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HarPB Tool Review

The superman of robust interfaces for PowerBuilder

I am currently the administrator of AllFusion Harvest. I manage 100 applications housed in AllFusion Harvest and support the 180 developers using it. The development tools we currently use are PowerBuilder PBV8 and PBV11, Visual Studio 2005, Java and Visual Basic.

As software configuration manager, I provide the administration of the source code management tools. This includes the entire infrastructure of the environment for development – from developing the life cycles, to providing the best practices, procedures, processes, and training of all the developers on proper source code management with the development tools in our environment.

In 1999, Computer Associates acquired Platinum Products and Phil Wallingford from E. Crane Computing was introduced to the state of New Hampshire. Phil has been an integral part of the state’s development team for many years now. We currently use two of his products: PowerGen and HarPB. We use PowerGen to do all builds in-house for PowerBuilder development and we use HarPB, the interface to Harvest for all PowerBuilder checkouts and check-ins. Our fully automated process is based on PowerGen and operates flawlessly.

Below are definitions of HarPB, a description of the graphical user interface, distinctive features, advantages, an example of HarPB, and my synopsis of the product along with my review. I apologize if there are too many figures for some folks. I find visuals provide clarity and understanding of products. I hope you find them helpful with respect to HarPB. It is the superman of robust interfaces for PowerBuilder.

HarPB: A Definition
HarPB is a specialized utility for checking PowerBuilder source objects in and out of AllFusion Harvest. It handles the special requirements of checking objects out to PowerBuilder Libraries (PBLs) and checking objects in from PBLs. These operations are non-standard to most source control systems, because the PBL is a proprietary binary format of PowerBuilder.

Due to the PowerBuilder Library structure we use PowerGen to do a mass export of all the PowerBuilder objects as flat files and store those in a repository in Harvest. We then use HarPB to do all the checkouts and check-ins from Harvest by using the import/export activity from within HarPB.

The HarPB user interface, its graphical user interface (GUI), is designed for ease-of-use and minimal training time. Standardized icons and toolbars are used throughout the interface.

HarPB is a very easy install. It takes just a matter of minutes and is virtually maintenance-free. Its support is stellar as well and E. Crane Computing is exceptional when it comes to managing any deficiencies, modifications, or enhancements against the product.

More Stories By Al Soucy

Al Soucy is software configuration manager at the State of New Hampshire's Department of Information Technology (DoIT). In that role Al manages software configuration for dozens of PowerBuilder applications as well as applications written in Java, .NET, and COBOL (yes, COBOL). Al plays bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric rhythm/lead guitar, drums, mandolin, keyboard; he sings lead and back up vocals and he has released 8 CDs.

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