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PB 12.6 – What I Expected… What is missing.

This is an old discussion. But I insist because even if PB 12.6 was finally released September 2014, it was a different product from what I expected and surely missed lot of features that some of us expected for PB 15. I will explain my point.

During the past years we saw some presentations for PB 15 (most of them right after PB 12.5 was launched). It was a good thing, back in 2011, to have some feedback about our preferred IDE’s future. Something we are still missing today… It was one thing Sybase did well at the time, but unfortunately had not enough time to complete, as the migration to SAP was in progress.

With PB 12.6 we did get following features:

  • Updated support for the .NET Framework v4.5
  • MSS 2012
  • Oracle 12
  • Windows 8
  • OData Support
  • Dockable Windows
  • 32 and 64 bit deployment

From those features the one that we first heard in a later time was OData Support (which was mentioned and demonstrated dusting 2013). About the Updated support for the .NET Framework v4.5, for me it’s still not clear what does this means, as all test I made to PB.NET 12.6 did worked using .NET Framework v4.

For PB 15, we were expecting a lot of improvements for PB Classic. One of them which was promoted a lot was Dockable Windows Support. This has been implemented to PB 12.6, and seems to be working fine… A new tab in window’s properties (which in some old presentations did not exist) helps a lot.

There is also a sample application that imitates PB.NET IDE which shows what can be done using docking windows.

Features that didn’t made it in PB 15 Beta and PB 12.6 MR.

Features that did not came with PB 12.6, but for some we saw some screenshots or there were rumors, was Grid Layout, Native PDF Support and PB Controls in toolbars (for this one will post a separate blog post).

Grid Layout was a very interesting feature. This feature should work in windows and userobjects. The most interesting is that it should be supported in design! Like work grids in PB Classic IDE.

Those properties purpose was to divide the screen as shown in the previous screenshots. In powerscript we should have an overloaded openuserobject function allowing us to choose in which grid cell the userobject should be created. Number of rows & columns could be modified at runtime!…

All those grid functionalities in the IDE are missing. But for me it’s obvious that a lot of work was initially made. I really wonder if we could expect some of those in a near future release (why not in a minor release?).

Of course our major expectation is to finally get a roadmap, and finally see some development been done to PB.

PS: Most information in this article comes from an old presentation that Dave Fish made, and from an old article in PowerBuilder Developer’s Journal (


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  • I understand that you're frustrated with the 12.6 vs. 15 feature list, but is there a question in there somewhere that can be answered? 

    The roadmap for 12.6 and beyond is TBD.

    • Hi Paul.

      Thanks for your attention... This is a blog post, not a question... Blogs are to tell a story, related to the space we are writing to. Am I wrong? Ok. Maybe this one doesn't benefit the community...

      Yes I am frustrated... Not with you. Not at all. Neither with people that have proven their interest about Powerbuilder. But lets not focus to my "feelings". My permanent question is at the end of that blog.

      "I really wonder if we could expect some of those in a near future release (why not in a minor release?)."

      I understand that no decisions have been made about powerbuilder future, Not only for a future release, but also for improvements to the supported one... What I mean, after PB 11.5, 11.5.1 was released, after 12.0, 12.1 came out, after 12.5 we had 12.5.1 and 12.5.2...

      And now we have a major release... But this release was given the appropriate attention or was it simply released to calm us? There will be any minor release?

      I don't expect an answer... Maybe the whole post was an over reaction... But for sure I didn't wanted to offend anyone...

      If anybody in PowerBuilder Developer Center is offended, just let me know it and I will delete it (as also the other one about PB Controls in toolbars).


      • No - absolutely - vent away.  The more customers that complain (loudly) the greater the chances that the message will reach someone that can do something about it.

        I'm not that person, unfortunately.

        • Ok. I'm one complaining client. This is true.

          One last question. Is anyone at sap who can give an answer to the following question (from my original post):

          About the Updated support for the .NET Framework v4.5, for me it’s still not clear what does this means, as all test I made to PB.NET 12.6 did worked using .NET Framework v4.

          In a blog post I read that in the key featurs included in the release there was:

          - Updated support for the .NET Framework v4.5

          I believe previous statement is quite confusing. It's a blog post from Sue Dunnell. It was about the Beta (15) and the original blog post is PowerBuilder 15 beta is here!. In the official release announcement it was clearly stated that: "This new release is the same as what folks tested in beta, although it has been renamed to be 12.6, which is more aligned with the feature set for the product.". This blog post is PowerBuilder new release available. I understand that support for .net framework 4.5 is in PB 12.6.

          And now question: Is PB.NET (and classic) simply compatible with .net framework 4.5 or we should be able to use new features in .net framework 4.5 from pb?

          There was a question from René Ullrich, Using .NET 4.5 features which is still not answered... Is there anyone at SAP that could clarify this point?

          Thank you.

          • Dirk Boessmann. He's confirmed as a speaker at the upcoming PB Conference in Charlotte to discuss what's next for PB from a strategic point of view.

          • Yes Paul... But unfortunately this is very vague for me... Nonetheless I expect to hear news in May, as unfortunately there is no chance for me to be there.


          • The real question is (and will be answered soon), if we will get something, or nothing more than promises. I want to be optimistic. And I think is the right moment for the community to ask more intensively a solution (in my opinion under SAP if they don't want to sell it to someone else, and I know this may be unpleasant to some of us, but it's just an opinion) a solution and a catch up of the lost time.

            And If SAP wants powerbuilder in their product list, the sooner as possible they have to name a project manager, not anyone, but someone who was deeply involved with the product, and knows it better than most people participating in that community. We all can think of some names. And some of them are working for SAP. And I believe the community should "ask" - "push" for a project manager who would hear them.