1. Ankur Patel
  2. PowerBuilder
  3. Thursday, 16 December 2021 14:55 PM UTC

Hello All,

 

Is anyone aware of a way to embed a manifest or use an external manifest in an exe generated using orcascript? We are currently using PowerBuilder 2019 R2 Build 2353. We are using Git as source control. After initial PBL upload we never upload the PBL again to the git so during exe creation we use orcascript to bootstrap completely new PBLs from the ws_objects folder and it is working great for us but the only shortcoming is that we don't have any kind of manifest support in the orcascript

I have tried all the ways to generate the exe but it seems all the ways have some shortcoming which is not acceptable to us.

I am listing all the ways using which you can create a PowerBuilder Exe.

1. PB IDE

In the PB IDE, we can choose the option for external manifest and generate an EXE and modify the externally generated manifest to our liking. The obvious disadvantage is that we can not reliably automate this process.

2. OrcaScript

This is the process we currently use. We use the approach as described here by Appeon: https://docs.appeon.com/pb2019r2/pbug/apbs04.html

This works perfectly, the only problem is that there is no manifest support. The exe generated by orcascript still has a manifest embedded in it so we cannot use an external manifest. I also tried to embed a different manifest into the generated exe using mt.exe and resource hacker but the resulting exe gets corrupted and no longer runs. 

3. OrcaScript + PBC190

This approach has the application icon problem as described in the following posts.

https://www.appeon.com/standardsupport/search/view?id=638

https://community.appeon.com/index.php/qna/q-a/set-application-icon-when-building-exe-with-pbc170

In the above article, Ken Guo has mentioned

PB 2019 R3 and PB 2021 already have the Application ICON information built into the Application Object, so they no longer need to set the Icon for ORCA, PBC and PBAutoBuild.

The icon information is now saved in the .sra application object but still PBC is not able to generate an exe with an icon if the pbls are recreated from orcascript. The application icon only shows up if you open the IDE, open the application object, add a space, remove that space and then save that application object again. Now using that PBL you will be able to generate an exe with icons using PBC. But this is of course unacceptable.

https://community.appeon.com/index.php/qna/q-a/setting-application-icon-when-compiling-from-source-censored-files-not-pbls-using-in-pbc170-exe

https://community.appeon.com/index.php/qna/q-a/pbc-parameter-for-application-icon

I am not sure why Appeon did not fix this after so many users faced this issue. The simple issue with this approach is that we have to delete all the PBLs first and then recreate them using orcascript first. And when we delete the PBLs the resulting application PBL does not have the application icon embedded in it so the exe generated using PBC190 also doesn't have an icon. 

The reason why we have to delete all the PBLs and recreate PBLs is described in detail here: https://www.appeon.com/standardsupport/search/view?id=3083 (The main reason is the refresh target function of orcascript does not delete the objects from PBLs if those objects are deleted/moved from the ws_objects folder)

Another disadvantage to this approach is that this approach takes almost 1.7x more time than the orcascript only approach.

4. PBAutoBuild210

This approach seems to have fixed all the problems that I described above but this approach is still very new and PBAutoBuild210 still has some bugs to be fixed. Also, we are not yet ready to move to PB 2021 just yet.

PBAutoBuild210 also had the same icon problem as mentioned in the 3rd approach: https://www.appeon.com/standardsupport/search/view?id=7338

Though, thankfully, Appeon did fix it this time. But there is still one more open issue which is a dealbreaker for us: https://www.appeon.com/standardsupport/search/view?id=7557

It seems like PBAutoBuild has issues with PBL names starting with "u". A Tool that cannot even handle simple characters like this just shows that PBAutoBuild is still in very early stages and we really don't want to use it for our production builds. 

 

Please let me know if anyone knows of any way to add manifest support to orcascript. We want to either embed a custom manifest file in the exe or use an external manifest. 

 

Thanks,

Ankur Patel

 

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