** Hot News **
Appeon Corporation has just released its Appeon Mobile product's beta2 version the other week. Again, like the alpha and beta1 release beforehand - I have been privileged to once again participate in this momentous and historic setting PowerBuilder event! The beta2 release really steps up the game for iOS based mobile computing through PowerBuilder. Here are some of the great new features that I have tested in the first 48 hours of installing this release ...
|Real PB application on my actual iPhone!|
iPadThis next beta release of Appeon Mobile upgrades the original iPad simulator from a standard MS-Windows looking dialog to something that resembles the actual iPad device 100%! This new looking simulator can also be re-sized and rotated unlike its fixed ancestor - which makes developing, unit testing and user presentations through a projector a very handy feature indeed.
|Updated iPad simulator in Beta2|
iPhoneThe new iPhone support in Beta2 not only extends to the real device but also adds an iPhone simulator that rivals the iPad version outlined above. The iPhone simulator supports the iP4, iP4S and iP5 adding the nice resizing and rotational features as well.
|iPhone simulator running in iP5 mode!|
AEMThe Appeon Enterprise Manager (AEM for short) has had a complete make-over from the presentation layer view. It also adds some new Mobile security and operational support items into the server mix as well.
|AEM feature GUI in the new Appeon 2013 server version.|
|mySQL and TeraData drivers in Beta2!|
Device API'sThe Appeon Mobile product will also allow the PowerBuilder developer's applications to access the iOS devices hardware and various iOS features. Beta2 adds a new set of PB objects that extend the device access to: Appeon WorkSpace shell, iPad/iPhone cameras, device hardware information, muti-media services, iOS notifications, and sound / video recorder to start off with.
|Actual device information running on my real iPad test machine.|
AWSThe Appeon Work Space (AWS) "shell" for the iPad and iPhone also gets an upgrade in Appeon Mobile beta2. The AWS now allows the PB developer to assign an icon to the PB application being deployed which shows up in the AWS application launch list. This also includes a short application description that also now appears in the AWS underneath the application icon.
During the applications initialization and launch - the AWS now also shows a percent complete like real iStore updates that gives the iOS user real time feedback on the application progress throughout the processing cycle.
|Actual AWS beta2 running on my iPad showing some of the PB applications I am testing!|
Web Service DataWindowThe Appeon Web product introduced support for the new Web Service DataWindow a few releases ago. This is an important PB feature for anyone contemplating true n-tier development. This is not only for PB client applications but for PB Server based features that are exposed via NVUO components exposed as .Net Web Services. These can be built in PB Classic (v11.0 and higher) as .Net components or PB.Net (v12.0 and higher) as WCF based components - either of which can be consumed by Appeon based WS DataWindows!
I was extremely pleased with my initial tests in this area having my Web Browser, iPad and iPhone test applications perform flawlessly in this area. The Web Service was actually a PB Classic .Net WS returning an ANSI result set that the PB Client deployed to Appeon. This could be consumed through a corresponding WS DataWindow on the client side. The trick here is to have Appeon deploy the .Net assembly that the WS DW builds to broker the WS proxies to the Appeon Server.
|Actual WS DW running through my iPhone.|
|iPad based WS DataWindow test|
|Grid DW running om my actual iPhone.|
The column move is really nice feature like we find in Excel or Windows Explorer. The column resizing is a great feature as the users moves from the iPad to iPhone where real-estate is at a premium or on the original device as the iOS user rotates the device from landscape to portrait mode and vise-a-versa.
CloudAppeon Mobile is based on Appeon Server 2013 that also comes with Beta2. Appeon Server already supports Microsoft`s Azure cloud platform and Beta2 "ups the bar" by adding support for the Amazon Cloud platform. This is not obvious until you realize that the sample applications that you run on downloading AWS from the Apple iStore are all accessed through the Amazon Cloud. So "kool" applications like YouHoops is cloud enabled via Appeon`s PaaS readiness.
Stay tuned for more news in the Cloud area before Appeon Mobile`s GA release as Appeon Corporation is also tracking support for the RackSpace Cloud platform as well!
Bug FixesThe last and most important update to Beta2 is the various minor bug fixes noted in Beta1 that Appeon has already addressed. This is extremely important to me as it now allows my full Foundation Class framework (free on SourceForge) to run in its full entity. The original version I released had a few features disabled as not to interfere with some of Beta1`s short-comings. I can pleasantly now say that Beta2 is ready for the full framework which adds a tremendous amount of RAD developer productivity to the Appeon scene.
ConclusionAfter only two days with Appeon Mobile beta2 and I can honestly say that this product is shaping up to be a real game changer! Not only for PB developers to reach out to the Web and Mobile space but positioning PB to be a serious cloud (SaaS, PaaS, etc) player as well. The rich iOS features that we see evolving between alpha, Beta1 and now Beta2 put a lot of confidence in me that Appeon will deliver exactly what they have been talking about for the past year. This also sets their track record and market direction like the Gartner 4th quadrant .... being a company that you can count on to deliver top-notch products.
Appeon has also just released their 2013-2014 road-map which also sets a pace of application platform development to extend PowerBuilder where Sybase only talked about. I would strongly recommend that you contact Appeon to hear more about their updated road-map!
The other interesting observations I have made as well, is in that their innovation and engineering skills are genuine. I have not seen better project innovation and management like this since Sybase developed PocketBuilder with the best PB project manager I have worked with Martin Malick (now VP at RIM / Blackberry in charge of the new BB10) and engineering team lead Reed Shilts. This certainly reminds me of the people I used to liaise with at PowerSoft when PB`s innovative nature was the prime directive and second to none.
Well done again Appeon!
Bonus: Please link over to my SourceForge project for the new Beta2 compatible STD Foundation Classes and sample applications that I am using for testing referenced in this article! Remember, the framework is fully open source and free too! :-)
Regards ... Chris