Tools like Code Analyst and Class BrowserX all use code from existing Visual FoxPro tools. This is possible because in 2007, Microsoft released the code for all of their xBase components with a special license. This license allows developers to create and update components and applications based on these components. It explicitly gives two rights:
Copyright – “a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free copyright license to reproduce the software, prepare derivative works of the software and distribute the software or any derivative works that you create”
Patent – “a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under licensed patents to make, have made, use, practice, sell, and offer for sale, and/or otherwise dispose of the software or derivative works of the software”
There are some limitations; primarily that you can’t use the Microsoft name, must include any existing copyright notices, and that the software is provided “as-is” but the real benefit is with how it can apply to your existing applications. Want to build something similar to the Task Pane in your application? You don’t need to reverse-engineer it – you can simply look in the existing code and re-use it. Thanks to the Fox Team!