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We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

We're Not in Kansas Anymore, Toto

If you're a regular reader you've probably noticed the recent evolution of this magazine from focusing specifically on PowerBuilder to covering the several tools included in EAStudio as well as the Enterprise Application Server.

Though still called PowerBuilder Developer's Journal, this magazine now also has a subtitle: Enterprise Application Studio. While proud of our long history of cutting-edge PowerBuilder articles, we recognize that, as a lone software development tool, PB doesn't generate the interest it used to. Nearly 10 years after the first release of PowerBuilder, this once red-hot industry has matured. Though there are still hundreds of thousands of PB developers and millions of PB applications - ensuring that PowerBuilder itself will be popular and heavily used for many years to come - the market for PB training and education is declining.

The mission of this magazine has always been to address current technologies and techniques within the PowerBuilder industry. So if that industry is evolving, then we will evolve with it. While we'll continue to provide columns and articles on PowerBuilder, we're broadening our focus to provide a service to those of you who are moving on to newer architectures and technologies.

We're continuing the popular columns Introduction to PowerBuilder by Bob Hendry and DataWindow Magic by Rik Brooks, as well as the PFC Corner. While Bernie Metzger has faithfully provided us with Slick Tricks for over four years, the number of tips being submitted to him has dwindled dramatically so there have been some months where we haven't run it. Watch for that column to change in the same way the magazine is changing: toward a greater focus on distributed architectures and features.

Nearly a year ago we debuted a new column, Distributed Technologies, by Mike Barlotta, aimed at bringing you up to speed on EAServer, on new PB features that support component development, and on design and implementation issues with this new architecture. Though Mike's column is often accompanied by one or more articles about Web and distributed development, it has become a key ingredient of our monthly menu.

Last year we also debuted From Sybase, a column that allows Sybase to communicate with you directly. Bill Bartow, Rob Veitch and Kouros Gorgani are just a few of the Sybase staff who have laid out their vision and offered their advice.

The trend is clearly moving toward distributed and Web development, and away from client/server. Though most of our articles will maintain their educational value for developers doing only client/server development, our goal is to meet the needs of the new breed of PB developers - those who are writing client code, building components using PowerBuilder or PowerJ for deployment into EAServer or other application servers, and developing Web interfaces with PowerSite and HTML DataWindows.

The new form of PowerBuilder developer has an arsenal of tools rather than just one, is learning to develop in several different architectures and is coding in PowerScript, HTML and Java.

The majority of our articles will cover these kinds of topics and continue doing so until the industry moves in an entirely new direction. Although we're gauging the industry's direction and are following Sybase's lead in the direction of their tools and training conferences, we won't know for sure if we're forging the right trail unless our readers tell us. So on behalf of PBDJ's editorial advisory board, I'd like to solicit your opinions, suggestions and advice on what you'd like to see in this magazine. I'd appreciate you taking just a moment to write down your thoughts and send them to me at [email protected]. Your feedback is very important to us and will be carefully considered as we continue to determine the direction of this magazine. I look forward to your input.

More Stories By John Olson

John D. Olson is a principal of Developower, Inc., a consulting company specializing in software solutions using Sybase development tools. A CPD Professional and charter member of TeamSybase, he is co-editor and author of two PB9 books, and the recipient of the ISUG Innovation and Achievement Award for 2003.

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