A World of Features with PowerBuilder 2019

A World of Features with PowerBuilder 2019

PowerBuilder 2019,  released on May 31, 2019, brings to the table C# development capabilities (a C# IDE and .NET data access objects), enhanced REST Web API client for PowerScript desktop and Web apps, new UI technology for PowerScript desktop apps, and numerous other enhancements.  But what we want to discuss in this blog article is the world of new features that PowerBuilder projects can take advantage besides what is in the box.

Let’s first start with the world of cloud-based services.  These days pretty much anything you want to do is offered as a cloud-based service - some free and some paid.  For example, you may store and share documents using Dropbox, and then sign legal documents with DocuSign.  As another example, you may strengthen your application security with two-factor authentication using Google’s free app (iOS/Android).  In general, most cloud-based services can be incorporated into PowerBuilder projects by using either the HTTP client or REST client in combination with tokens.

Now if you modernize your app architecture with the new C# Web APIs of PowerBuilder 2019 your world of (free) features kicks up to another level.  In general, any library on NuGet that is compatible with the .NET Core framework can be used in your C# Web API.  For example, just by adding a few lines of code and the Swashbuckle library you can automatically create documentation for your C# Web APIs.  Just keep in mind to read the license agreements because most but not all libraries on NuGet are free.  Aside from the libraries on NuGet, let’s not forget what the .NET Core framework and C# language itself provides.

While this blog doesn’t give you a detailed technical recipe, we hope it has piqued your interest to explore popular cloud services and libraries on NuGet.  You can further your knowledge about the new features of PowerBuilder 2019 by watching the release webinar.  If you get stuck, take advantage of the community Q&A.  And we hope you will attend Elevate 2019 to get live training on the new features of PowerBuilder 2019.

  3274 Hits
  4 Comments
3274 Hits
4 Comments

The Future of PowerScript Desktop Apps

Now that PowerBuilder 2019 and its new C# development capabilities are in beta, we are starting to get questions about the future of PowerScript desktop apps.  Specifically, does Appeon recommend developers to move away from PowerScript desktop apps?  And related to this point, will Appeon be enhancing or just maintaining the features of PowerScript desktop apps?

A quick look at the PowerBuilder roadmap page and it is obvious we have put much focus on the C# language, open standards, and cloud architecture.  Increasingly, most new .NET projects have such high-level requirements.  Perhaps this is why the .NET framework is radically different these days – the .NET Core framework is open source, cross OS, and targeted for cloud deployment.  And unfortunately, we could not use any of the .NET stuff Sybase did because it didn’t meet these requirements.  So certainly, we had to put a lot of focus on non-client/server features. 

Now let’s assume for the sake of argument that the cloud is the future and focus on if and how a PowerScript desktop app fits into such future.  A native UI technology (e.g. PowerScript desktop app) has certain advantages over HTML (e.g. ASP.NET page) and vice versa.  However, for most line-of-business apps we believe a native UI technology offers the best set of tradeoffs.  Key industry players like Microsoft seem to be recognizing the shortcomings of HTML and trying to lessen this gap with Progressive Web Apps (PWAs).  At Appeon, we think it makes more sense to “cloudify” the PowerScript desktop app than replace it with some other technology. 

In fact, we began to “cloudify” the PowerScript desktop app the second we took over PowerBuilder, which we did on top of its existing C++ runtime and PowerScript language.  Starting with PowerBuilder 2017, we introduced an all-purpose HTTP client, a REST-specific client, an OAuth2 client (with support for tokens), and JSON handling (parsing, generating, packaging).  And in PowerBuilder 2019, we have significantly enhanced all of these features, especially how they integrate with the DataWindow to minimize the amount of coding you do. 

But of course, there is still more work for Appeon to do with the PowerScript desktop app to make it attractive for new projects, no matter they are client/server or cloud based.  This is exactly why in every single release for the foreseeable future we have planned to bring major new features to the desktop target.  For example, in PowerBuilder 2019 we will revamp the UI of desktop apps.  And in PowerBuilder 2021 we plan to revamp deployment of desktop apps (from the cloud).  Beyond that, it would be silly of us to say now, and most vendors wouldn’t even say this much. 

Read More
  64143 Hits
  28 Comments
64143 Hits
28 Comments

Elevate 2018 – Annual PowerBuilder Conference Last Call

Elevate 2018 – Annual PowerBuilder Conference Last Call

This years Elevate 2018 Conference is now fast approaching so it is time to register to benefit from the significant amount of technical sessions scheduled.  The technical sessions should be of interest no matter you are primarily maintaining an app or looking to elevate your apps to the next level. The conference itself this year is scheduled for November 5-7, 2018 in Philadelphia at the Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel, and your registration fee covers the 60+ hours of technical sessions, breakfasts and lunches, and admission to a special evening networking event.

The conference will start out with an information-packed keynote address that will cover many exciting items about PB 2017 R3, the upcoming PB 2018, and the latest updates to the product roadmap. The keynote will also address the new C# features of PB 2018 with valuable information, such as: 

How PowerBuilder 2018 fits in the .NET ecosystem?How PowerBuilder 2018 takes your apps to the cloud?How will PowerBuilder modernize the UI of your apps?What are the latest updates to the PowerBuilder roadmap?

Many technical sessions are planned related to the key features and technologies of PB 2018 such as:  .NET Core framework direction, n-tier REST based architecture, the new C# DataStore/ModelMapper, and so on. Following the keynote address, various daily technical sessions will commence focusing on hot topic areas such as: C# with PowerBuilder, Modernizing your UI/UX, Cloudify Existing App, Integration, Design & Best Practices, and Development Productivity. In between these sessions, you will be able to schedule time to meet one-on-one with the Appeon Product Team or Appeon staff to discuss your specific project questions or challenges.

Building on the excellent feedback from last years Elevate 2017 conference, you will be excited to hear that many of last years presenters will also be returning to Elevate 2018 to present fresh new topics for this year. On the Appeon side, the Elevate 2018 conference will also have the pleasure of key people from the Appeon Product Team, including Appeon CTO John Qi and Appeon product manager Julie Jiang, and of course other Appeon staff. Many of the returning conference presenters are also well-known Appeon MVPs such as: Bruce Armstrong, Marco Meoni, Michael Kramer, and Matt Balent, just to mention a few. There will also be a host of presentations from real-life Appeon customers who will educate you how they overcame project challenges or used new features of PowerBuilder.

The daily agenda will start with a continental breakfast at 8:00am followed by Education Sessions from 9:00am to 12:00pm, where afterwards lunch will be served. Following lunch, the Education Sessions will continue from 1:00pm through until 5:00pm. On the last day, the Education Sessions will conclude earlier at 3:00pm for those wanting to catch an early flight or drive back home.

Read More
  2260 Hits
  4 Comments
2260 Hits
4 Comments