Schedule

We're always looking for speakers to present topics at our meetings. If you'd like to present a topic, please send us an email describing the topic you'd like to present and whether you have a specific date in mind. We appreciate all presenters -- professional and amateur. Who knows, this could be the beginning of a new career path for you!

Like to submit a topic? Click...Submit Topic

Comments or suggestions are welcome.

When Topics Thanks to
10/14/17

Southwest Fox 2017, Gilbert, AZ, October 26-29, 2017

Southwest Fox 2017, Gilbert, AZ, October 26-29, 2017 SWFox Practice Sessions with Toni Feltman and Rick Schummer:

Toni M. Feltman presents: Part Time SQL Server DBA

Level: Intermediate

For a recent long term project I was afforded the luxury of having a true SQL Server DBA involved. In fact, my role as a developer isolated me completely from the production servers. Every interaction with the database had to go through the DBA before it went to production. This was a good thing because as SQL server has grown and advanced, I have lost sight with all of the ways to secure, monitor, and tune it. I was spoiled. Our DBA knew what he was doing and was a team player who worked well with the development teams.

Fast forward and our awesome DBA finds a different opportunity and leaves the organization. He is replaced with someone who is very inexperienced by comparison AND is not a team player. Suddenly systems that used to hum along nicely are crashing and somehow it is the developer's fault because the DBA has no clue how to monitor, tune, or secure the database.

This session will be a crash course in the bare bones basics of DBA level database tuning, securing, and monitoring. I hope that a few attendees can bring some of their horror stories to share.

You will learn:

  • How to recognize that your DBA needs help
  • Simple security techniques
  • Basic database monitoring tools and techniques
  • Database performance tuning
  • Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of SQL Server

Rick Schummer presents: Data Corruption, the Bane of Our Existence

Level: All levels

The universe is designed to work against databases and database files. The electrical grid is aging and failing and each time a power outage happens, an angel loses their wings and tables are sure to get corrupted because users don't want to spend an extra hundred dollars for a battery backup. (Why is it that desktop computers don't come with one built-in like laptops?) If it is not our favorite electric company cutting the power, leave it to the users to turn off the computer in the middle of a table update. Hard drives have a mean time between failure statistic because hard drives regularly fail. Occasionally network cards or the wires glitch and next thing you know indexes are corrupt again. Surely if you can protect yourself from all the disasters waiting to happen, leave it to Microsoft to introduce problems with network and operating system protocols like SMB2 to make mince meat out of the normally stable data.

Depressing huh? But wait there is more...

Viruses attack computers and users regularly. Anti-virus software can protect against viruses, but also attack every day normal DBFs. Repeated requests to have IT not scan the data folder get ignored because it violates some policy, even though they forget to implement the “all data is backed up every day policy” too. Argh, is this only happening to my customers?

No worries, fixing "not a table" is pretty standard fare and easy to do with one of the many powerful fix-them-table tools.

And then comes along ransomware. Cryptolocker, CryptoWall, Locky, HydraCrypt, etc., etc. Users open an email with a resume because they have an open position, click a link to the online resume, and 15 minutes later their hard drive is encrypted along with all their application data on the server. Ooops. No worries, take the machine off the network and restore the backups. What? NO BACKUPS? All I can do is shake my head. I cannot make this stuff up. In fact, over the past few years, hardly a month goes by where my data fixing services are not required. Sometimes the customers win, and sometimes they lose.

This session is going to cover the various data corruption scenarios, tools to diagnose the problem files, concepts and ideas for fixing them, tools of the repair process, better backup solutions to avoid the worst case scenario, and how to have that heart-to-heart discussion with customers to avoid the data corruption as often as possible.

You will learn:

  • About real life stories and experience from the front line of support
  • Simple resolutions for index corruption
  • How to diagnose data corruption and Thor tools to help you
  • About different types of table corruption and how and when it can be fixed
  • Ideas for how to avoid corruption and how Visual FoxPro works with us and against us
  • About today's repair tool market place
  • Solutions to ultimately protect against data disasters
Toni M. Feltman

&

Rick Schummer
11/09/17  ~ SWFox 2017 Review ~  
12/09/17  W I N T E R     B R E A K - Happy Holidays  
Baby Fox Baby Fox Baby Fox
01/14/17

Annual Elections

  • Currently held positions (2016):
    • President & Webmaster: Jody Meyer
    • Secretary: Mike Lyzun
    • Treasurer: Mike Potjer

~ What's Up! 2017?!?~


~ You want to show us... What?!?!    Sure! ~

Everyone
02/11/17

 Inject some T-SQL into your VFP Application

Make things easier to write specialized queries that you don't want to create and maintain a stored procedure for. Cut and Paste code from SQL Management Studio directly into your VFP Code.

 An Introduction to the Multi-Detail line feature of the VFP 9.0 Report Writer

Since Rick's the only one left at his work place that has done these kind of reports, he thought co-workers needed a tutorial in case they were assigned to change or write one of these. Recently he found himself using this feature even when he's previously used the standard features, just because it simplified the report form.

Rick Bean
03/11/17

Second Annual Grand Rapids Invitational FTC Tournament - High School Robotics Competition - All Day Event!

The Covenant Christian High School robotics teams will be holding the Second Annual Grand Rapids Invitational FTC Tournament at Covenant Christian High School on March 11. There are over ten teams from all over the Midwest planning to attend and compete. We'll make the robots available to be driven by the public and hold real competition matches.

