Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE


News: Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE

  1. Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE (22 messages)

    Sybase today announced the general availability of PowerBuilder 8, celebrating the tenth anniversary of PowerBuilder. PowerBuilder 8 is an IDE designed for developing J2EE based applications, fully integrated with Sybases Enterprise Application Server (EAServer).

    Press Release:
    EMERYVILLE, Calif., June 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Sybase, Inc. (NYSE: SY) today announced the general availability of PowerBuilder 8 in conjunction with the celebration of the tenth anniversary of PowerBuilder. PowerBuilder 8 is the latest version of the industry-leading integrated application development environment for eBusiness and client/server solutions. It includes powerful new features that speed up the development of n-tier, Web, and client/server enterprise applications.

    PowerBuilder 8 also includes several key capabilities that allow developers to build Web sites and write Web applications within the PowerBuilder IDE. It provides tight integration with Sybase EAServer-a Java2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) branded application server. Developers can build and deploy PowerBuilder components to EAServer from within the PowerBuilder IDE.

    According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) survey of IS managers, their preferred tools for developing their most recent mission critical applications were 4GL/RAD tools such as PowerBuilder. Steve Hendrick, vice president of Application Development and Deployment research at IDC, said, "There is no doubt that PowerBuilder 8 is the best PowerBuilder yet, and given the new capabilities of this release, PowerBuilder developers should be very pleased. And, the addition of 4GL Web functionality into PowerBuilder 8 simplifies the process of building transactional Web-based applications."

    Raj Nathan, senior vice president and general manager of the Sybase Enterprise Solutions Division, said, "PowerBuilder's tenth anniversary underscores that it is a proven tool for RAD, object-oriented, component-based application development. The next logical step for us was to integrate tighter Web and n-tier development capabilities into this release so customers could rapidly build applications for next-generation environments while completing projects on time and within budget."

    The flexibility of the types of application development that PowerBuilder 8 supports results in the speedy and cost-effective creation of applications. Organizations can leverage their existing PowerBuilder infrastructure- applications, developer skills, training, and support-in combination with the new capabilities of the version 8 release to maximize their return on investment and reduce capital and operational expenditures.

    New PowerBuilder 8 Capabilities:
    Web Development -- Web targets-manage all the elements required to build a Web site such as HTML files, scripts, images, and downloaded components, as well as settings for build options, database connections, and deployment.

    -- 4GL Web development -with Web target object model extensions, generate template code for dynamic Web pages and handle the complexities of data
    transfer, HTML generation, and JavaScript generation for server scripts.

    -- Web target wizards-create Web sites, 4GL Web pages with declarative server-side data bindings, Web DataWindow pages, frame set pages,
    cascading style sheets and more.

    EAServer Integration -- The EAServer component wizard can create components that implement existing EAServer interfaces.

    -- PowerBuilder client applications and components can act as clients to Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)™ components on EAServer.

    PowerBuilder 8 includes over 50 productivity enhancements that provide end-users with innovative capabilities to develop their products more quickly than ever before, including:

    -- Workspaces and targets-build, preview, and deploy multiple applications simultaneously.

    -- System Tree - open, build, and deploy objects, and use drag-and-drop programming directly from this display of the contents of the

    -- Output window -display results from a variety of operations and take direct action on error messages.

    -- Clip window -store frequently used PowerScript or HTML code segments.

    -- Exception handling - handle errors in PowerBuilder applications and components using Java-style exceptions.

    -- Source editor -edit the source of PowerScript objects directly.

    Other enhancements include: -- Source control - support workspaces, Web targets, multiple file operations, sub-projects, offline development, and improved status reporting with a complete redesign.

    -- Built-in internationalization - support double-byte character sets.

    Availability and Pricing
    The Enterprise edition of PowerBuilder 8 is expected to be available worldwide within 30 days. Pricing begins at $1495 for an update license, and at $2995 for a new license. Volume licenses are also available. For more information or pricing on other PowerBuilder versions, call (800) 8 SYBASE or visit

    About Sybase, Inc.
    Sybase provides enterprise-class software solutions that fuel eBusiness and enable access to Information anytime, anyplace. With its industry-leading Enterprise Portal (EP), mobile and wireless, and vertical-market solutions, Sybase is one of the largest global independent software companies in the world. For more information, visit the Sybase Web site:

    Threaded Messages (22)

  2. Are they still exist ?!
    I thought this monster (PowerBuilder) died long time ago.
    I've used it for 3 years long time ago (versions 5 - 6.5).
    It's a horrible tool, has nothing to do with java and J2EE.
    At least till version 7.
  3. Yes the monster still exists :(
    Sure am glad I don't have to develop anything new in it anymore but I do review some of our legacy apps written in PB for porting to J2EE!

  4. You guys are funny! It was a decent builder for a while
    in 92-94. Yes, I agreed - it could be a "dinasour" with
    new cloths.
  5. Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE[ Go to top ]

    Not sure of its applicability to J2EE - does seem like a square peg/round hole thing.

