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What would you add to PowerBuilder Classic?

   Lets start a discussion here on what the PB community would like to see added into PowerBuilder Classic! This PB version is still what 95%+ of us use for mission critical applications.

Here are a few of my suggestions to start this thread off:  πŸ˜›

a) Bring the the price in-line with other development tools

b) Bring back various versions (Desktop, Professional, Enterprise).

c) Remove SYSAM

d) Create an Express version – maybe the Desktop replacement.

e) Get rid of PB.Net

   (VS2010 Shell isn’t cutting it – its 2015 now,

    Very low adoption rate,

    PB Community doesn’t need another C/S tool

    WPF is “dead”)

f) Add Web capabilities

g) Add Mobile capabilities

h) Improve AutoScript (like Intellisense) in PB Classic (its almost there)

i) Create free educational “how to videos” (maybe on YouTube).

j) Review the 545 current active enhancements on the ISUG-Tech PB enhancement list to get some more ideas

k) Give the product away to Students, Colleges & Consultants (ie NFR’s)

l) Bring back Distributed PB – this was a “kool” & useful feature!  😎

m) Add WCF to PB Classic

n) Add full & transparent J2EE and .Net “Interop” from PB Classic.

o) Add jScript support to PB

p) run FULL and OPEN public Betas!

q) Add “C#” User Object support for we could just paste in some C# example code & have it compile into a .Net assembly or DLL


What would YOU like to see?   πŸ˜€

Regards … Chris

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  • Oh Yeah;

    r) MS-Windows Service capable target/project

    s) MS-Windows Console capable target/project

    t) MS-Windows TaskBar capable target/project


    • I'm tempted to say that the #1 enhancement would be having a name other than SAP on the startup splash screen.  But I don't want to be too confrontational.

      That said, the precursor to any of your a) thru t) happening is a commitment to the product from SOMEBODY ... be it SAP, or some other party that can acquire it from SAP.

      But that's not why you called.  So I'll try to stay on topic.

      I'll add a few items to the list:

      1.  Native PDF support.  We use a third-party component, and it works well for us ... but we shouldn't have to do that.  PDF support should be included.

      2.  Improved graphical capabilities.  Whenever we need graphics (e.g., for dashboard-type reports), we call code written in other languages.  Again, it's a circuitous route, when a direct path should be available.

      3.  Improved education.  Code examples/CodeXchange, walk-throughs for various features, etc.  New features are great, but they are meaningless if they're too time-consuming to learn.

      We can dream!

  • Since you mentioned pricing,  I'd like to see an 'amnesty' of sort.  Provide an incentive to those companies sitting on the old versions to migrate. No one has spoken to or attempted to find or contact them in years. Last years NCPUG did attempt to compile a list of who had what but not sure what came of it. It was Sue and unfortunately we have lost that advocate.

    Many of these companies view the product as 'needing to convert to a newer technology'. Ironically, most of these sites have had the same software running successfully with little support for in some cases 15 years or more. That, I believe, would be a great place to start with marketing.  If it ain't broke don't fix(rewrite) it, Update IT!

    And that brings to light your point on pricing, it would have to be attractive since most are not paying anything at the moment.

    There needs to be better marketing, provide information on why the technology can go head to head with what they consider the 'NEW' and a monetary reason to go forth.  Remember, when/if they migrate the cost will be huge in regression testing, resources to update not only the software but environments.  The software cost is not the only consideration.

    If companies will sign on,  then SAP, I would think would be encouraged to start taking a look at an interesting list like yours.  It is always about the funding. 

    Chris, as always, great work here. 

    • Hi Chris;


        Speaking of amnesty ... I was hoping that SAP would give all its customers a free upgrade to PB 12.6. At least for those on a version 12.x or 12.5.x release. Considering the lackluster features that v12.6 included, I think that would have been the least they should have done.

        I really like your idea about developing incentives to have people move up to the recent  versions of PB!  😎

        I totally agree with your TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) statement. Upgrading any software can have tremendous background infrastructure additive costs.