Opening ceremonies are at 9:45am and matches will be run throughout the entire day, with closing ceremonies at 4:00pm.

No charge for admission.

Website at: Covenant Christian high School FTC Scrimmage

Location:
Covenant Christian High School
1401 Ferndale Ave, SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534

Rules: If anyone wants to familiarize themselves with the game and scoring for FTC robotics this year,
click here takes you to the section of the video with that information.

Facebook Page: You can see videos of Covenant's team in action on 02/25/2017 in the Detroit area.
click here

GRAFUG goes to Robotics Scrimmage

Mike Potjer and son
04/08/17

OneNote to Rule Them All by Eric Selje

You may know OneNote is a pretty convenient place to keep information. But with its ability to store text, graphics, audio, video, hyperlinks, along with its sharing and replication features, OneNote can be used in ways you may not have thought of! For example, you could deliver a complete portfolio of reports to all of your managers in OneNote, which they can then collaboratively markup. Putting together a meeting and want to create a dynamic attendee guide? Forget about static PDFs; OneNote can do that for you! And the best part is that you can control it all from within Visual FoxPro using OneNote's REST API, so you can move your data from VFP to OneNote.

You will learn:

  • Fundamentals of OneNote
  • That OneNote is actually a NoSQL database with replication and collaboration features
  • How to use REST calls from within VFP to populate OneNote

Eric's website can be found at: Salty Dog, LLC White paper can be found at: OneNote to Rule Them All

Eric Selje
05/13/17

OneNote to Rule Them All (Part 2) by Eric Selje

You may know OneNote is a pretty convenient place to keep information. But with its ability to store text, graphics, audio, video, hyperlinks, along with its sharing and replication features, OneNote can be used in ways you may not have thought of! For example, you could deliver a complete portfolio of reports to all of your managers in OneNote, which they can then collaboratively markup. Putting together a meeting and want to create a dynamic attendee guide? Forget about static PDFs; OneNote can do that for you! And the best part is that you can control it all from within Visual FoxPro using OneNote's REST API, so you can move your data from VFP to OneNote.

You will learn:

  • Fundamentals of OneNote
  • That OneNote is actually a NoSQL database with replication and collaboration features
  • How to use REST calls from within VFP to populate OneNote

Eric's website can be found at: Salty Dog, LLC White paper can be found at: OneNote to Rule Them All

Eric Selje
06/10/17

 Serializing data in VFP for exchanging information with other applications

I plan on going over our use of two popular serial techniques - XML and JSON. These are two methods we use in our 'gateway' connections to Casino systems for many of our clients. I'll be showing how you can use manual techniques as well as third party tools to make things easier and quicker.

Rick Bean
Summer Break GRAFUG  S U M M E R     B R E A K  
Summer Break GRAFUG  S U M M E R     B R E A K  
09/09/17

Southwest Fox 2017, Gilbert, AZ, October 26-29, 2017

Southwest Fox 2017, Gilbert, AZ, October 26-29, 2017 SWFox Practice Session:

Rick Schummer presents: Challenges of the Independent Consultant with a Growing Business

Level: All levels

Every session I have seen presented at conferences about making the move from corporate developer working for "the man/woman" to being an independent consultant and being "the man/woman" has been delivered through rose-colored glasses. Everything is unicorns and green grass on the other side of the fence. But you made the jump and made it a success and your business is growing or could be growing.

This session is a continuation from last year's session and is about more lessons learned, things to consider if you are an independent consultant or running a consulting firm, and things to consider if you think you want to be more than an independent one-person shop; you may learn that growing your business is not the right thing for you.

There are a few topics that were not covered last year like Rick's Rules to a Successful Business, knowing when and how to say "No", firing customers, home office vs. renting space, and the dreaded Impostor Syndrome.

The session is limited to 75 minutes and determining what is important to cover changes even as I continue preparing for the session. Certainly I want to cover recognizing the need for help, bringing on subcontractors and employees (attracting, interviewing, hiring and firing processes), managing teams, workload balancing, making sure customers are happy, and making sure the team is happy. What policies do you need with regards to "moonlighting" and flex hours? What benefits should you consider and how to administer them? Then there is the dreaded Employee Handbooks (do you need one) and keeping up with all the regulations government can throw at you that affect your business. Can one even find time to code anymore?

How do you even start to grow your company? Do you take the traditional route of getting more customers and more work from existing customers, buy other businesses, buy intellectual property, or pick some combination? In this session, you can learn from someone who has been there and got the t-shirt and scars to show for it. I'll discuss how I've used several techniques of growing the business, and some marketing brick walls and how to climb over them. I plan to discuss how even with the best of intentions, I overlooked some glaring problems when I purchased intellectual property from another developer and problems it triggered. I'll also discuss how I learned from those mistakes to do it right the second time.

So many lessons to share, so many lessons still to learn. Some may fit into this session and some might not. I hope others attending the session share their ideas too. I know an interactive session on this topic is sure to benefit everyone in attendance. I am open to suggestions in advance as well.

You will learn:

  • About a home office vs. renting space
  • About creating partnerships vs. going it alone
  • What Impostor Syndrome is and how to cure it
  • About government alphabet soup
  • About the importance of disaster recovery and business continuity
  • About marketing time vs. the “real work”
  • How to bring on the 1099 subcontractors
  • How to bring on employees (interviewing, hiring, and firing)
  • About buying Intellectual Property (IP)
Rick Schummer

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