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One of the first things you'll notice when you open up the File -> New -> DataWindow dialog is the new TreeView DataWindow presentation style (see Figure 1). The first thing you'll actually notice is that all of the IDE icons have more of an XP style, but then you'll notice the new presentation style. Once you've double-clicked on that you'll see the same series of dialogs that you're already familiar with from the other presentation styles, in which you select the data source, the tables to use, the columns in the tables, etc.

That is, it will be familiar until after you've finished defining the SELECT statement. Once you leave that, you encounter a new Report Definition dialog (see Figure 2). Here you indicate whether you want the TreeView DataWindow to be a Grid Style or not and which columns from the SQL statement should be associated with the first level on the TreeView. You can add other levels to the TreeView after it has been created, similar to the way you create additional group breaks in a group DataWindow (see Figure 3).

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Chapter 5 of PowerBuilder 9: Advanced Client/Server Development included a discussion on how to add items to the New dialog within the PowerBuilder IDE. This article will review that information and look at a couple of additional techniques for extending the PowerBuilder IDE

Adding Items to the New Dialog
All versions of PowerBuilder 7 and beyond allow you to add items to the New Dialog by adding entries to the registry. First navigate to:


where X is the major version of PowerBuilder that you are creating the new item for (7, 8, or 9). Under that key create a new subkey called "CLSID" that all the new items will be located under (see Figure 1).

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Oracle was slow to introduce support for returning result sets from stored procedures. When they finally did add such support, they did so in a manner that was somewhat different than the approach used by other vendors.

This has a couple of consequences for PowerBuilder developers. The first is that the PBDBMS approach was developed within PowerBuilder as an interim workaround. The second is that using stored procedures to return result sets is not as widespread a practice with Oracle databases as it is with other database products.

This article (an excerpt from an upcoming book on PowerBuilder 9) is an attempt to address this situation. The interim PBDBMS solution is going away. In PowerBuilder 8, support for the PBDBMS was restricted to the O73 driver and with PowerBuilder 9, support for it will be dropped completely. If you're still using that old technique and need to migrate, or you would just like to learn the new one, this article should help.

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Note:  This blog entry is basically the written version of a video I did for the SAP Database and Technology Academy.  You can either watch the video or read the blog entry, or both if you’re so inclined.



Why use Autoincrementing Columns?


Before we get into how, first we need to look at why we want to use autoincrementing columns.  So let’s step back and consider how we want to create primary keys for the entities in our databases.  There are basically two approaches, using “natural” (intelligent) keys or “surrogate” (non-intelligent) key.  Natural (or intelligent) keys mean we pick some attribute of the entity itself that we believe provides a unique value we can use to reference that entity. We then use that key in foreign key references into other tables.