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Sybase PowerBuilder Web Services

Sybase PowerBuilder Web Services

Sybase is embracing the changing world of software development by driving PowerBuilder to new heights. As part of the product's strategic future, PowerBuilder will be extending its Web architecture capabilities. We have already provided an integrated RAD environment for developing Web applications. The future holds many promising Web capabilities, including Web services.

Sue Dunnell, PowerBuilder product manager, has more to say about what Web services will look like in PowerBuilder:

"PowerBuilder will embrace all Web services standards, including SOAP, WSDL, UDDI, and XML, as well as other new standards as they progress. Developers will be able to publish and edit data and exchange XML information via the underlying Web services protocols. PowerBuilder will deliver a RAD environment for creating Web services components or for easily migrating legacy components to Web services. This will be the initial phase of support for Microsoft's .NET framework. PowerBuilder will also facilitate building rich GUI client applications or JSP Web clients that act as consumers of Web services.

"PowerBuilder will include Web services wizards so users can specify the Web services via WSDL files, generate corresponding proxies if necessary, and then automatically build the PowerBuilder client or JSP client based on the user's choice. PowerBuilder will also provide classes to trace SOAP objects, process SOAP requests and responses, and handle exceptions for advanced developers. Ignoring the complexity of WSDL and SOAP, users can quickly build PowerBuilder clients to send SOAP requests and process responses to interact with Web services, as they already do when coding familiar PowerScript functions. Using the Sybase Web Services Toolkit, developers can create a Web service from a PowerBuilder component deployed in EAServer and use SOAP to expose it across a firewall. PowerBuilder Web services will support standard data types, arrays, and structures.

"To easily and efficiently manipulate the XML data for Web services, PowerBuilder will provide users with a tool to select data values from a DataWindow and save as XML according to a user-defined XML Export template. Similarly, new ImportFile templates can be defined to import data from XML documents into a DataWindow. The XML services in PowerBuilder will provide a number of PowerScript functions and classes for developers to create, read, write, and manipulate XML documents at a high level and they are engineered to extend PowerBuilder's RAD to XML applications.

"The initial release, PBDOM (DOM in PowerScript), will be a subset of the entire PB XML Services. PBDOM enables developers to manage XML documents simply and effectively using PowerBuilder, and concentrate on their business use of XML and Web services."

Web services and XML, as abstract technologies, hold great promise in the areas of application interoperability and accessibility. PowerBuilder realizes the full potential of both by enabling users to transform the abstract to the concrete. The integration of both technologies into PowerBuilder strongly reinforces its commitment to open standards and rapid application development by allowing developers to focus on their particular problem domain rather than on the complexities of the technologies and specific vendor products involved in the ultimate solution.

More Stories By Raj Nathan

Raj Nathan, PhD, is senior vice president and general manager of the Enterprise Solutions Division at Sybase, where he's responsible for strategic oversight of the
company's core database and middleware business. Dr. Nathan holds a PhD and a master's degree in industrial engineering from Iowa State University.

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