OK, OK - I apologize.  I haven't kept up with this series in a while.  There are several reasons, for example I was getting in depth .Net training and actually trying to apply it to UI tests for the Database Explorer in VS 2005. Which is kind of cool, actually.

As to general .Net knowledge I haven't learned anything in general that I can pass on to you for now. I hear StringBuilder is cool but haven't played with it. The OOP stuff is very cool and much more powerful and flexible than in VFP but I don't pretend to understand it all yet.

However, I will say this:  If I had to write your basic data capture application in .Net tomorrow, I think I could do it.  It would not be a joyful experience as the .Net data story is (sorry guys) definitely not anywhere near as friendly as VFP. In fact (don't fire me, guys!) it's OOP to the extreme; which means the interaction and manipulation of set-based and row-based data as VFP developers are used to is non-existant.

If I had to isolate one area of .Net that VFP developers will have a hard time with, it's data. Everything else is pretty darn learnable pretty quickly. Data....egads.  Let's say you wanted to drive to the grocery store. .Net data is your car. Before you can start the car, you need to define wheels, engine, seats, body, and every other component. If you need a specific instrument, say, the tachometer, be prepared to FOR EACH through all instruments.  Get the picture?

OK, here's where I want to discuss another issue that could likely get me into hot water:  The future .Net data story. VS 2005 had made great strides in the .Net data story. In fact, the Database Explorer and other data-oriented designers are very, very cool. The VDT (Visual Data Tools) side of the VS Data team is a bunch of very heads-up people. They have spec'ed and written a awesome number of great features for VS 2005 and deserve accolades for their work. The VDT PMs, Lance, Mairead, and Tim are very aware of what data-oriented customers need.  I am continually in awe of their professionalism and dedication.

Going further into the future, folks here finally got the idea that the Fox Team just might know something about data manipulation. Do you remember the scene in the movie 2010 where Roy Scheider runs into Dave Bowman n- played by Keir Dulyea?  Dave says "You have to leave".  Roy says "Why?  What's going to happen?".  Dave replies, "Something wonderful".

Well, that's all I'll say on that issue.

Perhaps I can divorce myself from my day-to-day to provide concrete samples in my next post.  I'll try.