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The PowerBuilder Ecosystem

One of the indications of how well a product is doing is how well the ecosystem surrounding it is doing

One of the indications of how well a product is doing is how well the ecosystem surrounding it is doing. For a software product that can be determined by a number of things, including how active user groups are and whether the number of third-party products that work with it are increasing or decreasing.

Well, thanks in large part to the efforts of Sybase to promote the new version, there have been user group meetings across the world recently. Upcoming events are still scheduled for London, UK, Zurich, Switzerland and Lima, Peru.

The third-party product market for PowerBuilder is also alive and well:

  • The folks at ECrane Computing - the makers of PowerGen (one of those tools that no PowerBuilder shop should be without) - recently announced a new product called PowerVCS. PowerVCS is a web-based source control system focused on supporting PowerBuilder.
  • Enable just released a new version (2.7) of their Enable for PB tool. The new version adds support for Appeon deployments as well as WinForm and WebForm targets.
  • Novalys, the makers of Visual Expert, released a new product called PBProtect last year that provides code obfuscation for PowerBuilder. They also recently released a new version of their Visual Expert product (6.0), which does extensive analysis and reporting on PowerBuilder code, and well as a new version of their Visual Guard product, which allows you to easily implement end-user security within your PowerBuilder-based applications.
  • PBDR.COM recently released a new version of PBDelta, a tool for analyzing the differences between versions of PowerBuilder code. (Also, folks that invest in PowerVCS above get a free copy of this product.)
  • Anatoly Maskovsky (SQLBatch.com) announced a new product recently called PBInvoke, which allows for invoking complex external DLL functions (including callback) without resorting to wrappers like PBNI. A few months ago he also introduced a new product called PSRDump. If you do use OrcaScript, one of his tools that I've found invaluable (though not new or recently updated) is OptiPBL. It allows you to do command-line optimization of PBLs, something I like to do after each daily refresh from source control.
  • PowerToTheBuilder.com recently announced a new version of PBGUIControls (a series of very stylist UI controls) and a few months ago announced a new product called PBGUIDesigner (a tool to facilitate working with the UI controls).

After mentioning so many new products, I feel compelled to mention a few "classics" that haven't been updated recently, but should also be in every PowerBuilder developer's toolbox. I'm thinking primarily of:

Finally - along the software quality assurance front - earlier this year HP released QuickTest Professional 10.0 with support for PowerBuilder up through 11.5. More recently, IBM announced Rational Function Tester 8.1, which also upgraded their level of support for PowerBuilder for versions through 11.5.

If you represent other new products or know of any that I've forgotten to mention, let me know. I'll pass the word along in a future editorial. Until next month...

More Stories By Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong is a development lead with Integrated Data Services (www.get-integrated.com). A charter member of TeamSybase, he has been using PowerBuilder since version 1.0.B. He was a contributing author to SYS-CON's PowerBuilder 4.0 Secrets of the Masters and the editor of SAMs' PowerBuilder 9: Advanced Client/Server Development.

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Most Recent Comments
Hoyt Nelson 03/05/10 03:57:00 PM EST

Roland Smith keeps the excellent PBSearch up-to-date with each PB release. He offers three other products for sale, and a lot of free code, more coming all the time.

Hoyt Nelson 03/05/10 03:24:00 PM EST

Roland Smith keeps the excellent PBSearch up-to-date with each PB release. He offers three other products for sale, and a lot of free code, more coming all the time.