Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Sematext Blog, Ian Khan, Pat Romanski, Adrian Bridgwater, Liz McMillan

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.