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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Appeon 2013 European Lauch Tour

** Hot News **

Appeon Mobile European Launch Tour

   Appeon will be formerly launching their first release of Appeon Mobile product (also known as Appeon 2013) in May 2013. As other new versions of Appeon Mobile are released further into 2013 Appeon will be hosting other events throughout North America and Asia.for this revolutionary product.  The European segment will be the first part of the worldwide tour as this is where SAP's headquarters are located. The European tour will see three seminars, one each in Waldorf Germany (SAP headquarters), Paris France and  Bologna Italy. Prepare to be a Web & Mobile PowerBuilder Rock-star by joining Appeon at one of these locations! 

Sign up to attend the events near you ...

Waldorf, Germany
Time: May 7, 2013 at 9:30 – 18:00 CET
Location: Walldorf WDF1, Room Biel, Hasso-Plattner-Ring 7, Walldorf, Germany.

Paris, France
Time: May 14, 2013 at 13:00 – 17:00 CET
Location TBA, Paris, France
Bologna, Italy
Time: May 20, 2013 at 10:00 – 17:30 CET
Location: Excelsior Hotel, Viale Pietramellara, 51, 40121 Bologna, Italy
  • Get the high-level details of how Appeon Mobile works
  • Find out the latest information of PowerBuilder, SAP HANA and road-map of PowerBuilder and Appeon Mobile.
  • Discover how to develop and deploy a mobile application with PowerBuilder.
  • Learn how to prepare your application for deployment as a native mobile app and run it on an iPad and/or iPhone.

  For more information on these sessions, detailed agenda and how to register ... please visit the Appeon Europen Tour web page!

Regards ... Chris

Thursday, April 18, 2013

PB 12.5.2 - Major Toolbar Problem

** Hot News **

PowerBuilder 12.5.2 Release

Major Problem

Hi Everyone;

   I would not rush to install PB 12.5.2 (build 5006). 

   As soon as you do - all your custom toolbar settings are killed and you can not get the mappings back! This includes both the InfoMaker and PowerBuilder IDE's

For example, when you add a new icon (built-in or custom) - the InfoMaker or PowerBuilder 12.5.2 main power-bar will shrink to just the EXIT door. Try as you may, the toolbar can not be customized any further! It will show the new toolbar setting properly in the customization dialog's preview area - but, never render on the IDE properly when you exit the toolbar customization dialog.

  Selecting the "Reset" option in the toolbar customization dialog does reset the preview area properly - but again,  when you exit the customization dialog main power-bar is still all messed up.

  The only way out of this predicament is to enter the toolbar customization dialog and then select the "Clear" button, then select OK. This wipes out the Power-Bar on the IDE as it then disappears. However, if you close the IM or PB IDE and then restart it - the default Power-Bar comes back! Of course, as soon as you star any toolbar modification again, you are thrust back into the same dilemma (a catch-22 situation).

=> I do not think though that this negative toolbar behaviour will bode well with IM / PB developers or trial users!  

** ERRATA - MS-Windows XP **

PB 12.5.2 will not install what-so-ever on MS-Windows XP SP03 and will always error out as follows ...

Note: tested the above now on 4 PC's (W7 32 & 64 bit + 2 x XP PC's)

Regards ... Chris

Saturday, April 13, 2013

ICT Award 2013

** Hot News **

Appeon Mobile wins prestigious award!

    Appeon Mobile has won the Hong Kong Information and Communication Technology Award for 2013. The Hong Kong ICT Awards were established in 2006 under a collaborative effort amongst the industry, the academia and the Government.  It recognizes, promote and commend the excellent achievements to which Hong Kong ICT professionals and organizations contribute. The Awards also encourage local practitioners to develop innovative and creative ICT solutions, which will uplift the image of Hong Kong ICT sectors, both locally and internationally.

“This Hong Kong company has the technical know-how on the conversion processes of PowerBuilder codes and a good connection with other related US development companies for obtaining latest technical and marketing information. To have a solution for obtaining business from over 200,000 PowerBuilder installations in US, the company collaborates with another technical company in Shenzhen for conducting the research and development works. The platform really demonstrates the fast speed and the smooth conversion from legacy systems to mobile and web interfaces. “

Well done Appeon!
Regards ... Chris

Friday, April 12, 2013

Sybase Ends PowerBuilder Downloads

** Hot News **

Get PB before April 15, 2013

Here is the actual announcement from PB product manager Sue Dunnell ...

April 11, 2013

Dear Valued Sybase Customer:

This letter provides notification of the end of sale for the following versions of Sybase PowerBuilder.

