1. Daniel Vivier
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. Saturday, 6 August 2022 19:17 PM UTC

If we want to create true web application versions of our client/server PB applications, and maintain both versions, what do users recommend as the best technological options?

Obviously it's not PowerServer, because it's not really a web application, and runs only on Windows. We want something you can run from any O/S.

Ideally it would be able to share some code with our installed client/server applications, to avoid a complete re-write.

I'm aware of TopwizWeb but haven't heard any user feedback on its use for significant-sized applications. 

I know that the web DW is discontinued so that doesn't seem to be an option.

I also know there are 3rd-party converters (such as mobilize.net) from PB apps to web technologies, but obviously then you end up with something completely disconnected from your original PB code and you have to maintain two entirely separate code lines, if you want to maintain both versions.

Just building something with modern web technologies from scratch, i.e. a complete re-write of the functionality, seems prohibitively difficult and error-prone.

What are your thoughts? Thanks. 

Daniel Vivier Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Monday, 8 August 2022 19:58 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 1

TopWiz Software's TopWizWeb, which allows you to call into PB code directly from your HTML, with "TopWizWeb Server Pages", sounds like something appealing to try out. Haven't done so yet but likely will.

I should also mention that as I understand it, the PB C# stuff states that only limited DBMSs are supported using ODBC, and that does not include Firebird SQL, which is what we use, and are very happy with. Any other ODBC datasources are "use at your own risk, not supported". Back when we were considering trying out PowerServer a few years ago we tried ports to get our existing code working with both MySQL and PostgreSQL and ran into significant difficulties with both of them. And that would be yet another case where we consistently maintain aspects of 2 code bases if we weren't using Firebird for the web app version.

  1. Mark Goldsmith
  2. Wednesday, 10 August 2022 19:24 PM UTC
Thanks Roland. I know you have developed TopwizWeb and I haven't dismissed it as a possibility as I haven't tried it...but do plan to do so. I do like the idea of being able to use existing PB code and not have to recreate the GUI side of an app for Android/ Apple apps (and for that reason was disappointed that Appeon discontinued that capability with more recent versions of PowerServer).

Understanding that you do offer TopwizWeb, do you have any thoughts on your experience with B4A? Would you recommend it and if not, why not?

Thanks again Roland!
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  1. Sivaprakash BKR
  2. Thursday, 11 August 2022 08:30 AM UTC

I didn't try B4I (B4X community and Erel claims that it's easy).

IMO, Pros of B4A

1. B4A is easy. If one knows VB, it's lot easier to understand and code it.

2. I like the designer concept very much. One can live preview the design, in the connected mobile.

3. Vibrant community and developer.


1. It's not a community developed product. And no enterprise backing too (IMO).

2. It's different in the way documentation/help files are organized.

3. Need to search for Libraries in the forum. One must get used to it.

We still learn it, though released one small mobile apps where around 35 users are using it since Apr'2022.

A simple and awesome product IMO.


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  1. Mark Goldsmith
  2. Thursday, 11 August 2022 12:04 PM UTC
Thanks very much for your feedback!
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mike S Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Sunday, 7 August 2022 15:21 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 2

you should still consider starting with powerserver deployment.  Yes it is windows only, but it is a cloud application.  Most of the techniques for managing your customers's data and deployment of the application is the same.  The server setups will be similar too.

You only really lose out to customers on MAC who refuse to run a windows emulator, and those on tablets that don't want a windows tablet.  


you can start to migrate the code to web services and call it from PB/PS, and it will also be available for your future web/html applications to use.


  1. Daniel Vivier
  2. Sunday, 7 August 2022 15:31 PM UTC
Mike we already have a perfectly good option that has the advantages of PowerServer, AND works on Macs, which is a remote-control solution using Graphon (same sort of idea as Terminal Server or Citrix). The next thing, if we do it, has to be a true web app.
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Miguel Leeuwe Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Sunday, 7 August 2022 11:37 AM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 3

Hi Dan,

In my opinion, "migrating you business logic to C#" might be a nice start, but there might be a lot of dependencies with dw columns being visible or not (for example) and other attributes of a visual datawindow. I'm not so sure how difficult it would be. Then there's the other thing of still having to pay licences to Appeon.

Personally I would indeed start from scratch or not start at all, but that's just my opinion on not having seen a lot of success yet of companies doing similar stuff, migrating big applications (unless using powerserver !!).



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Armeen Mazda @Appeon Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Sunday, 7 August 2022 01:41 AM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 4

One option to consider is migrating your PB business logic into C# Web API layer using PowerScript Migrator.  PowerScript Migrator included with PB CloudPro subscription.  You would need to manually to develop the HTML UI... there is no automatic conversion of that.

  1. Daniel Vivier
  2. Monday, 8 August 2022 19:52 PM UTC
My concern about that, Armeen, is like what Miguel said - it's no help with the front end, plus as soon as you have done the conversions, the C# code is disassociated with the original PB code (DWs and PowerScript). So if you are trying to maintain both versions (PB and web application) with similar functionality you are still maintaining 2 related but different-language code bases all of the time. Double the effort, and error prone.
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  1. Armeen Mazda @Appeon
  2. Monday, 8 August 2022 22:34 PM UTC
I understand. Only solution I am aware of to maintain one set of code for both client/server and Cloud/Internet app is PowerServer or do the remote desktop workaround that you mentioned.
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