Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan

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
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
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...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
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...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
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...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom 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. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
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.
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems 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. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...