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Friday, December 21, 2012

ISUG Name Change

** Hot News **

 ISUG Changes its Name!

   At the ISUG Annual General Meeting on December 11th, the membership approved changing the legal name from the "International Sybase User Group" to the "Independent SAP Technical User Group".

  The new name will be officially effective once all the necessary legal paperwork has been filed, but you will begin to see changes on their website over the next two weeks as the staff and board of directors move as quickly as possible to implement this change.  Online they will be known as ISUG-Tech – which keeps the history of ISUG as well as emphasizing their technical nature.

  The new ISUG entity's mission will remain the same but changing the "Sybase" with "SAP" will align the group with all things SAP (including Sybase products) and cater to the needs of their members, the technical community.

  For more information on this name and focus change, please visit the ISUG website (click here).

Regards ... Chris

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Appeon Mobile - MDI

** Appeon Mobile Beta 1.0 News **

Appeon Mobile Stays True to MDI

    The Multiple Document Interface is alive and well on the iPad thanks to Appeon Mobile's implementation of true PowerBuilder "feature for feature" support! The MDI interface became a standard from the onset of MS-Windows 3.1 and began its life in the PowerBuilder realm since version 2.0. The business community embraced the interface as it has a natural support for allowing users to compare similar pieces of information side by side, track multiple units of open work and arrange / locate these work units to suite the processing needs & flow.

Example of Cascade arrangement request.

    When Sybase was building their WebForms feature support for PowerBuilder, they had the option to implement the MDI interface GUI standard. In fact, I saw a working version in the early days of PB 11.0 Alpha that implemented the MDI interface. However, between the Alpha release and the official Beta - Sybase dropped MDI support and went with the multi-tabpage GUI look and feel. During the Beta for PB 11.0 many testers complained about the lack of MDI support. Since PB 11.0's production release, even many business users I have spoken to have rejected the Webform's feature set because of the lack of MDI support in the web browser. Again, for the main reason of not being able to see two similar data entity's side-by-side.

Example of a "Tile Horizontal" request.

    In the PocketBuilder (PK) days on Windows Mobile O/S, the MDI look & feel was not supported by the native operating system - thus PK did not support MDI for that reason. However, I was able to emulate the MDI feature set in my STD Foundation Class framework. The framework was used in many PK applications and the feedback I received on having the MDI features enabled in their PK applications was very positive!

Appeon Mobile extends the "Window" menu pull-down list of active sheets!

  The Appeon Mobile system displays the active open sheet window's title text from the "System Icon" of the Appeon Mobile operating shell. The Window list displays the MDI Frame window title first and then each open sheet (child MDI window) in successive order as they were opened. This implementation allows the iOS application user to navigate to any active sheet in any order. The application user may also close or bring background MDI child windows to the foreground from this feature as well.

Example of MDI Toolbar handling in Appeon Mobile

   Any MDI application may utilize a toolbar on the MDI Frame window and also another toolbar on any active MDI Child window as well. A native MS-Windows MDI application will always display the MDI frame and active Child toolbars in sequence. The Appeon Mobile implementation displays a partial representation of the first toolbar on the right side of the main application title (like a preview) and then displays the full toolbar contents when the user taps on the toolbar ">;" activation symbol. As the iOS application user changes the active MDI Child window, the Appeon Mobile changes the lower toolbar icons to suite just like its genuine MS-Window's counter-part.

Example of a "Tile Vertical" request.
Example of drop-down Menu support in Appeon Mobile

  Besides the full support for tiling the MDI child windows horizontally, vertically or cascaded - Appeon Mobile supports full drop(pull) down menu support from the Menu Icon on the Appeon Mobile application. The menu that drops follows proper MDI rules in that the MDI Frame's menu drops when the "Menu" icon is tapped if only the MDI frame is present. If an MDI Child is open, the Menu Icon displays the MDI Child's menu when tapped and this changes as each open MDI Child window is re-activated.
Example of a dialog's Control Menu implementation in Appeon Mobile

   Each MDI Child or even Response / Pop-Up window shows a Control Menu on each MDI Child's top right-hand side. Tapping this area allows the Appeon Mobile application to present the standard Minimize, Maximize or Close options that real MDI appications on MS-Windows have always supported. The same feature set is fully supported by the Appeon Mobile application and even allows the iOS user to "Restore" the MDI Child windows size when is a Minimized or Maximized state.

