1. Raymond Longoria
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. Tuesday, 29 September 2020 08:43 AM UTC

I am working with a client who has a client server application in Powerbuilder 2017. They want to migrate it to a web application. Can you point me to some documentation that argues for using CloudPro as opposed to Java or .Net?

Accepted Answer
Armeen Mazda @Appeon Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Tuesday, 29 September 2020 15:42 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # Permalink

Hi Raymond,

The word "web app" means a lot of different things to different people.  I just want to clarify that PowerServer converts your PowerBuilder project into a real "app" (the UI is not HTML) and it only supports Windows OS devices (desktops, laptops, Surface, etc.).  This doc explains more about the architecture of PowerServer: https://docs.appeon.com/whitepapers/Whitepaper_Deploying_PowerBuilder_Apps_to_the_Cloud.pdf

We haven't created a doc to compare PowerServer to a rewrite because it is just a no brainer (if you can accept the limitations I outlined above).  With the upcoming PowerServer 2021, which is what I recommend given the timing of your project, you should be able to convert your app in a few weeks.  Ask them how much its going to cost to rewrite in C# or Java???  LOL

Now if it is a requirement that the UI is HTML, then you have no choice but to bite the bullet.  However, we have created a C# code conversion suite of tools and framework called RapidSharp, which compared to rewrite can realistically reduce the overall project effort by 30-40%.  It automates the conversion of PowerBuilder business logic to C# and you manually rewrite just the UI.  This web page explains more about what it does and benefits: https://www.appeon.com/bundles/rapidsharp/csharp-migration-solution

Rewrites are risky and prone to failure.  I have seen countless customers revert back to PowerBuilder or regret their decisions and waste tons of money/resources.  But anyway, no matter which way your company decides to go, Appeon offers products to make that conversion as easy as possible.

The last thing I will say is I view Java as legacy.  If you are going to change languages, I much prefer C# over Java.  Oracle has just pissed all over Java, and arguably C# is a more powerful and productive programming language since it is newer than Java and Microsoft "learned" from Java.

Best regards,


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Raymond Longoria Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Wednesday, 30 September 2020 21:12 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 1

Thanks to all for the sensible feedback! I will be compiling all of this information to present to my client.

  1. Armeen Mazda @Appeon
  2. Wednesday, 30 September 2020 22:39 PM UTC
Glad my answer was useful for you!
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Olan Knight Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Tuesday, 29 September 2020 23:45 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 2

I'll add to what Armeen said about Java.

Java is a 3GL and as such has a solid foundation of users, BUT there is zero control on how to create a Java application. This can lead to nearly indecipherable code.

How do I know this? I inherited a piece of Java code that is perhaps the single most cryptic piece of software I've ever seen. It's as if the writer had ADHD, then took acid, and just typed whatever came into their mind until the app was finished.  It's so bad that every piece of assembly code I've ever seen was easier to read.


  1. Armeen Mazda @Appeon
  2. Wednesday, 30 September 2020 00:03 AM UTC
Geez.... your story is so sad yet so funny!
  1. Helpful
  1. Chris Pollach @Appeon
  2. Wednesday, 30 September 2020 00:25 AM UTC
I've seen ADHD code in almost every language. It doesn't take much to screw up any codeline - even in PB. It usually stems from people who have never spent a lot of time supporting code before becoming a full time developer. So they never learned or appreciated how to write "clean" maintainable code. :-(
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Marco Meoni Accepted Answer Pending Moderation
  1. Tuesday, 29 September 2020 16:40 PM UTC
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. # 3

usually watching a video, even if a bit old, is simpler than reading docs:


If PowerServer will be your way to go, you can be sure it is still the fastest solution to migrate PB to the Web.

And, as pointed out by Armeen, the upcoming PowerServer 2021 will boost performance, especially if combined with PB-featured C# REST API.


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