to Visual Studio via DDEX or the Interop Forms Toolkit; to Windows Vista via our toolkit and added support; or to the Community via CodePlex and the VFP extensions in the projects there; Sedna will focus hard on making sure that VFP works really well in the larger world.

Speaking of community, I'm really glad that we could work with the folks at CODE Magazine to have some of the various community people write sidebars about their projects. As I've been showing around the world, some great enhancements to VFP are happening through the community at www.codeplex.com - Microsoft's site for community-driven shared source application. I've really enjoyed showing people things like classes that give access to GDI+, an Outlook control written in VFP-and the fact that they're available to anyone-and even better, that Microsoft has enabled the developers of these projects to access a Visual Studio Team Foundation Server from VFP to host their applications and provide version control, wish lists, and forums. We're breaking physical location barriers and allowing folks in South American to collaborate with those in Europe, the U.S.A. and elsewhere. Pretty awesome.

I hope you like what's in Sedna-and I think that the articles in this issue will give you a great idea of some of the things that are coming with its release.