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Chapter 8. Linking, Importing, and Expor... > In the Real World—Microsoft Giveth a...

In the Real World—Microsoft Giveth and Microsoft Taketh Away

Microsoft bundles a raft of no-additional-charge features in Windows XP, 2000+, 98, and Me, but there's no free lunch at the export/import counter when you upgrade from Access 97 to Access 2002. Long-standing dBASE and Paradox import, export, and linking features disappeared in Access 2000, and even Microsoft's Visual FoxPro was slighted by losing its ISAM driver, while gaining limited import/export support with an ODBC driver that has known defects, which weren't corrected in Access 2002 and probably never will be fixed.

Microsoft taketh away desktop database connectivity features, but giveth links to Outlook and Exchange folders, plus XML import/export. Fair bargain? Probably, because it's a good bet that more Access users are interested in Outlook/Exchange features than full xBase/Paradox/FoxPro support. These early desktop databases are on their way out. Although Microsoft officials have suggested that Visual FoxPro might be a full-fledged member of Visual Studio.NET, it was only partially included in the beta version available when this book was written. If Jet, in Microsoft's terms, is “not strategic,” support for other desktop RDBMSs must be even lower on Microsoft's database totem pole. Unlike Visual Basic and C#, Visual FoxPro's xBase dialect isn't a general-purpose Windows programming language.


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