Why I'm attending the Web Connection Training at Southwest Fox

I've been using West Wind Web Connection in production apps for over ten years, so I'm pretty familiar with it - how it's built, how it works, and how to build apps based on it. So why would I invest the time and money to attend more training?

The answer is simple: Because I need to sharpen my skill set, and the two-day Web Connection training that's being offered in conjunction with Southwest Fox 2012 is the perfect opportunity to do so.

Web Connection has undergone continuous growth and improvement over the years. I started with version 3 (as best I can recall) and migrated to version 4 when it became available. Version 5.00, released in 2006, introduced the Web Control Framework, a major enhancement that provides developers with a rich set of tools to build even better apps. Since its release, Web Connection version 5 has continued to evolve with more and more new features. It's now up to version 5.63, which was released in June of 2012.

Despite having read the always excellent documentation for which all of Rick Strahl's West Wind products are known, and despite having worked through most of the online video tutorials, I know there's a lot of power in Web Connection 5 that I'm still not taking full advantage of. The demands of meeting work obligations along with the usual daily distractions make it difficult to block out time to learn new skills. So, what better way to get up to speed than to forget about everything else and concentrate on the framework for two full days?

For my money, the Web Connection training on Oct. 17 and 18 is the perfect opportunity to improve my Web Connection skill set. For me, this training will be valuable not only because it's taught by Rick Strahl himself, but also because it offers the opportunity to talk with and learn from other Web Connection developers.

It's a unique opportunity. I'll be there. Will you?


Videocast: Solving a Network Deployment Challenge using Inno Setup

One common approach to deploying Visual FoxPro apps in a multi-user environment is for the application’s executable file and data to reside on a file server. That way, each workstation only needs the VFP runtime files and a shortcut to the EXE.

Installation is simple, generally using either two separate installers or one dual-purpose installer. But in either case, there’s a catch when it comes to running the workstation-only installer: What if, due to different drive mappings, the drive and path to the EXE varies from workstation to workstation? How do you build an installer that can create a desktop shortcut to an EXE it’s not installing and whose location it doesn’t even know?

This videocast shows you one way to do this using Inno Setup. It’s available on the FoxPro Developers page of my website at http://www.ita-software.com/foxpage.aspx#videocasts.

My thanks to Phil Sherwood for posing the question that prodded me to come up with this solution.