      Regards ... Chris

    • Dockable windows like c #
    • Variable (anchor) objects e.g.button, ... like c #
    • More support and better support RTF
    • More office support


    • add some calls to internal functions for managing objects (so you can modify a DW to be used in a nested report, and not have it load the original one)
    • support for tablets (onscreen keyboard support or voice activation)
    • fix the autoheight problem with nested NUP datawindows
    • GUI access for ALL properties in datawindows that are currently evaluated at runtime (~t followed by compute). We have at least a dozen datawindows in one of our apps that require direct source edits after GUI edit so we can re-add the computes on some properties. Or at least have it retain the changed properties on a load so it can save them again.
    • make the /pbdebug command line switch callable from within the application. You may only have one window that needs debugging, and don't want to waste time waiting for the app to get there while it writes huge amounts of debug data. Documenting the other discovered debugging calls would be helpful too.
    • MS Windows system tray icon management object
    • Thanks Brad!

      FYI: Both my "Integrated" and "Web Service" framework have implemented your /PBDebug command suggestion ... either in an adhoc automatic fashion (Ctrl+Shift+F1) or via using framework commands from where you need this feature to be enabled/disabled.  πŸ™‚

  • Hello everyone.

    I'm not a technology's guru, and I'm not a powerbuilder's guru.

    I use powerbuilder since 1994 in business processes, and after an initial infatuation I saw implode in himself.

    I have read many excellent suggestions, and my 2 cent opinion is that powerbuilder needs new blood, a lot of blood. (much money investment )

    One way can be:

    - Be 100% compatible with Java language in native mode (by doing so you can draw from a broad developer community)

    - Compatibility with the Web, without other tools

    - Compatibility with the mobile without other tools ( APP )

    - Have new controls, a lot of controls, a mountain of controls, ... (with native controls in Powerbuilder it has greater stability)

    - Having a real makeover (Now, to win customers must have an attractive look.)

    - more stability ( Powerbuilder .NET is not stable, and run slow; powerbuilder classic is late with the development of technology windows. Pb12.6 has stability problems.

    The reality is that the result of a project written in Powerbuilder sounds old, very old.

    Regards ... Gimmy

    Ps: Believe me, I love Appeon, it is a great product.

    But above all a further layer and a further complication for my sales and for my developers.

    I can not think that I should develop in 2015 with constraints for compatibility and test it more times.

  • My suggestion is to avoid laundry list or scattered list! If you want to increase the chance this feedback is incorporated in the product each person should list the TOP 3 biggest things we want added/enhanced, and then SAP will tally which features got the most votes.

    Thinking big picture... my TOP 3 items are:

    1. Mobile (after all, it's 2015)

    2. Modernize PB App UI

    3. PDF support

  • 1. Intellisense

    2. Ability to load an ancestor and descendent at the same time in a UI.

    3. Ability to "Goto to the declaration" on a function with a hotkey.

    • In addition to #3 (which would be awesome), I would love a Back button on the editor.  Once I've followed the calls from function to function I sometime forget where I came from.

  • To whom it may concern... πŸ˜‰

    Top 3:

    • SYSAM - remove that piece of software! Please, do it fast! It just makes trouble!!
    • Native PDF-Support (something nice, like generate in memory, so that I can send it to my DMS, a webservice or so without filesystem interaction)
    • IDE enhancements (I really do like Eclipes, "Go to Declaration", "Call hirachy",...)
      Maybe it is an option to use Eclipe with a PB-Pblugin?
    • Excellent Top 3 Tobias ... I can't agree more on #1! It's one of the main reasons many of Canadian government clients have given for moving off of PB. We need to make using the IDE throughout the SDLC much, mush easier. People need to remember that the SDLC includes build, unit, system, & QA environments where developers often also need to trace code, debug, performance monitor, etc.    πŸ˜‰

  • my top 3:

    1. Native plug-ins\VMs for all major OS (Mac, iOS, Android etc.) to facilitate Cross-platform deployment (similar to QT4), useful in Native mobile development

    2. PB as a PAAS environment in Cloud (similar to Kony, Salesforce etc.).

    3. Distributed PB and PBVM support in all App servers to facilitate PB for middle-tier development