Wednesday night I was at the PowerBuilder user group meeting in Charlotte, NC. Matt Balent hosted the event and we even had a couple of first time attendees. The highlight of the evening was when Armeen Mazda, CEO of Appeon, did a demo for us and showed how easy and fast it was to take a PowerBuilder application and deploy it as native iOS code for an iPhone or an iPad. Nothing is as fast for app development on the iOS platform – if you want to check it out for yourself, the beta is still in progress http://www.appeon.com/form/form.php?mid=10
Most customers in attendance were frustrated that we couldn’t provide more clarity around the PowerBuilder roadmap at this time, but we should have that information soon.
One of the discussions we had was one that was quite familiar – one ISV has their main application built in PowerBuilder, but they desperately need a Web Solution. They know other companies who have successfully used Appeon but the cost is prohibitive for them and they want a native solution for PowerBuilder. This company has a small development team with extensive development skills – they’ve used Java, Ruby, PHP, Python, WinDev, Visual Studio – and every time they use another product they always turn back to PowerBuilder, because it can’t be beat for its productivity. We hear this a lot from people. And, there’s been strong momentum in the community where customers who failed at PowerBuilder rewrites are coming back because its productivity is simply unparalleled.
Let me know if you’ve had a similar experience in your company, I’d love to share your experience with others and encourage more folks to do the same.
While we hear about PowerBuilder’s unmatched productivity quite often, there is also the mindset that PowerBuilder is ONLY a client/server tool.This is just not true – of course, you can easily and quickly build client/server apps, and it rose to prominence by defining this architecture. But, since the mid-90s, it’s supported n-tier development and encouraged developers to use best practices to decouple UI and logic. It supported app servers before most customers knew what they were. PowerBuilder was built to evolov, and its premise is quite: abstract complex technologies and make them easy to use. If we had no limits on the amount of money and people we could hire, PowerBuilder’s IDE would have a multitude of target types and all you’d need is your PB skills to build any of them. My questions to you are do you use PB in an n-tier environment, do you use services or do you rely mainly on a c/s architecture? Will you build new apps in PowerBuilder and if so, what architecture?