Session V-AGNT

Die Microsoft Agent Klasse von Visual Extend 6.0

Arturo Devigus
Devigus Enginnering AG

Visual Extend 6.0

Visual Extend 6.0 (VFX 6.0) is an Application Development Framework for Software Developers working with Microsoft Visual FoxPro Version 6.0. Visual Extend includes Builders which assist the Software Developer in its daily work and dramatically speed up the software development process without sacrifying any of the Visual FoxPro features. With Visual Extend, Visual FoxPro becomes a real Rapid Application Development Tool for both Desktop and Client Server Database Application Development.

CAgent class for the automated control of Microsoft Agent


I am Merlin!

This new class is very useful if you want to use the new Microsoft ActiveX Agents. A new way of interaction with the users of your application. Microsoft® Agent is a set of software services that supports the presentation of software agents as interactive personalities within the Microsoft Windows® interface. The conversational interface approach facilitated by the Microsoft Agent services is an extension and enhancement of the existing interactive modalities of the Windows interface.

Microsoft created three different characters. One of them, named Merlin (see above picture), comes even with speech functionality, that’s why we wrote a wrapper class to support easy usage of this exciting new ActiveX Control.

Use this class if you want to talk to your users in a different way rather than using messageboxes and wait windows!

SAMPLE: You can see the usage of the agent class in the VFXTEST application. In the VFXMAIN.PRG you see the instantiation of the agent control in the drawbackground method:

LOCAL lcError
PUBLIC goagent
IF FILE("C:\Programme\Microsoft Agent\Agentsvr.exe") OR;
   FILE("C:\Program Files\Microsoft Agent\Agentsvr.exe")
   ON ERROR &lcError
   if vartype(goagent)="O"

The object reference goagent is created as a public variable goagent and can easily be used to interact with the interface of the cagent class.

In the form merlin.scx (in VFXTEST application), you find samples for all the Merlin features we made available through the cagent class:

If you click the different options, like congratulate, you see the character displaying something like this:

After successful installation of the Agent Control, you will see the following Icon (man with hat) in your status bar:   indicating that the agent is running. In order to be able to use the merlin character in your applications you need to have the file merlinsfx.acs in the \Program Files\Microsoft Agent\ directory, that's all. The characters can be downloaded from the Microsoft Web at:

Installation of the Agent Control (Microsoft Agent Homepage under workshop):

Don't forget to download the Merlin Character as well (File merlinsfx.acs)

In the Vendor Session, we will use this class to show how much fun you can have to add this new way of interaction to your own applications!