  Like Appeon Mobile, Appeon Web implements the full MDI feature set inside your Web Browser - eclipsing in my opinion - the native PB Webform application just in the MDI support alone. Appeon Web though takes your PB application's web experience far beyond what the Webform's features support for a true proper business user experince. Its so refreshing to see that Appeon Coporation is also taking this attention to detail approach in their iOS application design and support as well.

  Well done Appeon!

Note: you can always implement the multi-tabpage look and feel in your Appeon Mobile or Appeon Web application as well. The Appeon product is nice in that it does not force the PowerBuilder developer to a particular user interface pattern. Instead, it allows the PB developer to design the web or mobile applciation to suite their business user's needs!

Regards ... Chris

Friday, December 14, 2012

PowerBuilder Mobile

Appeon Mobile Beta 1.0

First 48 Hours

December 14, 2012

     Well, its been a real "adrenaline rush" for me participating in the original Appeon Mobile Alpha and now first official Appeon Mobile Beta 1.0 for approximately only 48 hours now. Its amazing to see how far Appeon has come in just a few weeks between the Alpha release that I first saw in November to what I see now in Beta 1.0! I am so excited, that I thought I would share with you some of my experiences - since I have been actually able to build example applications, deploy existing PB applications and even better yet, get my Software Tool & Die Foundation Class library and its associated applications deployed and running on a real iPad!

      First of all though, while the PB application do work well ... its would be advantageous to consider some of these best pratices when building or refactoring a PB applciation for the mbile space. here are some thoughts on the subject:

Fingers vs. Mouse

iOS-based devices mainly use the human finger for input; desktop computers mainly use a mouse for input. Designing a user interface for interaction with the finger is very different than designing for mouse.

    First of all, you would need to design larger UI controls for a finger than you would for a mouse pointer in the desktop environment. For example, iOS recommends the comfortable minimum size of a tappable target is 44 x 44 points, which is approximately 128 x 128 PBUs.

    Secondly, a mouse can have a hover state, so tool tips and other roll-over effects can be used in the desktop application. Besides that, a mouse can have a right mouse button, so right-click popup menu can be easily supported. However, these design elements are less natural on an iOS application.

Virtual keyboard vs. real keyboard

A desktop application can take advantage of a real keyboard to help people type fast and correctly, and enable shortcut key functionalities, while an iOS application mainly uses a virtual keyboard which takes up the precious screen space, and is typo-prone, therefore, you should avoid using the virtual keyboard whenever possible, and try to design the user interface for selection rather than for typing, for example, use a ListBox, TrackBar, or spin control to replace a text field.

Screen Size

Compared to desktop applications, iOS applications are running on a more compact screen, therefore, their window size must be smaller, while the UI controls must be large enough to be easily tapped. This means that only the primary functionalities can be displayed at the screen at a time, the secondary functionalities should be hidden. This requires you to carefully design the application structure, the user interface, and the window navigation, especially for smartphones such as iPhone.

Orientation Change

Device orientation can change in iOS mobile device and people often expect to use their iOS-based devices in any orientation, therefore, you will need to consider how to support orientation change when you design the application.

Memory management

Memory is more tightly constrained for iOS-based device than it is for desktop computers. Besides that, iOS does not support garbage collection. Therefore, whenever possible, you should release objects directly rather than auto release them.


Fonts used in the iOS application and the PB application are not exactly the same. You can choose from the fonts that commonly exist in both the iOS application and the PB application, such as Arial (recommended font), Courier New, Euphemia, Georgia, Trebuchet MS, Verdana, Times New Roman, etc. Arial is the most recommended font, because it looks very similar to the iOS default font Helvetica. If you choose a font that is available in the PB application but not available in the iOS application, the font will also be mapped to Helvetica automatically at runtime. For the mapping rules, please see Control font.


The RGB color used in the PB application will be displayed as the exact same RGB color in the iOS application at run-time. But the system colors may not, because the Windows system colors (such as ButtonFace) are different from the iOS system colors. If you have used or intend to use the system colors in the application, you may notice there are minor differences.

   For more information on designing proper iOS applciations, please read the Apple Design Guide's "iOS Human Design Guidelines"

  For those who would like to join the Appeon Mobile beta program, please follow this link for more information on this great oppoertunity!

  If you are in the Appeon Mobile beta program and would like to try my STD Foundation Class library for building exceptional GUI and high-performance / low-foot print applications for Appeon Mobile - please check out the SourceForge home (tip: select "All Files" and then navigate to the Appeon Mobile section).

