Enhanced Source Code Control for PB2017 R2/R3

Enhanced Source Code Control
for PB2017 R2/R3

PowerBuilder R2, released in January 2018, added native support for both the Git and SVN (Subversion) source code control (SCC) software. This native support, where PowerBuilder interfaces directly with these popular SCC systems using their native APIs, allowed PowerBuilder to support more SCC features as well as realize much faster SCC performance and reliability. SCC can be accomplished without requiring the TortoiseGit and TortoiseSVN client software, but to get the full benefits of Git or SVN we recommend installing and using the appropriate Tortoise client software.

PowerBuilder 2017 R3, scheduled to release in the summer of 2018, adds support for additional native APIs of Git and SVN (i.e. more SCC features in PowerBuilder) as well as some usability enhancements. The new features and enhancements include: difference comparison, logging, locking (SVN only, but this is not really needed for Git – more on that in a future blog), support for OrcaScript compiles via Git/SVN, and no longer needing the PBG file (PB’s legacy SCC mechanism). These new SCC features and usability enhancements greatly improve developer productivity when using PowerBuilder with Git or SVN.

It worthwhile to point out that Git and SVN are not the same SCC architectural wise. In a nutshell, Git architecture is based on a distributed approach while the SVN architecture is based on a traditional centralized approach. While both Git and SVN overlap in solving SCC problems, there architectural differences poses trade-offs. A centralized approach like SVN can make administration of the SCC much easier to manage versus Git, but at the cost of some developer productivity and flexibility.

On the other hand, Git allows multiple developers to work on the same object, branching and rewriting history, and offline development, just to name a few of its highlights. However, this comes at the expense of having to merge changes across local developer repositories due to its distributed nature, which under most circumstances TortoiseGit can automatically resolve for you should it happen.

Git is the source code version control system that is rapidly becoming the standard for Microsoft as well as many public (e.g. open source) projects. This was highlighted in 2018 with Microsoft’s acquisition of GitHub.  Also, a number of other popular SCC systems now support using Git as the SCC repository.  In fact, the default configuration now for TFS is using Git (rather than TFVC) as its repository.

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