The Laboratory for Cognitive Neuroscience (LCN) focuses specifically on new perspectives on language through studies of sign language and brain organization. In addition, LCN is focused in performing breakthrough research in genetic disorders in populations with Williams Syndrome, and in linking cognition, brain and gene.
'This lab has been using Macintosh Visual FoxPro for its primary database. However, the Labratory has never been able to utilize any of the true power of this comprehensive database management system because it is very difficult to learn and develop for most people.' Explains Michael Picardal, Research Database Manager at Salk LCN. 'Everyone in the lab hated using the FoxPro database because it was always a mystery to understand and confusing to perform queries.'
Mr. Picardal was brought in to manage the situation. Just after his arrival, Mr. Picardal began assessing the past, present and future needs of the lab. 'It was clear we had to move out of FoxPro.' he said. 'This decision was made easier by the fact that Microsoft no longer supported Visual FoxPro on the Macintosh. Also, the ability to publish our databases on the web was not possible using Visual FoxPro without extensive programming, long development time and expense.'
Thus the search began for a development environment upon which to develop the replacement for Salk LCN's FoxPro database system. Since the Lab primarily runs on Macintosh systems, there were only three options from which to choose. 'To stay with the Mac platform, we had two choices, 4D or FileMaker. The third alternative was to invest in Windows machines specifically to develop with Visual FoxPro for Windows.'