Regards ... Chris


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Appeon Mobile - Beta 1.0

** Hot News **

Appeon Mobile Beta 1.0 Has Been Officially Launched!

   Appeon Corporation is excited to announce that Appeon Mobile Beta 1.0 has been officially launched. If you want to test Appeon Mobile Beta, please sign up by following this link (click here). Once you’re confirmed as participant in Appeon Mobile Beta program, Appeon will assign an account to you for downloading the product.

Regards ... Chris
PS: I was on the Alpha ... you really need to try this "kool" new software!   :-)

Monday, November 26, 2012

PBTV - December 2012

** Hot News **

December 2012 Webinars on PowerBuilderTV

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

Gantt Chart Planner — Consuming .NET Assemblies in PowerBuilder .NET
Construction companies need an overview of their planning and work in progress. HBBSoft, a PowerBuilder .NET application, aims to achieve this purpose using Gantt and scheduling. The application is able to communicate with the Microsoft Exchange Calendar using Microsoft Exchange Web Services (EWS) to plan employees’ tasks immediately into the Outlook calendar. This presentation covers several techniques used in the HBBSoft application:
• .NET user authentication.
• Consuming Exchange Web Services to sync with Exchange Calendar.
• Custom Expression Blend toolbar.
• Integration of third-party Gantt and schedule controls.
Presenter: Dimitri Joosten

Thursday, November 29, 2012
at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

Building Customizable Applications using CRAFT
Create a business application in just a few days or change the business logic immediately after a customer request. This session presents CRAFT, a software platform for building customizable and complex business applications. CRAFT does not require expert programming skills — knowledge of SQL is sufficient — and its visual tools allow developers to build applications rapidly, even without a single line of code. Applications can be customized easily during implementation at a customer site. The CRAFT software platform:
• Leverages the full power of DataWindow technology for creating user interfaces and reports.
• Enables software developers to create and manage application business objects definition, their representation (using DataWindow forms visual designer), and their business logic (if needed) using embedded high-level object-oriented language.
• Program language syntax is very similar to PowerScript® language (with some extensions) —  PowerBuilder developers will have minimal learning time.
• Supports the most well-known SQL databases (Oracle, Microsoft SQL, MySQL, InterBase, Firebird, PostgreSQL), and can be used as a prototyping tool, as a report generator, and as a tool for business analysis.
Presenter: Dmitry Golubev

Tuesday, Decembre 4, 2012
at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

Implementing Datawindow Usability Improvements with Minimal Disruption
This presentation covers techniques to create and implement a 'datawindow enhancement service' within an existing PowerBuilder application with the goal of providing improved functionality while keeping disruption to application users to a minimum. It is similar to the session presented at the 2012 PowerBuilder Developers Conference held in October in conjunction with SAP TechEd. Focus for this session will be on the creation of the service object, implementing example functionality enhancements with existing datawindows, and ideas for further expansion of the service.
Presenter: Matt Balent

Wednesday, Decembre 5, 2012
at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

Using .NET Assemblies with PowerBuilder
This presentation covers techniques to create and implement a 'datawindow enhancement service' within an existing PowerBuilder application with the goal of providing improved functionality while keeping disruption to application users to a minimum. It is similar to the session presented at the 2012 PowerBuilder Developers Conference held in October in conjunction with SAP TechEd. Focus for this session will be on the creation of the service object, implementing example functionality enhancements with existing datawindows, and ideas for further expansion of the service.
Presenter: Bruce Armstrong

Don't forget to check out the archive of past webinars!

Regards ... Chris

Friday, November 23, 2012

ISUG - Annual General Meeting

** Hot News **

ISUG - 2012 Annual General Meeting

The International Sybase User Group will be holding their annual general meeting on on Tuesday, December 11th at 3pm EST (8pm UTC). The meeting will be available via a live webcast and is open to all ISUG members!

The meeting will consist of a presentation covering the last 12 months along with the plans for the next 1-2 years. The board also plans to bring at least one motion requiring a vote of the members.

You can register for this meeting at  All members are invited to attend, although Associate level members will not be permitted to vote on any pending action(s) required by the membership.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

ISUG Wants You!

** Hot News **


  I just wanted to mention that ISUG (International Sybase User Group) is always looking for people who would like to write an article for their "Technical Journal" magazine. If you have used SAP products (NetWeaver, PB, Hanna, EAServer, ASE, ect) in a unique way, interfaced your application to some interesting 3rd party system, built an advanced GUI interface, developed an application solution to a unique business need, etc and want to share your experience - then you might like to give writing a try!

