Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Darren Anstee, Pat Romanski, James Pathman

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, PowerBuilder

Microsoft Cloud: Article

PowerBuilder Takes You To .NET

Preparing PowerBuilder applications for .NET Windows Forms deployment

Remember Win16? Whatever happened to it? Where did it go? It hung around for a while in the Win95/Win98 days alongside Win32 but then it went away. Well, wherever Win16 went, Win32 is going there too. Eventually, .NET will be the "native" Windows desktop technology and WinForm or its descendant will be the primary de facto API.

PowerBuilder is arguably the most productive (read fastest and easiest) .NET development tool on the market today. It doesn't require .NET experience on the part of the developer and the conditional compilation feature allows PowerBuilder applications to be maintained as a single code line for Win32 as well as for .NET deployments.

WinForm Benefits
Well, let's say that your company or your client's hasn't established a requirement, a standard, to move to deploying .NET applications quite yet. "Why should I explore deploying to .NET WinForm? I'm not required to deploy to .NET yet and I'll just end up with another client/server application...right?" The main benefits of deploying PowerBuilder applications as .NET WinForm are twofold: .NET interoperability and .NET Smart Client publishing.

.NET Interoperability
There are some fairly nice things in the .NET Framework. Think about the PowerBuilder projects in the past from which you've made external function calls, to which you added ActiveX/OCX, in which you implemented OLE. Think of the .NET Framework as a big fat external resource of which you'd like to take advantage. You may have a partner, a vendor, a .NET development group in your own company who's developed .NET resources with which you'd like to integrate your PowerBuilder applications. Once you deploy your PowerBuilder applications to WinForm (or WebForm), you can.

www.sybase.com/products/development/powerbuilder/videos

Smart Client Publishing
A major headache in supporting applications in production has historically been deployment. Browser-based applications became popular because of the prospect of the immediate and automatic update of application business logic and user interface for every single user. But even with the rising popularity of Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), anything in the browser has some intractable compromise lurking somewhere. Oh, and by the way, classic Web application projects still tend to be more expensive than their 4GL-developed counterparts.

What if you could take advantage of the best of both worlds? What if you could deploy your application and its updates using the ubiquity of the Web, but have the users end up with an uncompromised, rich-interfaced, fully functional application on their desktops with no browser-based compromises?

Applications operating on the workstation exploit client-side resources, reduce server load, don't consume as much bandwidth, and overall have better performance.

Once you deploy/compile your PowerBuilder application as .NET WinForm, your application and its updates can be "published" to the users' workstations just by filling in some property sheets, in a code-free manner by clicking a button...for one or 1,000 users.

www.sybase.com/products/development/powerbuilder/videos

http://video.sybase.com/webcasts/PB11SC3-020108.wmv

Game Plan
The approach to prepare your PowerBuilder application for WinForm deployment is twofold:

  1. Migrate forward to PowerBuilder 11.
  2. Modify your application to work around PowerBuilder features that may not be supported for .NET WinForm deployment.
While these two points are the salient ones, I'll also go into a couple of notable ancillary subtopics as well.

Before you start any part of this process, please...back up your PBLs! I can't tell you how often some poor soul posts a request on the PowerBuilder newsgroup saying he's lost his source or that his libraries have become corrupted somehow and is there a way to decompile his executables into source code. Please, folks, only perform the operations I'll discuss now with libraries that are backed up or are a working copy of your PBLs. And, remember, a backup is only as good as its restore. Verify that you can successfully restore your valuable collateral.

The Recipe
So here's a more detailed recipe for preparing and deploying a PowerBuilder application for WinForm:

  • Backup, backup, BACKUP!
  • Check in all classes from source control.
  • Backup, backup, BACKUP! (Sense a pattern?)
  • Install the required external resources.
    - http://infocenter.sybase.com/help/topic/com.sybase.dc37771_1100/pdf/pbeinst.pdf
  • Install PowerBuilder 11.x
  • Use the Migration Assistant tool (more later)
  • Formulate your Migration Plan
  • Address migration issues that are discovered
  • Backup, backup, BACKUP!
  • Migrate your application
  • Perform a Win32 compilation
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Backup, backup, BACKUP!
  • Create a WinForm deployment Target and Project
    - www.sybase.com/products/development/powerbuilder/videos
  • Perform an initial WinForm deployment
  • Save the Unsupported Features output log
  • Use the .NET Features Analyzer IDE Add-in tool (more later)
  • Formulate your Refactoring Plan
  • Refactor/modify your application to work around features unsupported for WinForm
  • Perform a "final" WinForm deployment
  • Back it up, folks
  • Perform Quality Assurance
  • Take advantage of .NET interoperability
  • Take Advantage of .NET smart client deployment/publishing

More Stories By John Strano

John Strano is a Sybase Technology Evangelist and is a charter member of TeamSybase. He has been using PowerBuilder since 1991 and has authored articles for multiple industry periodicals. John has been a Sybase Certified Instructor and has presented Sybase tools on an international basis since 1997. Over the last 17 years John has developed a variety of PowerBuilder applications from single-user scaling up to enterprise-class, web-based projects.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
If you had a chance to enter on the ground level of the largest e-commerce market in the world – would you? China is the world’s most populated country with the second largest economy and the world’s fastest growing market. It is estimated that by 2018 the Chinese market will be reaching over $30 billion in gaming revenue alone. Admittedly for a foreign company, doing business in China can be challenging. Often changing laws, administrative regulations and the often inscrutable Chinese Interne...
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, provided tips on how to be successful in large scale machine learning...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kausik Sridharabalan, founder and CTO of Pulzze Systems, Inc., will focus on key challenges in building an Internet of Things solution infrastructure. He will shed light on efficient ways of defining interactions within IoT solutions, leading to cost and time reduction. He will also introduce ways to handle data and how one can develop IoT solutions that are lean, flexible and configurable, thus making IoT infrastructure agile and scalable.
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Businesses are struggling to manage the information flow and interactions between all of these new devices and things jumping on their network, and the apps and IT systems they control. The data businesses gather is only helpful if they can do something with it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Witeck, Principal Technology Strategist at Citrix, will discuss how different the impact of IoT will be for large businesses, expanding how IoT will allow large organizations to make their legacy ap...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
“We're a global managed hosting provider. Our core customer set is a U.S.-based customer that is looking to go global,” explained Adam Rogers, Managing Director at ANEXIA, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.