    However, I am curious as to why you considered it a horrible tool. In the day (when people were still using Java for Applets and thought it was cool - gasp), it was an *excellent* tool IMHO. No other 4GL/GUIs came close for building client/server DB apps. OO, a decent scripting language, full support for Windows events, and the almighty datawindow! We were actually an early-adopter of the Java port of the datawindow/datastore, and used it for our data access service with Sybase Jaguar (EJB before Entity Beans or JDO) -which is now bundled into EAS. Worked great, and saved me from writing a *crapload* of JDBC/SQL code.

  6. Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE[ Go to top ]

    I must applaud Powerbuilder for the ease of use and short learning curve. I must a novice could just take less than a week to be able to develop cool powerbuilder applications.
  7. The main thing I hated about PB and in my opinion it's main weekness is the way it the IDE hides everything from you. It can be a pain to find a reference to an object or method call if it's say 5 levels below in the middle of your inheritance heirachy.

    I guess it's kind of a trivial thing though but if you are used to seeing all your source with other tools (such as VB VC++, Visual Cafe) it can be cumbersome. I tend to like coding in a plain text style of editor and seeing all the source from top to bottom at anytime.

    The PBLs are also binary so if you wanted to look at all the code for the PBL you have to export it to plain text using a feature built into PB. If the PBL became corrupted for whatever reason you better have a backup copy on hand or an exported version in plain text to restore from or else goodbye to all your hard work.

    Must admit the thing that impressed me most was the power of the DataWindow. I don't think any tool can touch it to this day.


  8. Mike:

    If you talk about OO and RAD - Powerbuilder is far
    behind Borland Delphi!
  9. Delphi!!?!? What have you been smoking??? That was a first attempt at a bad tool. I remember back when you started it up you then went to lunch hoping it was up when you got back.
  10. This is slightly going of topic now, but I really don't know on which platform you have been using Delphi. I started with Delphi when I went to highschool quite a while ago (rel 1.whatever) and with professional equipment it was a cool and reliable tool for creating client server apps. When I compare it to the lousy performance that JBuilder offers even with 512MB Ram on a P3 it's definitely not a step into the right direction. Delphi was definitely faster and I never had the chance to go for a coffee while the compiler was checking dependencies.


  11. Give me a break. Far behind? Exactly how? PB supported exactly the OO features I needed: inheritance and polymorphism. BTW, Delphi was one of the most unusable GUIs ever built for a development tool. It was never a serious threat to PB, AFAIK. But then, I jumped on the Java bandwagon in 96, so I haven't used PB much since then.

    The reality is, PB supports OO well enough to build some pretty sophisticated applications, frameworks, and class libs. What other 4GL tools had OO in 1994? It may not be a pure OO language (C++ technically isn't either), but in an IT development environment, who really cares? What's important is having a tool that enables fast construction of C/S apps - getting any reuse at all was a huge benefit.

  12. Agreed.

    Like most good RAD tools, PowerBuilder has the problem that it allows poor developers to be superficially productive (satifying their managers) and develop code without any obvious thought or design. Consequently there is a lot of bad PB applications around. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that the tool itself is at fault.

    The problem is inexperienced, lazy or just plain bad developers, and unfortunately these developers will still be around long after PowerBuilder has gone. They will probably be using VB or Java.

    It's important to remember that 2-tier client/server was the cutting edge during the early/mid 90's and Powerbuilder was the cutting edge tool to use. For these database applications and in this context, Powerbuilder was vastly superior to VB and even Delphi (sorry Delphi fans), although Delphi was a far more rounded product.

  13. There was no J2EE 3 years ago! :)
    And consider this: If there is a need for rich client ( not everybody using HTML applications yet) PB can do it faster than Java, VB or many other
    About "horrible tool" - did you get chance to "really" learn it?
  14. Yes, I mastered my knowledge of PB during 3 years of extensive work with it. My project manager who is a big FAN of PB and worked with it since version 1, was astonished by my performance.

    By the way, we delivered our big project (for BP) with great success DESPITE USING PB, just because we had a great team of talented developers.

    Unfortunately for PB, I am not a novice programmer. I have a Master degree in CS, programming. Before PB I had quite long experience, working with different languages/tools, including C++, Delphi, VB. So I really can compare them.

    Using tools like PB with BIG, FAT, BUGGY and awkward technologies like DataWindow is OK for novices, who want some miracle tool do the work for them. It's ridiculous even to name it object-oriented. Have you ever seen a paradigm in object oriented world that encourage you to create and use objects that do all this stuff:
    1. Connect to DB;
    2. retrieve tables and metadata;
    3. Show it on the screen;
    4. print it;
    5. Create fancy reports

    No wonder it's so buggy
  15. You can use OO in PB as match as you want (or can...)
  16. You can use OO in PB as match as you want (or can...)
  17. Vagif,

    I think the main strength of the Datawindow was not to make it 'OK' for novices, rather to speed up the development cycle for all the developers regardless of experience. I think that it was very successful in this respect.