  For more information on the ISUG Technical Journal and writing endevours for ISUG, please follow this link ... click here!  

Regards ... Chris 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Product Roadmaps 2012

** Hot News **

  Recently in the fall of 2012, SAP held various webinars outlining their road-maps for Adaptive Server Enterprise (ASE), PowerDesigner (PD) and PowerBuilder (PB). SAP recorded these webcasts and have now made them available for the general public viewing, as follows:

Road-map Webcasts ....




Enjoy ... Chris

Friday, November 2, 2012

PB TV - November, 2012

** Hot News **

November 2012 webinars on PowerBuilderTV

Don't forget to check out the archive of past webinars!

Thursday November 8th 2012

at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

Appeon Mobile - Live Demo! : Take your PowerBuilder applications mobile.
Want to use PowerBuilder to build apps for iPad, iPhone, Android, and other mobile devices? This presentation shows you how to leverage PowerBuilder to rapidly build native mobile applications that will run on virtually any device or OS. Learn about:
• Mobile SDK integration.
• Offline data access.
• Application provisioning and distribution.
Get answers to all your pressing technical questions, have a chance to register for the beta program, and learn about the product roadmap in this informative session.
Presenter: Armeen Mazda

Tuesday, November 13, 2012
at 9:00 AM PST (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CET (Paris)

VHG-Tools Platform — PowerBuilder .NET, Expression Blend, Web, and Cloud
The VHG-Tools platform is an application environment based on the former Capital Architect program. The platform is developed in PowerBuilder .NET and is used to present several tools anywhere, any time. Capital Architect, now called Capital Simulator, is one of the tools integrated within this new platform. Last year, a session illustrated the implementation of the controls developed in Expression Blend within PowerBuilder .NET, and showed how the application was mobilized on several platform-independent devices. This session shows the continued evolution of style, speed, mobility, and platform independency and covers several techniques:
• Multithreading.
• Custom-styling DataWindows with PowerBuilder .NET using WPF “styles.”
• Customizing Expression Blend buttons.
• The integration of third-party control “amcharts.”
• SMS service (a plain and simple solution).
• .NET active directory user authentication.
• Browser integration.
• Web integration using Cloud Portal.
Presenter : Dmitri Joosten

On-demand webinars on PowerBuilderTV:
  Modernize the look of your PowerBuilder Applications
  How to take your PowerBuilder applications mobile with Appeon Mobile
  How to develop Multithreaded applications with PowerBuilder
  Allow end-users to modify applications themselves with Customization Studio
  How to make your application multilingual with Enable 5.0

Regards ... Chris

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Advanzado PowerBuilder para Profesionales

** Noticias Calientes **

   eLearnIt Systems, Inc. se currrently trabajando en una versión en español de su curso eTraining muy exitoso PowerBuilder "Advanzado PowerBuilder para Profesionales". El nuevo curso debe estar listo para lanzar a finales de este año. Para obtener una vista previa de la versión en español, por favor, siga este enlace

   Para comentarios y sugerencias o más onformation en el curso de español, por favor póngase en contacto con eLearnIt presidente Yakove Werde en yakov

Saludos ... Chris


Saturday, October 20, 2012

PowerBuilder Goes NHL

 ** Hot News **

     At the last Ottawa Sybase User Group (OSUG) meeting we had a surprise guest presenter arranged by OSUG president Chris Pollach. This also included a demonstration of a special PowerBuilder application that was written to – you might not believe this – run and emulate any standard NHL Hockey Scoreboard. Yes, you read that correctly, interface to a very complicated score board hardware system. Obviously, this is not your average PowerBuilder application but one that long time PB enthusiast Chris Pollach likes to show case as Chris has always maintained that “you can build any type of Windows application using PowerBuilder”! To that end, Chris has proven that aspect over and over again with applications like multi-media players, Application / DB Server Monitors, SQL Extraction & Analysis utilities, DataWindow Changer, Code Commenter, MS-Agent, O/S System Resource Introspection, and many more bizarre applications that most people would not at first consider PowerBuilder for.

This system is another excellent example of what Roland Smith of TopWiz Software likes to say “Anything is possible given enough time, money and Mountain Dew”! In this case, we have Mr Jeff Courtice of CourByte Consulting Group Inc who pushed the outside envelope of what typical applications PowerBuilder developers might build. Jeff, a long time PB consultant in Canada’s National Capital area who has worked on elite PowerBuilder applications like Elections Canada System that runs all federal elections right across Canada - decided that he wanted to take a break from these high-end business systems and build something that he wanted PowerBuilder to solve. In his case, after being involved with minor hockey due to his son’s participation in the sport and Jeff’s frustration with dealing with the various scoring systems decided to “build a better mouse trap” in the form of more intelligent scoreboard application software!

