Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Chris Colosimo, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

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 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 ...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, 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. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. 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 June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
NHK, Japan Broadcasting, will feature the upcoming @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley in a special 'Internet of Things' and smart technology documentary that will be filmed on the expo floor between November 3 to 5, 2015, in Santa Clara. NHK is the sole public TV network in Japan equivalent to the BBC in the UK and the largest in Asia with many award-winning science and technology programs. Japanese TV is producing a documentary about IoT and Smart technology and will be covering @ThingsExpo Silicon Val...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, 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 your speaking proposal ...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
With billions of sensors deployed worldwide, the amount of machine-generated data will soon exceed what our networks can handle. But consumers and businesses will expect seamless experiences and real-time responsiveness. What does this mean for IoT devices and the infrastructure that supports them? More of the data will need to be handled at - or closer to - the devices themselves.
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
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.
@GonzalezCarmen has been ranked the Number One Influencer and @ThingsExpo has been named the Number One Brand in the “M2M 2016: Top 100 Influencers and Brands” by Analytic. Onalytica analyzed tweets over the last 6 months mentioning the keywords M2M OR “Machine to Machine.” They then identified the top 100 most influential brands and individuals leading the discussion on Twitter.