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Featured Articles

Merging PDF files using PoDoFo

One PDF capability that still hasn't been introduced as a native feature in PowerBuilder is the ability to merge PDF files. We're going to look at how we can easily add that capability using the open source (LGPL) PoDoFo library.

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Quick start for contributing to Open Source PFC

Given that not everyone is fluent in using Git and or Github (where the Open Source PFC is hosted now), I put together a quick introduction in how to get started.  The video below walks through the steps, which in summary are:

  • Create a GitHub account if you don't already have one.  https://github.com/join
  • Navigate to the Open Source PFC and "Fork" a copy of the code into your account.  The 2019 version of the PFC can be found at: https://github.com/OpenSourcePFCLibraries/2019
  • Chose Code -> Clone and copy the HTTPS URL for your fork.
  • Open the PowerBuilder 2019 IDE and with no workspace open select File -> Connect to Workspace.
    • Source Control System:  Choose Git
    • Repository URL: Paste in the URL you copied above
    • Workspace File: Give it any name you choose
    • User ID:  Your Github user id (normally your email address)
    • Password:  Your Github password
    • Checkout Directory:  Select or create a new empty subdirectory on your local machine for the code to be copied to
  • Wait until the source code is downloaded and refreshed (12 to 15 minutes)
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A Simple Methodology for Complex Resizing Scenarios Using the PFC

The Resize service included in the PowerBuilder Foundation Class (PFC) framework is a powerful, yet easy-to-use tool in the developer’s toolbox. Due to several factors, however, many PB developers struggle to make the Resize service perform as they would like, particularly when the layout of window controls and/or the desired resizing behavior steps become non-trivial… and often the developer ends up getting frustrated. As a result, the desired functionality is frequently omitted or severely curtailed.

The issue is not that the Resize service is unable to perform the desired task(s) – I believe it can, in many (perhaps not all) cases. The real issue is learning how to effectively utilize the functionality that already exists. There admittedly is not a lot of instructional material available on how to use the PFC in general and the Resize service in particular, so I’ve created an easy-to-follow methodology you can use to make the Resize service do what you want instead of the Resize service making you to do what it wants.

As you’ll soon see, the steps I describe in this tutorial are simple, yet they can be quickly applied to complex resizing scenarios. I’m also going to give you some free code that implements a couple of handy resize-related features you may want to add to your projects.

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Applying a New UI Theme to Your Application

This tutorial is an update to the 2019 tutorial. If you have zero experience with the UI Theme feature, please first follow our Quick Start tutorial. If you are ready to gain a comprehensive understanding of this feature and dive deeper into UI Theme settings, then please proceed with this updated tutorial.

Starting from PowerBuilder 2019, Appeon added the UI theme feature to PowerBuilder so that developers can codelessly control how commonly-used controls and objects render during application runtime.

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Implementing OAuth 2.0 Authorization with PowerBuilder 2019 R2


PowerBuilder supports getting secured data from the OAuth 2.0 authorization server. The Bearer access token is supported, and the following grant types are supported:

  • Authorization Code
  • Implicit Flow
  • Client Credentials
  • Extension (or Refresh Token)
  • Resource Owner Password

This document provides an example on how to set up OAuth 2.0 authorization workflow using the Authorization Code grant type in a PowerBuilder application.

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How to Define Events for RibbonBar Controls

Learning to define user events for items in the RibbonBar control feels like a lot of trial and error.
Different items support different events. Same event type requires different parameters.
My aim with this article is to take "... and error" out of your RibbonBar coding.
For each ribbon item type you get user event definitions that work.




Each ribbon item has its own XML element (here: Print Title is a CheckBox).
Each item binds specific user events via properties (here: Clicked on CheckBox binds to ue_PrintTitle)
Each user event must have the correct parameter list (here: Clicked event for CheckBox always requires al_handle while no other parameters allowed)
Each item type has its own PowerScript class and functions to obtain the object (here: Obtain class = RibbonCheckBoxItem via function GetCheckBox)

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New Articles

Generating a QR code using QRCoder

QRCoder is an open source .Net assembly for creating QR Codes.  What we're going to do is wrap that with an assembly in SnapDevelop we can use from PowerBuilder.  First thing we need to do is create a .Net standard Class Library project in SnapDevelop.

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Detecting a smart card insertion/removal from PowerBuilder

This is a follow up article to an earlier article I wrote called Communication with a smart card from PowerBuilder. In that article I showed how to interact with a smart card once it was inserted in the reader.  In this article, we're going to look at how we can monitor the card reader to determine when the user inserts or removes a smart card from it.

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Git for a single developer

Let's say you're an independent contractor or a one person shop.  You want to take advantage of the source control features of Git, but you don't want to have to set up a server just for one developer.  Fortunately, you don't have to.  We're going to walk through the steps of connecting PowerBuilder to a local directory based repository.

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"Haunted" Apps - How to Avoid Ghost (Unresponsive) Windows

Are any of the windows in your PowerBuilder applications “haunted” by ghosts?

In the Windows operating system, the term “ghosting” is used to describe how the Desktop Window Manager visually intervenes on a user’s behalf whenever Windows believes the active, or "top-level" application window has become unresponsive. This article describes how Windows determines if a window should be ghosted and how the appearance of a window changes when it becomes ghosted. The article will also examine the common causes of an unresponsive PowerBuilder window and discuss some options for detecting, recovering from and even preventing windows with long-running processes from being ghosted.

Let’s start where most things begin… at the beginning – with an overview of the role of messages and message queues in an event-driven operating system.

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