A few years ago Jeff decided to start an application that would emulate a hockey scoreboard as he found in real life; as these systems can be quite varied, hard to learn for the novice, poorly documented as their operation and offer no proper training along with their products. To this end, Jeff built a PB application that would visually display the various popular scoreboards including their control panels. Then the application would guide the user through the mechanics of how that scoreboard worked and allowed the student to actually score a virtual game and see how the scoreboard would react to the various inputs. In a few months, Jeff had a basic emulation working of a typical scoreboard. With this early success, Jeff decided to continue his endeavour adding more scoreboard types and better simulations. Then, another revelation occurred to Jeff ... why not build his own scoreboard and challenge the actual manufactures of the current hardware! To this end, Jeff decided to build a new product called Time-Keeper Professional or TKP for short. Thus Timekeeper-PRO ( TKP) was born and is a software program developed in Powerbuilder 11.5 and SQL Anywhere 11 to run on a standalone computer in the timekeeper/scorekeeper’s booth in hockey games.  It will perform the role of expert timekeeper/scorekeeper where none exists.  Timekeeper-PRO was designed from the ground up to be a simple to use tool that would automatically make any timekeeper/scorekeeper an expert without having to know the myriad rules of hockey as they apply to off-ice officiating. Many seasoned PN developers do not realize that simple RS232 serial port communication can be accomplished in PB by using the FileOpen, FileRead and FileWrite built-in commands. You can actually open any PC’s COM port via the FileOpen command and then read and write data streams to any device listening on the port. Typical devices could be cash registers, RFID programmers, security systems and oh, of course – hockey scoreboards.

Anyone who has ever been involved in timekeeping and score-keeping in a hockey game when the game gets intense and there are many penalties being tracked concurrently knows that the job can get extremely difficult and pressure packed.  Timekeeper-PRO’s approach was to simplify the timekeeper/scorekeeper’s life is straightforward.  Simply enter data corresponding what the on-ice referees say and the software will do the rest without any knowledge of the rules.  Among many other features, TKP will automatically track offsetting penalties and will automatically determine such things as when an extra player is required to sit for another player’s penalty.  TKP will automatically generate the game-sheet thereby eliminating the need to hand scribe the information during the game.  TKP clearly displays time remaining for penalties that are not displayed on the scoreboard – ie – off setting penalties and it will automatically adjust them when necessary as goals are scored.  TKP also has an integrated communications component responsible for distributing near real-time game statistics to registered email recipients and to league websites.

Over the course of the TKP development process a separate initiative was undertaken to design and build a fully functioning and complete electronic scoreboard to be controlled by TKP.  This was undertaken as joint venture between the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE), Algonquin College and Courbyte Consulting Group.  As part of the College’s Electronics Technologist program, four electrical engineering students were tasked with the job of designing and building the scoreboard.  They were successful in their task and were awarded first place amongst all Ontario colleges participating in the OCE program.  In addition to building a full sized scoreboard (12’x5’ and 300 lbs), a mini-scoreboard was also designed and built to use as a proof of concept and also as a sales tool for displaying at trade shows where space is expensive and most often at a premium.

Timekeeper-PRO has now been extensively tested at the junior hockey level where the frequent need for tracking multiple penalties and goals is prevalent.  Timekeepers that have assisted in the testing of this revolutionary new product have been amazed at the power of the product and often are heard to say “that it’s about time a product like this was developed to make timekeeping and score keeping a less onerous task”. Jeff has now decided that not only does he have a product that can easily control any major commercial scoreboard system – he now has actual scoreboard hardware that he estimates could be built at a fraction of the price many commercial systems are priced at today. To this end, Jeff is now talking to potential electronic manufactures that might be interested in taking on his design.

The latest version of TKP has even grown the functionality further by allowing the application to post the current hockey game statistics to the internet where Jeff has another PB application that can display the current game vitals on his website, email parents who cannot attend that their son or daughter has scored a goal and even print out official game reports that can be sent into the various hockey leagues. Jeff also has a “ton” more ideas for this unique PowerBuilder application for sure and OSUG members were exceptionally impressed with his system. Even SAP Sybase Technical Evangelist John Strano in attendance at the last OSUG meeting was also suitably impressed over Jeff’s scoreboard application.

