Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jeev Trika, Yakov Fain

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
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 Enzu, a leading provider of cloud hosting solutions, 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. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to foc...
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
Customer experience has become a competitive differentiator for companies, and it’s imperative that brands seamlessly connect the customer journey across all platforms. With the continued explosion of IoT, join us for a look at how to build a winning digital foundation in the connected era – today and in the future. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Nguyen, Group Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how to successfully leverage mobile, rapidly deploy content, capture real-time d...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
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...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
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 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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 24Notion has been named “Bronze 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. 24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to con...
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT's direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...
SYS-CON Events announced today BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media 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. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
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 ...
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...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will discuss the vast to...