Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Karyn Jeffery, Nate Vickery, 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 BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York and Silicon Valley. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place Nov 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 17th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
18th Cloud Expo, taking place June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, 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 enterprises are using some...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide 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 ...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit y...