For more information on the TKP application, have a look at the YouTube video of the actual TKP application in action at To experience the actual TKP training emulator application, have a look at this YouTube video:
Also, feel free to drop Jeff an email as well for more information on TKP ( or to just cheer him on in this unique endeavour!

Regards ... Chris

Thursday, October 18, 2012

PB Micro-Website

** Hot News **

PowerBuilder Micro Website

  SAP have now created a new "micro" website dedicated to the PowerBuilder MS-Windows development tool. The web site contains blogs by SAP MVP's, features overview, success stories, user experiences, webcast recordings, white papers, tutorials, sample applications and code segments, and related partner products. A good focus on the PB IDE and its ecosystem.

You can experience the micro-website for PB yourself ... just click here!

Regards .. Chris

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SAP Road Maps

** Hot News **

     SAP recently held three webinars that focused on the various product directions from its takeover of Sybase. The webinars reflected the revised product road-maps for: PowerDesigner, ASE (Adaptive Server Enterprise) and PowerBuilder. These webinars were presented in late September through early October 2012 by Jason Lovinger - VP, SAP Database & Technology - and the associated product manager.

    The webinars were recorded and are now available (thanks to Donald Brizendine - Director SAP) for  those who missed the event, as follows:

  • ASE (*)

* - Not yet released, please stay tuned to this blog as to when the actual ASE webinar link is available.

Regards ... Chris

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

PB Song

The PowerBuilder Song

by Chris Pollach

(sing to "Let it Be" (The Beatles))

  When I find my application in tons of trouble,
  Friends and colleagues come to me,
  Speaking words of wisdom:
  "Write it in PB!"

  As the deadline fast approaches,
  And defects are all I can see,
  Somewhere, someone whispers:
  "Write it in PB!"

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  ALGOL is so dead and buried,
  Write it in PB!

  I used to write a lot of COBOL,
  For character devices it worked flawlessly.
  Try using it for Windows graphics:
  Write it in PB!

  If you've just spent nearly 30 hours
  Debugging some .NET assembly,
  Soon you will be glad to:
  Write it in PB!

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  Only wimps use BASIC:
  Write it in PB!

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  DELPHI won't quite cut it.
  Write it in PB!

   {  Guitar Solo   } 

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  Don't even mention JAVA:
  Write it in PB!

  And when the screen is getting fuzzy,
  And the editor is really bugging me.
  I'm sick of binary ones and zeros,
  Write it in PB!

  Thousands of people use TCP/IP
  IPV6 is the one for me.
  I hate the word PROCEDURE:
  Write it in PB!

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  PL-1 is so 1980's:
  Write it in PB!

  Write it in PB, write it in PB,
  Write it in PB, oh, write it in PB.
  Supercharge it with APPEON:
  Write it in P....B....!

enjoy ... Chris 

   (I bet you can't stop singing this one and emailing your PowerBuilder  friends a copy!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


** Hot News **

 Upcoming webinars on PowerBuilderTV

Starting next week PBTV have Bruce Armstrong, followed by a PowerBuilder Developer's conference recap in November!

Don't forget to check out the archive of past webinars!

Wednesday Oct 3rd 2012
at 9:00 AM PDT (Los Angeles) - 18h00 CEST (Paris)

Best practices for managing exceptions and errors in PowerBuilder
In this webinar we will look at best practices for error handling in DataWindows, in PowerScript, and how to find errors in nonvisual objects such as datastores and custom user objects. We will show examples and frequent cases where errors occur as well as exceptions and how to handle them properly.
Presenter: Bruce Armstrong

October and November

Stay tuned for a PowerBuilder Developer's Conference recap
If you arnt able to make to SAP Sybase's PB Developer's Conference in Las Vegas (registration is still open), then stay tuned to PBTV in November to find out what you missed!

  Also, check out the following "on demand" webinars ...on PowerBuilderTV:
  Modernize the look of your PowerBuilder Applications
  How to take your PowerBuilder applications mobile with Appeon Mobile
  How to develop Multithreaded applications with PowerBuilder
  Allow end-users to modify applications themselves with Customization Studio
  How to make your application multilingual with Enable 5.0

Regards ... Chris 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

OSUG's 20th Birthday!

