I am writing this post as a concerned ex-Powerbuilder developer.
I have been working on Powerbuilder projects for the last 18 years – the last 4 years as a business analyst consultant with various mainstream companies in the UK including a big American investment bank.

It came as a bit of a shock when the different IT managers I have spoken too over the last few months considered Powerbuilder to be ‘dead’ and they are looking to migrate to other technologies.
The irony is that they all still consider Powerbuilder to be a very good and effective tool… Personally I still believe Powerbuilder remains one of the best, easiest and fasted ways to develop enterprise level applications.
You hardly find any Powerbuilder jobs advertised in the UK anymore…

My feeling is that SAP is losing loyal and potential new Powerbuilder customers on a daily basis at the moment. SAP needs to publicly and officially commit them to PowerBuilder’s future soon or it will really be dead in this part of the world…

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  1. Mark Libner

    A lot of people feel the same way.

    It may help to sign (and tell your colleagues) this petition that Bruce Armstrong started a few weeks ago.

    http://www.causes.com/v2actions/1758097-a-petition-to-michael-reh-dr-vishal-sikka-and-bill-mcdermott

    Use this link to sign in to their website if you don’t use Facebook.

    https://www.causes.com/signup

    Here’s an interesting map Bruce created of the first 1500 signers that may interest you.

    http://scn.sap.com/community/lumira/blog/2013/08/22/data-geek-challenge–analyzing-causescom-petition-data

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  2. Tom Peters

    I must concur. Not only is SAP not out there banging the drum for PowerBuilder, they have a policy to not release feature information about future releases. Just today I made inquiry on PB Classic supporting Oracle 12c and I was told that SAP’s policy is to not discuss such information until release time. My clients are inquiring about Oracle 12c and I am unable to respond because SAP will not tell me about support of 12c. I have been a loyal PB developer since version 3.0 and I am absolutely flabbergasted that I cannot get this information. How can I plan my product future without knowing PB’s?

    People have been calling PB “dead” for over ten years. Only recently (enter SAP) have I begun to actually be concerned….

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  3. Guillaume Mayer

    I totally agree with you and with previous comments, but we have legacy applications, 20 years for the oldest and we can’t rewrite it, unless we get bought by a wealthy investor.

    So we are stuck with Pb and it will not die for us in the near future.

    We’re eager for new features, enhancements, or at least, some news.

    Pb 15 was unofficially announced for Q1 2014, version 12.5.2 was released recently, so we still have hope.

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  4. Lars Mosegaard

    IT Managers have been doubtful about investing in new PowerBuilder projects since PB7. To this day the complaints I hear are that developers are too few and far between and demand to high a rate. The rest as we know are legacy systems and as Guillaume puts it above: “…stuck with Pb”

    What is happening is not a perfect storm or the planets being aligned against us. No!, we have had a perfect calm and the planets pulling in all sort of directions. Ignore your teeth and they will go away.

    I have personally, successfully, re-engineered a PalmOS app to PocketBuilder, then the target OS was obsoleted and PocketBuilder promptly put out to pasture.

    I have personally, successfully, deployed several web targets for same employer who convinced it’s target audience to strictly use internet explorer.  Then IE10 came along as the last nail in that coffin and Web Targets promptly put out to pasture.

    Then I was put out to pasture enjoying pfc and legacy. There is still room to pleasantly surprise users btw.  Font changes and tooltips on datawindows and losing some of the 3D border lowered thrice….

    Bruce Armstrong and Chris Pollach are both working overtime suggesting direction and feature sets that should help PB gather strength and get wind it’s sails,  As are others.

    For starters, the desktop version should be given away for $99 including unlimited single user deployment (ASA). The pro-version should be given away for $999 including unlimited EAServer deployment (It’s called Cloud). Enterprise version should be renamed Surprise version.  That’s the version you buy at a price only known to your friendly SAP Rep with a feature set that will continue to surprise you. Sell the dot net version to MicroSoft.

    Keep on keeping on.

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      1. Andreas Mykonios

        Hi Bruce.

        The point is that after a long time the only thing we know for sure is the version number of the future product release. And this only because of prejudices. And of course version number is not important. The expected release is important. But the only thing we know for sure it’s the version number wich will be 15… 😡

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  5. Suseelan Hari

    Hi John,

    Good Day!

    I agree to you. I learnt powerbuilder and I know the values and essentials of powerbuilder. Lets hope for the best!

    Keep Sharing!

    Regards,

    Hari Suseelan

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