Accessing Visual FoxPro Data When You Get the ODBC “Not a table (#123)” Error

A while back, someone handed over some scheduling data in a somewhat clunky old application in desperate need of modernization. I looked under the hood and figured out that this thing uses a FoxPro database! Microsoft discontinued development of Visual FoxPro way back in 2007, and I hadn’t seen a working FoxPro database since the late 1990s…so I knew it might be tricky to get the data out.

TL;DR: I fired up Microsoft Access to see if I could link to the external data. This was harder than I expected because Windows 10 and Access 2016 no longer ship with a Visual FoxPro ODBC driver. Once I found one, I could easily link to all of the tables—except for the ones that included variable-width memo fields. I could use an OLE DB provider to get to tables with memo fields, but only via Excel or programmatically. Access apparently can’t create a linked table via OLE DB.

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