    The Ottawa Sybase User Group has been in existence since 1992 and was formerly known as the Ottawa PowerBuilder User Group until its current name change in 2003. OSUG's mission is to create a Sybase community in the National Capital of Canada where users can share knowledge, experiences, and best practices on various Sybase products. The group is composed of various IT members that represent Database, Design, Architecture, Application Server, Mobility and Development Tool product lines. The strongest representation currently is in the PowerBuilder area as there were (in its “hay day”) over 4,000 licenses of the PowerBuilder product alone in the Canadian Federal Government.

    The Ottawa Sybase User Group’s last meeting was on May 24, 2012. This was a special meeting as it also coincided with OSUG’s 20th birthday. The group was originally founded by Chris Pollach who at that time worked for the local Ottawa, Canada PowerSoft distributor & education partner - AJJA Information Technology Consultants. Chris was also the first certified PB developer and instructor in Canada. While Chris became OSUG’s first president in 1992, there were three individuals after him that also took on the presidential position growing the membership to over 200 people. However, by 2002 with no current president the OPBUG had less than 25 active members and was at the verge of folding. In 2003, Chris again took on the user group roles as president. His first order of business was to rename the group to the Ottawa Sybase User Group and then grow the membership back to a healthy level. To Chris’ surprise, this revitalized group roared back to 532 members by 2008/2009. In 2012 the OSUG still enjoys just over 400 members on its roster.

    On hand for the 20th anniversary / birthday event was PowerBuilder Technical Evangelist (and culinary aficionado) John Strano a long time presenter to the user group over the past decade. John presided over the birthday cake cutting with Chris Pollach and enjoyed handing out the delicious dessert to all OSUG members and guest speakers in attendance. The cake was the “icing” on the day’s events that also included a continental breakfast, donuts & muffins, tea / coffee / juice and a delicious sandwich spread at lunchtime. The OSUG group would like to thank Mr Mark Coldham of TEK Systems for their wonderful support of this event providing the breakfast and morning/afternoon break goodies. OSUG would also like to thank the International Sybase User Group (ISUG) for their support of the great lunch time feast and Sybase Canada for arranging the meeting room and providing the projector.

     President Chris Pollach opened the meeting and first of all thanked Sybase Canada’s technical director Tony Antonello for his two decades of support for the OSUG user group. According to Chris, Tony epitomizes all the best things any software vendor employee has done to help facilitate the user group’s success over the past 20 years! Chris then proceeded to also thank Sybase employees John Strano, Anthony Robinson for their continued support of OSUG by continuing to return to present such high quality presentations and information about the various Sybase products. Chris also thanked CEO Armeen Mazda of Appeon who had returned to Ottawa for his third visit presentation.

     During Chris Pollach’s “Technology Watch” segment that preceded the formal OSUG meeting agenda – Chris shared and demonstrated the latest Foundation Classes he had just released for PB 11.5.1, 12.1 and 12.5.1 with all new and exciting features. Chris then demonstrated the FC’s working under the latest Appeon software showing that the same functionality on a native MS-Windows PB application would also behave the same when deployed as a web application under the Appeon product. The Foundation Classes were originally written in 1992 by Chris and have now expanded to include EAServer, PocketBuilder, PB Client/Server, PB.Net and Appeon. Chris is really looking forward to extending the framework to the new Appeon Mobile platform – more about that new product later in this article!

    The first presenter of the day was the CEO of Appeon Corporation- Armeen Mazda - who took the OSUG members through a detailed review of the Appeon product for PowerBuilder. Armeen focused on Appeon’s prowess to not only easily webify any PowerBuilder application but why it would then scale nicely in production because of Appeon’s architecture. The next segment of his presentation focused on the exciting features coming in Appeon release 6.8 and then 7.0 as Armeen detailed the development road map. Armeen also supplied all the OSUG attendees with the latest version of Appeon 6.5.1 software while Chris Pollach also supplied a full set of his Foundation Class framework for PB & Appeon so that the attendees could easily explore this web realm after the meeting.

    The next presenter on OSUG’s morning agenda was by John Strano from Sybase USA. John’s first presentation was on updating the OSUG members with Sybase’s latest PowerBuilder 15 Roadmap and fielding questions from the attendees as to how the feature list was defined and when the user community could be seeing this software release. For his next presentation, John took the attendees through a preview look at the new DataWindow HTML5 Server and how it basically would work and render DW information in any HTML5 equipped web browser. John mentioned that this new product would actually be an Sybase written ASP.Net application where PB developers could post their DW objects for the server to automatically render. He also mentioned that (as far as he knew at the moment) this new IIs application would be provided with PB 15 and included in the overall price.

