So what’s up with PowerBuilder?
Hi everybody! It’s hard to believe that January’s already over and we’re a week into February, so it seems a bit late to say Happy New Year. I hope that everyone has had a productive start to 2013. We have been working hard to continue with our integration into SAP, and defining our strategy moving forward.
We know that people are anxious for a roadmap, and we will have one available soon. Currently, the roadmap we presented back in September is still a fairly accurate snapshot of our plans. You may recall that the roadmap we presented was in standard SAP format, and that a specific timeline is not presented with features. This will take a little bit of getting used to, but as we begin to roll out our plans, create some new programs, and promote our success stories that are underway, people will adjust to the new format and not feel uncomfortable that hard dates aren’t assigned to feature delivery.
Currently, we are still planning to deliver v15 this year and will announce our beta program shortly. We need to incorporate the SAP go to market processes for this release, so that’s why we are a bit behind schedule in delivering this.
Engineering has been busy working on implementing the IDE that I showed in slide format at the PBDC at TechEd in October 2012. This is really exciting, and it’s getting a lot of attention internally at SAP. As soon as we can, we will provide you with more info on this new IDE and how it will be packaged, etc.
For quite some time, we’ve been executing on our roadmap to support the .NET platform and deliver the only product that enables customers to leverage their existing code and migrate it to the .NET platform. A lot has changed in the market and in Microsoft’s messaging for .NET over the past decade+. Web services, more secure code, and other initial messaging about the benefits of .NET evolved over time to a more solid message about a rich platform of services. While this platform is used by more than half of all developers,Microsoft’s focus has shifted away from focusing on .NET and toward Windows 8, Win RT, HTML5, and solutions for mobile devices. This doesn’t mean that the platform is going anywhere, but their strategic focus moving forward has shifted. And, this means we need to re-evaluate our implementation of .NET support moving forward.
Just a few years ago, there was a strong commitment from Microsoft to Silverlight as their strategic solution for web and mobile development, then a shift away from that technology and a move toward supporting HTML5. We don’t think this will happen with their commitment to the .NET platform, but we do need to adjust our focus as well. This is actually a good thing for PowerBuilder, and it’s good timing, too.
SAP has made several big announcements over the past year about its commitment to developers and the platform built to support development.
A great place to learn more about the Real Time Data Platform (RTDP) is here http://scn.sap.com/community/services/blog/2013/01/11/operationalizing-the-sap-real-time-data-platform-rtdp–an-introduction)
So how does PowerBuilder fit in here? Our customers have been building applications for 22 years with a product that has evolved to keep pace with and incorporate changing and emerging technologies. We’ll continue on this path and enable customers to leverage the benefits of SAP technology. We are currently working with a couple of our customers who are building their applications on top of HANA. One customer has a PowerBuilder front end for a Business One ERP system, and this will now be running on HANA. Another customer is adding the power of in-memory data access and analytics to the ERP system built in PowerBuilder and currently running on an Oracle database. In short, it will be easy to use PowerBuilder to develop on HANA and RTDP. And, we are working with different engineering teams to determine how we will be delivering support for the Cloud, web, and mobile solutions.
We’re excited about the future of app development with PowerBuilder, and we’re fortunate to be making decisions about the future of a product in a company that has made supporting developers its strategic direction. Looking forward to your feedback and input.