Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Martin Verwijmeren, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, PowerBuilder

Microsoft Cloud: Article

PowerBuilder Takes You To .NET

Preparing PowerBuilder applications for .NET Windows Forms deployment

After designating which PBLs you want to have the tool examine, you'll be able to print, save, and browse the Migration Assistant's analysis report. (Figure B)

You can now begin formalizing your Migration Plan.

The Migration Assistant is a great boon to the developer in that its discovery success rate is close to 100%, but you'll want to add a thorough quality assurance cycle to the tail end of that plan.
Once you believe you and your team are ready for the migration process, open the application in PowerBuilder 11. The Migrate Application response window will open. Verify your library list, choose your message notification level, select whether you want PowerBuilder to automatically convert DBCS string manipulation functions appropriately for unicode usage...this is the point of no return and your last chance to back up your PBLs...then click OK. (Figure 3)

Unsupported Features in Windows Forms Projects
In its 11.x time frame, PowerBuilder is a .NET deployment solution. That is, the developer isn't strictly working with .NET in the PowerBuilder IDE. (.NET in the PowerBuilder IDE is slated for version 12). As such, any application can use PowerBuilder features that are appropriate to Win32 deployments, but aren't supported yet or not appropriate for .NET deployments. (Figure C)

There are, however, those unsupported features that Sybase doesn't plan to support for .NET deployment such as non-visual classes for profiling and tracing. PowerBuilder developers will have to identify where in their applications they may be using unsupported features and then decide how they want to refactor the application to work around each feature. The next part of this article will cover identifying unsupported features in your application, yet I highly recommend at some point that you review Chapter 11 of "Deploying Applications and Components to .NET" in the documentation to become familiar with this reference for "Unsupported Features in Windows Forms Projects".

http://infocenter.sybase.com/help/topic/com.sybase.dc00586_1100/html/dplynet/CJAJHFGB.htm

Deploying Your WinForm Application
OK. It's time to deal with the nuts and bolts of features not supported for WinForm-deployed applications, so it's time to do our initial deploy! Since the thrust of this article is preparing your PowerBuilder application for WinForm deployment rather than the details of how to actually deploy it as WinForm, I'll refer you to the detailed external resources on just how to do that.
In the core document "Deploying Applications and Components to .NET," Chapter 9 "Deploying PowerBuilder Applications as .NET Windows Forms" takes you through the use of the .NET Windows Forms Application wizard.

http://infocenter.sybase.com/help/topic/com.sybase.dc00586_1100/html/dplynet/BABEEDAC.htm

There are also detailed recordings of deploying/publishing your WinForm application using .NET Smart Client techniques. Look for demonstrations of PowerBuilder 11's "Intelligent Updater" at www.sybase.com/products/development/powerbuilder/videos and at www.sybase.com/products/development/powerbuilder/webcasts.

The .NET Deployment Output Log
Once you've deployed your target as a WinForm, you'll want to examine the tabbed output logs in the PowerBuilder IDE. Exporting can save these logs and I highly recommend you do so.
Pay attention to the Default, Warnings, and Errors logs first. They arguably will have the most critical issues needing your attention. A text file named DeployLog.txt is generated with each .NET deployment in PowerBuilder 11. Besides aiding you with deployment errors it may be beneficial in helping you resolve any remaining configuration issues.

Now it's time to examine the Unsupported Features output log.

The Unsupported Features output log is populated the first time you deploy to WinForm and each subsequent time you choose to do a full rebuild. Of course, if after a deployment you add any features to your application that are unsupported, even an incremental rebuild should yield a populated output log. There's a lot of useful information in that output log, but I'm sure you'll agree that it'll take some effort to read through it in its raw form and continue to use it as a reference document as you formulate your Refactoring Plan. That's why the .NET Features Analyzer was recently introduced.

The .NET Features Analyzer IDE Add-in
The .NET Features Analyzer is available on Sybase's codeXchange Web site at https://powerbuilder.codexchange.sybase.com....

This tool was created in the 4GL tradition to provide you with a productive IDE for browsing the Unsupported Features output log.

The tool is an add-in to the PowerBuilder IDE. Once installed, open it from the File>New menu item in the IDE and select it from the Tool tabpage of the New response window. Use the tool to open a saved output log or tell it to import the log that may be open in the PowerBuilder IDE. .NET Features Analyzer lets you browse unsupported features by class and PBL. In its IDE, you may also examine the raw output log as well as any exceptions that are thrown. All of this may be printed and you may save the raw output from here as well. (Figure 4)

Formulate Your Refactoring Plan
So once you've identified the features in your application that aren't supported in a WinForm deployment, it's time to divide and conquer. Decide what workaround you'll use for each unsupported feature, how much time it'll take, what resources to assign, and estimate a time frame. In other words, you won't want to skimp in managing this as a formal project.

Some Caveats
A couple of caveats while you refactor your PowerBuilder application for WinForm deployment: 1) the functionality of the debugger for .NET deployment targets is different from Win32 deployments using pcode; 2) You may want to consider migrating to PowerBuilder 11.1 rather than version 11 to take advantage of the incremental compilation that was added. Otherwise your entire application will have to be compiled before you can see the runtime impact of the modification of a single line of code or even a minimal layout change in one of the visual painters. While the runtime speed is comparable to Win32 deployments, full build-and-deploy times for a library list of PBLs amounting to 150MB can take as much as a half-hour.

Additional Resources
Additional resources are available to aid you in this process. Besides the white papers and tech tips available from the support section of the Sybase Web site, there are technical articles in the PowerBuilder Developer Journal, the ISUG Journal, as well as the International Developer Magazine. The most notable supplemental resources in my opinion are the PowerBuilder newsgroups.

www.sybase.com/detail_list?id=11507&multi=true&SR=Y&show=1248

Sybase Newsgroups
The Sybase newsgroups are where your peers and a group of skilled volunteers (TeamSybase and Team iAnywhere) answer questions posted on a range of Sybase products and solutions. I can't think of a better place to get an answer to a question by a person who discovered the solution to the problem you're experiencing today...six months ago.

www.sybase.com/support/community-forums

The Most Productive .NET Developer
PowerBuilder isn't the first development tool to take you to .NET, but it's among the first. Sybase wanted to ensure that PowerBuilder users could take their applications and their components to .NET long before they had to. PowerBuilder ensures that you don't have to rewrite all of your applications completely from the ground up to take them to .NET...unlike some of its competitors have.

PowerBuilder 11's WinForm deployment capabilities take the PowerBuilder presentation layer application of your two-tier or n-tier solution to .NET today and preserves your standing as the most productive business application developer on the block.

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 CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn 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).
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitrons Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Hitrons Solutions Inc. is distributor in the North American market for unique products and services of small and medium-size businesses, including cloud services and solutions, SEO marketing platforms, and mobile applications.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
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.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...