Following John’s presentations and just before the lunch break, both John and Armeen entertained a “question & answer” session on Appeon Web and PB 15. Both John and Armeen reiterated that they would like to hear from the PB community on what they thought the new products like Appeon 7.0 and the DW Server should contain feature wise. The OSUG attendees asked many excellent questions and were pleased to receive excellent responses and information to their queries.

 Mr Armeen Mazda who was a key member of the initial team that founded Appeon Corporation back in 1999 and is currently its CEO & President started the afternoon sessions. Armeen presented a very exciting look at Appeon’s latest product development – the new Appeon Mobile product. Appeon Mobile builds somewhat on the current technology used in Appeon Web Server but also delivers “native” applications for both the new Tablet and Smart Phone mobile devices. The amazing thing here is that again regular PowerBuilder applications are the source. Appeon Mobile then just translates the PowerBuilder code into native machine code for the specific device deployment. Initially, Appeon Mobile will support iOS based devices in its first release later this year. In early 2013, Appeon Mobile will release an updated version that will allow native applications to be compiled and deployed to Android based devices.

     During the presentation from Armeen, he was also able to break into actual examples of the Appeon Mobile development platform that demonstrated various PowerBuilder applications and how they would render on an iPad. The examples included various DataWindow objects used for reporting, list display, updating and graphing. Menu objects and their associated menu item drop downs are accessed through a “menu” command button on the top application title bar. The associated tool bar icons appear separately on the far right hand side of the application title bar. The size of the tool bar area is limited, so once the icons exceed this real-estate a right arrow is added by Appeon to allow the application user to scroll through the remaining toolbar icons. On the iPhone where screen real-estate is even more conservative, Appeon Mobile will just display a toolbar icon command button only and no icons. Selecting the toolbar icon though will produce a drop down cluster of icons included in the active application menu’s toolbar. The current road-map for Appeon Mobile shows release 1.0 for Q4 2012 including support for the iPhone and iPad. At the end of Q1 of 2013 Appeon Mobile will support offline access and synchronization. The synchronization will be of Appeon design allowing the application developers to use either Sybase’s MobiLink product or stay will the Appeon Mobile built-in feature. At the time of writing this article it is envisioned that Appeon Mobile’s synchronization will be included in the base price. Appeon Mobile’s Q1 2013 release should also included support for the DataWindows horizontal spilt screen feature and SDK integration. By SDK Appeon means access to native device features like GPS, Camera, Bluetooth, etc. Appeon is hoping to release another version of Appeon Mobile in Q3 2013 that will launch the formal support of Android based devices, a mobile debugger, with SAP and PB 15 integration included as well. For the longer term, Appeon is carefully watching the Microsoft Windows Phone 8 launch and adoption as this could well be the release planned for Q4 of 2013. OSUG recommends that you visit Appeon’s web site at on regular intervals to keep up with the Appeon Mobile news or visit Appeon’s premier partner Novalys who is also gearing up to support the Appeon Mobile product (

The last presenter for the afternoon was SAP Canada’s technical guru on Sybase’s SUP (Sybase Unwired Platform) and Afarica products by Mr Anthony Robinson. Anthony is a Principal Systems Consultant for Sybase based in Ottawa, Canada.  Anthony has been with Sybase since 2000 and has worked for Sybase's American Federal team out of Bethesda Maryland until 2004, when he then transferred to Sybase Canada. Before joining Sybase, Anthony was a sales consultant with New Era Of Networks and a functional SAP consultant for SLI Consulting Inc.

Anthony`s first presentation was an updated Roadmap for SUP and the new features we could find in the latest release. He also covered many aspects of how developers need to re-think their application designs in order to properly address the mobility space and new devices. Anthony`s second presentation encompassed SAP Sybase`s Afaria product that can monitor any mobile device such as a laptop, phone or tablet for a complete inventory of what is on the device. More importantly, if the device is reported stolen can lock the device, reset its password, encrypt the entire device, or even "poison pill” the entire device thus wiping it clean entirely. Anthony mentioned that both SUP and Afaria were in use by some major Canadian government departments today and there has been quite a rising interest in these products over the past year as more departments look at mobilizing their work force.

OSUG would like to again thank SAP Sybase Canada, its partners, ISUG and TEK Systems for helping OSUG make this birthday event one of the its most memorable events! Hopefully, with some renewed SAP support OSUG will see many other birthday milestone events in the future!