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This example shows how to get the application path for development and deployment environments. This is compatible with PB 12.6.

I recommend to use a NVO to develop this functionality.

1. First declare the Local External Functions:

FUNCTION int GetModuleFileNameW(&
           ulong hinstModule, &
           REF string lpszPath, &
           ulong cchPath) LIBRARY "KERNEL32.DLL"

FUNCTION ulong GetCurrentDirectoryW (&
  ulong textlen, &
  REF string dirtext) LIBRARY "KERNEL32.DLL"


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This article is a guide to connect Powerbuilder 2017 with TFS. It is important to follow the steps in the order listed in the article.

The prerequisite includes

  • PB17 installed on a local machine.
  • TFS server running with access to the user. A collection is required where the code will be checked in. 

Next follow the below points:

  1. Team explorer 2013 : Yes the first thing needed is to install Visual studio team explorer. I know the first question pop ups in mind is if Visual studio needs to be installed on every machine !! Well the answer is NO. All you need is Team explorer 2013 to access the TFS. Second question is why 2013 ? Well there comes the 32 bit and 64 bit compatibility issues, moreover there is no standalone installer for Team explorer 2015. If you figured out a way to do it with later versions, then mention it in the comments. 

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Frogpond – A study in game design

By: Matt Balent

Presented at the Elevate 2017 conference.


This project began as an exercise with two goals: improve my knowledge of the datawindow ‘modify’ method and provide a simple computer ‘game’ for my four year old to use to improve her mouse skills.  When I was thrust into the role of PowerBuilder consultant in 2007 I knew I had to improve my overall skill level with PB in order to be successful.  An area I had not done much prior work was using the ‘describe’ and ‘modify’ methods to alter a datawindow when the application was running.

Over the years I have demonstrated this application at a variety of user group meetings and conference sessions, often as  a way to pass time.  One near universal reaction is ‘I never knew you could do that in PowerBuilder!’  The source code is provided for this (PB2017 format) application.

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​You might think, why should I bother using PBDOM? You can use PDOM to manipulate elements in an XML document. That means you can move elements within a document or from one document to another. You can add elements to a document or delete elements from a document. Moreover, with some coding it is even possible to import nested XML data into a DataWindow.

With the XML capabilities of the DataWindow introduced with PowerBuilder 9 it is possible to import and export data very fast and easily. You might have given a short look at the PBDOM definition in the PowerBuilder help but at the first sight, it looks quite difficult to handle. In the following article, I introduce PBDOM accompanied by some code samples.

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Note:  While the techniques described here still work, custom Jenkins plugins are now available which are easier to use.  They are described in this article.


In a previous blog post I examined how we could use the Git MSSCCI provider from PB Software in order to use GitHub as a source code provider for PowerBuilder.

In this blog post we're going to take that to the next step, in that we're going to create a build machine separate from our PowerBuilder development machine and then set it up to perform continuous integration.  The term "continuous integration" has a somewhat ambiguous definition, but generally it means that:

  • developers check in changes frequently (at least daily) and
  • that build are done on a regular basis (at least daily, but can be as frequently as after each check-in)

Ideally, automated testing routines would be run on each build to ensure that feedback on any functionality that was broken by the latest code changes are returned to the developers as soon as possible.  Automated testing is outside the scope of this particular article

One of the new features added in PowerBuilder 2017 is a license free stand alone compiler and we're going to use that for this article.   If you are using a older version of PowerBuilder you could use the same approach using the command line argument feature of the PowerBuilder IDE, but it would require installing the full PowerBuilder IDE (including a license) on the build machine.  Alternatively, regardless of which version of PowerBuilder you're using you could use PowerGen in scripted mode.

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TITLE – Window Internals at runtime

“OK, what window are you in?”

“The Spanner Controller window.”

So here I’m shooting for the browser, w_spanner_controller? Nope, no w_spanner anything. W_controller_spanner? Nope, no w_controller anything.

“OK, what’s in the titlebar?” I ask, my frustration growing.

“Untitled, what does that mean?”

Have you ever worked on a system that had literally hundreds of windows with names that are not intuitive? I’ve seen names like w_a13_6.

There are times that at runtime we would love to get information about a window from the user. If only there were a way…

This solution requires a two prong approach. It requires that you have a base class window and a base class menu (see the NOTE at the bottom). Let’s start with the window.