Skip to Content
avatar image
Former Member

Is there a future after PowerBuilder 12.6?

Could someone at SAP elaborate on this topic?

Add comment
10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • Follow
  • Get RSS Feed

7 Answers

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Oct 09, 2014 at 11:50 PM

    Yes it is!

    Wait until next week.

    DIrk Boessmann, Senior Vice President / Mobile Developement / P&I Technology , SAP SE will explain it to us at the PBUGG meeting in Berlin.


    Stay tuned, Ludwin.

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • Jan 16, 2015 at 07:43 PM

    Yes there is, and it’s called…. PowerBuilder .NET 12.6!

    PowerBuilder .NET takes advantage of the .NET Framework which is Microsoft’s next generation programming model and a response to Java’s success. So, this may be the most reasonable migration path for current PB shops as long as:

    • You don’t mind that, by definition, your PB.NET applications will run somewhat slower than PB Classic applications due to the inherent architecture in which managed intermediate code is compiled just in time (with current hardware this is not an issue any more, at least for mainstream business applications)
    • SAP improves IDE stability (it is still very buggy)
    • SAP improves IDE responsiveness… considerably! (it IS extremely slow to load a PB solution in PB.NET as compared to a workplace in PB Classic)
    • You are still committed to client server application development and don’t want to develop web applications with it (there is no functionality to do so in PB.NET)
    • You love the Datawindow and can’t live without it (and there are good reasons for this)
    • And most importantly, SAP shows full commitment to the product (Enterprises look for long term solutions, and vendor support and commitment is very important for them)

    What are the advantages of migrating to PowerBuilder.NET? Well, just to name a few:


    • You can take your PB code and migrate it to PB .NET and start working on it on the next day
    • It allows you to use the vast .NET Framework class libraries like XML processing classes, Web Services classes, Security classes, etc., etc., etc. (see http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg145045%28v=vs.110%29.aspx)
    • It allows you to use third party .NET tools
    • The PB.NET IDE is based on Visual Studio (at least on a version of it), which is a proven IDE
    • Objects are stored as separate files, which will make it possible in theory to use any source control system on the market
    • And most importantly, you still get to use Powerscript and the Datawindow in a familiar way as in PB Classic, which will let you leverage your current development resources

    But SAP should continue to improve PB Classic to let PB shops follow a seamless transition to the new platform. This is very important. By comparison third party tool providers still offer their tools as ActiveX (OCX) and standard DLL libraries, as well as .NET libraries because they know developers still use both programming models. So PB Classic should continue to improve alongside PB.NET if SAP wants the later to succeed.

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • Having one tool in which we can develop both classic PowerBuilder applications as well as .NET applications is something I've already suggested in another forum. That’s why my suggestion to migrate to PB.NET came with some big IF’s. IF SAP makes it faster, IF SAP gets rid of all the bugs, and IF SAP shows full commitment to the tool to increase its features.


      PowerBuilder is a tool, not just a language. And as a tool it has done a wonderful job integrating two technologies, Windows applications and SQL data sources, by means of the Datawindow. But software technology has followed new directions since PB appeared and PB has not been able to fully adapt to this changes. These include web development, in the form of HTML page generation and client side programming (e.g. JavaScript), and mobile apps development. These new paradigms involve not just two but three or more technologies which demand new tools to integrate them so again we can easily develop applications for them.


      But also the new .NET programming model for developing applications for Windows introduced by Microsoft in the beginning of 2000 signaled a clear direction as to where Windows applications development was headed in which standard, intermediate, managed code is produced by whatever syntax you like. So IF you don’t want to develop web applications and IF you don’t want to develop mobile apps then PB.NET makes good sense as a migration platform for current PB shops that currently develop for the Windows platform but are stuck with what PB Classic offers and need the extended functionality of .NET.


      I don’t see many differences working with the PB.NET IDE than with PB Classic IDE, besides the issues already mentioned. I know it’s a different IDE but one should be up to speed in a week or two. The IDE is built so you are able to do the same as with PB Classic (e.g. the Datawindow painter is there). And I expect the gap between PB.NET and PB Classic to reduce in the future (IF SAP shows commitment) until there is no difference at all. Maybe this will take SAP less time than it will take to rewrite PB Classic to enable it for .NET programming.

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Nov 05, 2014 at 09:33 AM

    do you guys have any news?

    Seems we can chuck millions of line of code, huh?

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • Former Member Former Member

      Yes, we definitely want customers to try all possible ways to deploy PB NVOs to IIS and give us feedback if major issues so we can try to make this a good solution for creating n-tier apps.

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Nov 08, 2014 at 02:33 AM

    One of our major customers having a substantial investment in PB (i.e. 3 major financial products with 6000 plus GUI screens) is looking to migrate away from PB to a Java based framework. Appeon was not considered as they want to migrate to a specific Javascript/Java based framework. What answer SAP has for such customers?

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • Former Member Former Member

      I wonder what they plan on doing with the PB developers. Even if they retrain them, they no longer have in-depth knowledge of the code. The application will now be maintained by a group of developers that are all new to the development tools and have no knowledge of the code.

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Oct 10, 2014 at 07:08 PM

    Ludwin,

    Please post the details from the meeting and any interesting comments from other members in the User Group here. There is concern in the US over the lack of information concerning future development, so any and all news is always appreciated.

    Best to all,

    K

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

    • Former Member Former Member

      As far as #6 goes, an external partner couldn't possibly manage PowerBuilder any worse than SAP or Sybase have done so I don't see that as a risk.

      If I hit the lottery in the next few months, I am thinking of putting in a bid for it.

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Nov 06, 2014 at 11:23 AM

    I visualize two things very clearly:

    1 - there is a great interest in the PowerBuilder tecnology because of its productivity.

    2 - there is a great interest in the PowerBuilder market.

    yet not envision a clarity with PoweBuilder in own market.

    we are awaiting clarity on this subject by SAP.

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded

  • avatar image
    Former Member
    Nov 16, 2014 at 06:30 AM

    Oracle's direction for Forms is an eye opener on how PB should evolve in the coming years. It is heartening to see how Forms, a Client/Server desktop dev tool is being transformed into a modern app development tool. Check out this webinar: The Future of Forms is ..... Forms (and some friends) (UKOUG, 2011 - with Grant Ronald) - AMIS Technology Blog. One of the bullets in Oracle Forms Strategy 'Bring Forms productivity to JEE world' makes it clear that when it comes to productivity, 4GL tools are far superior and there is currently no 4GL capabilities in Web development in the market. Instead of waiting for the market to keep coming up with some new stuff (web development is still at 3GL level even after 15 years), why not take advantage of the superior 4GL capabilities for app development.

    Add comment
    10|10000 characters needed characters exceeded