    I'd also be interested in you definition of what makes a language object oriented.

    I am a little confused by your posting. You are obviously very experienced and talented, but what exactly is your point?

  18. I don't want to open a flame here (PB vs ...)
    PB is a good and powerful tool. It's proved with my own rather successful experience with PB.

    I'm just tired of spending 50% of my work to fight with tool and develop workarounds for many bugs or awkward approaches in PB.
    Besides that I'm somewhat spolied woth experience with other dev. languages / tools. So I often expect to do something in PB in a way I used to do it in other tools.

    >>I'd also be interested in you definition of what makes a >>language object oriented.

    PB is not a language. If you mean PowerScript as a language, well, try then to do something usefull with it outside of IDE.
    About objects in PB. Do you have a source code of those "objects", that come with PB and are given to developer in the IDE ? Can you extend them ? or subclass ? or build similar objects without using another language (C++) ?

    PB mimics OO aproach, instead of being built OO. And does it in a sluggish and inconsistent way

    Anyway, my point is:
    Long time ago PB was the best choice for building Client-Server DB applications, because there virtually was no competition for PB in that area.
    But nowadays there are much more powerful and complete languages available for developers.

    P.S. By the way, the only type of job I saw so far for PB developers: convert PB applications to (java, c++, Delphi, ASP...)

  19. "PB is not a language. If you mean PowerScript as a language, well, try then to do something usefull with it outside of IDE."

    Is that a criteria of OO?
    "About objects in PB. Do you have a source code of those "objects", that come with PB and are given to developer in the IDE ?"

    The PFC's, yes. Do you have the source code (without decompiling) to any of the java library classes? But again, is this required for OO?

    "Can you extend them ? or subclass ? "

    Yes and yes. Err, aren't they the same thing?

    "or build similar objects without using another language (C++) ?"

    Oh yes.

    "PB mimics OO aproach, instead of being built OO. And does it in a sluggish and inconsistent way"

    No idea what you mean by this.

    OO is defined by the concepts of encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism, all of which are available in PowerBuilder/Powerscript. Most college textbooks will explain this. If your complaints are about the IDE or the environment, then fine, but I suspect you won't like a Smalltalk environment either.

    I used PowerBuilder for many years and while I have no wish to use it again, I can still appreciate it's strengths. It wasn't my desire to start a flame war either, but you must be more careful with the information you portray as factual.

  20. I'm just tired of spending 50% of my work to fight with tool and develop workarounds for many bugs or awkward approaches in PB.

    Every tool / language has limitations/bugs. When you KNOW the tool / language you DON'T spend 50% of your work to fight them.

    >> Besides that I'm somewhat spolied woth experience with other dev. languages / tools. So I often expect to
    >> do something in PB in a way I used to do it in other tools.

    There is no perfect tool / language yet. For every job one need a best tool / language.
    PB was and is the best tool to create client/server database business application.
    One shouldn't use it to create games or device driver etc.

    >>About objects in PB. Do you have a source code of those "objects", that come with PB and are given to
    >>developer in the IDE ? Can you extend them ? or subclass ? or build similar objects without using
    >>another language (C++) ?

    Of course ALL PB objects can be extended. It's obvious.
    Again my point is: PB is not the perfect tool and some languages more hot now and there will be another hot languages later,
    but PB is definitely not a "horrible"
  21. In the above comments that "PowerBuilder is not a language" this is like saying ISE Eiffel was not a language because it generated C++. Although it is true that PowerBuilder generates PowerScript, the language you edit(or should) is really PowerBuilder.

    And PowerBuilder is fully Object-Oriented except for multiple inheritance which Java never used to do either.

  22. Sybase launches Powerbuilder 8 IDE[ Go to top ]

    Us mere novices/mortals happened to *like* not spending weeks building database client code in C/C++ against Sybase Client Lib or Oracle OCI to manage data. Ever done it? I have. I don't have any desire to do it again.

    The point of the DW was to make it EASY to do these things - not to comply with some academia OO purist mentality of decomposition to the nth degree. I challenge anyone to tell show that it's easier to build an app that can:

    retrieve data
    display data in a GUI configurable presentation
    detect user modifications to data and apply rules
    dynamically construct update
    execute update

    than in VB, Delphi, or especially C++ (ROTFL).

  23. I too used PB from versions 3.0 to now reviewing our !legacy! apps in 7.0 and boy it still is bloated...

    When we were in the early stages of developing a migration plan from mainframe to client/server on Windows/Unix platforms, PB was the best solution at the time (1993). We implemented the migration on Nov 11, 1996 using PB 4.0 accessing Oracle 7.x.x database. That architecture is still going strong to this day and is currently in maintenance mode.

    Now since the advent of the web and ecommerce we have been migrating some of that legacy code back to a more thin client architecture such as what the mainframe was! PB 5.0 when we started (1999) wasn't open to being accessed from a web browser so we opted for the J2EE solution.

    We are hoping that if we continue on this plan that we will be future-proofed from any further migrations but I have my doubts.