|Stonefield Database Toolkit|
What is SDT?
Visual FoxPro provides something FoxPro developers have needed for years -- a built-in data dictionary. Visual FoxPro's data dictionary provides table and field validation, field captions, triggers, even table and field comments.
Unfortunately, many things are missing from the data dictionary, such as structural information necessary to create or update table structures at client sites and useful information such as captions for tables and indexes. Also, the tools Visual FoxPro provides to manage the database container itself are less robust than you'd expect. For example, altering the structure of a table breaks views based on that table. Table and field name changes aren't propagated throughout the database, resulting in orphaned database objects. Moving a table to a different directory or changing the DBF name causes the database to lose track of the table.
SDT overcomes these limitations and many others we've found in Visual FoxPro, and provides additional functionality that serious application developers need!
There are three aspects to SDT:
SDT automatically redefines views when you change the structure of a table involved in a view. It propagates table and field name changes throughout the database container, and updates both the database and DBF header when a DBF is moved or renamed.
SDT adds structural information to the data dictionary so you can create tables and indexes or update their structures whenever necessary. SDT includes other extensions as well, defining information such as captions for tables and indexes, and many more.
You can even define your own custom properties whenever you need to. Define security levels, usage information, captions in other languages ... anything is possible. Get these values at run-time to create truly data-driven applications. Change the property in one place, and every form, program, or report that uses it changes instantly.
SDT's class library provides methods to manage databases and tables at run-time. For example, the OpenAllTables() method automatically opens all tables in the database flagged as "autoopen".
The most useful class library methods are:
Compatible With All Major Frameworks
SDT works great with all the major commercial Visual FoxPro frameworks! Visual MaxFrame Professional (VMP) from Vision Data Solutions has "hook" properties of all classes, and is natively set up to work with SDT (see our Technical Papers page for a document on how to integrate SDT and VMP). Visual FoxExpress (VFE) from F1 Technologies automatically instantiates SDT at runtime because they both use DBCX for the data dictionary extensions (see our Technical Papers page for a document on how to integrate SDT and VFE). The Mere Mortals framework from Oak Leaf now supports SDT methods. Even if you're using your own framework, simply add our class libraries to your project and two lines of code at application startup to get the full benefit of SDT in your applications.
Works With xCASE
SDT also works great with xCASE from RESolution Ltd. xCASE is the premier CASE tool for FoxPro database design. RESolution and Stonefield together created a utility that reads the xCASE information into the DBCX format. Now, you can use xCASE to do your database design (we use it ourselves and highly recommend it) and then use SDT for all the things you need to do at runtime (reindex, repair, update, and use extended properties).
Visual FoxPro's Data Dictionary
Visual FoxPro provides something FoxPro developers have needed for years - a data dictionary. Visual FoxPro's data dictionary provides table and field validation, field captions, triggers, even table and field comments.
Unfortunately, many useful things are missing from the data dictionary, such as the ability to:
Overcome the Limitations in Visual FoxPro's Data Dictionary
Stonefield Database Toolkit overcomes the limitations in Visual FoxPro's data dictionary, and adds even more functionality!
Imagine the ability to define new properties for any object as you think of them. Define security levels, usage information - anything is possible. Get these values at runtime with a single function call to create truly data-driven applications. Change the property in one place, and every form, program or report that uses it changes instantly.
Imagine installing a new version of an application at a client site and having new tables created and existing tables updated automatically. Corrupted indexes or tables? No problem - use the re-index and repair routines provided.
Stonefield Database Toolkit super charges the Visual FoxPro data dictionary and lets you use it to its fullest extent.
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