End of Sale
Migration Path
PowerBuilder 12.x
PowerBuilder 12.5.2
PowerBuilder 12.5.x
PowerBuilder 12.5.2

Please note that EBFs for PowerBuilder 11.x, 11.5.x, 12.x and 12.5.x (except for PowerBuilder 12.5.2) will no longer be available as of April 15, 2013.

If you have any questions, please call your local Sybase Technical Support Center.  One of our Customer Service representatives will respond to your questions or direct your call to someone who can.  For the number of your closest Technical Support Center, please go to:

Thank you for your cooperation in this product transition.  We regret any inconvenience that discontinuing the sale of this product may cause your organization.  Our support staff is available to assist you in any way possible.

Sue Dunnell
PowerBuilder Product Manager      
Sybase, an SAP Company

This does beg a BIG the question of support issues for the enitre PB community I must say. I hope that SAP has a plan to address this in the near future!

Regards ... Chris

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Appeon Mobile Beta3 - First 48 hours!

** Hot News **

Appeon Mobile Beta3

First 48 Hours

   The excitement keeps building for Web and Mobile users as Appeon Corporation has just released the Beta3 version of their Appeon Mobile product for every PB enthusiast to test! This is the last beta before the highly anticipated production release currently scheduled for April 30, 2013. For a comprehensive list of all the changes in Beta3 (also known as Release Candidate1), please follow this link (click here).

  In the initial two days that I have been testing Appeon Mobile Beta3, I have explored some of the improved and new features of this release. Here are some of the items that have impressed me thus far in Beta3 ....


Application Server Monitor

  Just as important as being able to deliver web and mobile applications is the ability to monitor the health of the Appeon Server (or what I like to call the Web Server "helper") which is a key part of the Appeon Mobile solution. The great news is that the PB developer nor the IT shop needs to buy 3rd party tools or build a custom application to perform this task. Instead, Appeon provides a key piece of software just for this task named the Application Server Monitor (ASM).

Actual ASM running while testing the various Appeon Mobile Beta3 applications I wrote.
    From the above screen capture, you can see that you can easily monitor the health of any Appeon Server from CPU and Memory perspective. Plus, the ASM allows you to drill down on each active session as well for individual details while AEM is performing, backup, heartbeat, restore, fail-over, etc activity. Along with the ability to customize the monitoring aspects - another great feature is to also set the ASM to automatically recycle the Appeon Server at a predetermined time each day. This allows system administrators to recycle the server in off-hours to free up O/S resources, complete patch maintenance, etc. For Sybase's application server called EAServer, I wrote my own monitor and recycle manager in PowerBuilder. Its nice to see that Appeon already provided administrators with this as a built-in feature.

iOS Notification

AM Device Test Application
   For the Notification feature support, Appeon Mobile provides an NVUO that brokers the interface between the Apple based application and the actual iOS feature itself. The NVUO also provides easy to use methods that easily controls the functionality and allows the AM application to pass message context information. An example Device Test application is available on my SourceForge project website and can be downloaded for free to help you test and investigate this extensive Appeon Mobile API feature set.

Actual Notification on my iPhone's blind
  When activated for a message, the Notification NVUO will deliver the application's message text to the iOS Window Blind that can be seen when the iOS user swipes the device from top to bottom of the smartphone or tablet. At this point, the blind will contain a notification area that now includes the AM application's message text for the user to read.

  This is a great feature that your mobile PB application can take advantage of to deliver key information about the condition of the application, remind the user to complete a task, return to the application to review data now available, detail a problematic error that has occurred, etc. I am sure that you can think of other uses for this feature as well. Its nice to know that this type of advanced feature will already be available to the Appeon Mobile developer right from the release of version 1.0!

Bar Code Reader

Actual test bar code I used!
   Many mobile devices now have sophisticated built-in camera's capable of high resolution and automatic focus control. Appeon Mobile enables the PB application to take advantage of the iOS system's native bar code support by providing an NVUO that brokers the applications interface to the bar code sub-system. The NVUO provides simple methods to activate the camera, get the bar code from the iOS and finally analyze the bar code actual data and type detected. An actual working example of the Bar Code reader feature is now included in the "AM Device Test" application for Beta3 that can be downloaded from my SourceForge Project link listed above.

Actual bar code data returned to PB
   When the bar code reader feature is activated by the NVUO, the iOS sub-system automatically launches the devices camera. All the mobile user needs to do is now point the camera to any bar code symbol and wait for the iOS bar code sub-system to scan and decode the bars into actual data. When this part of the process is completed, the acutal datum is returned to the PB application through the Appeon supplied bar coder NVUO inteface object. Now the PB application could use the data which may be a product code, serial number, form id, etc that can be now used as a database key to retrieve actual information from your coporate DBMS for further processing in the mobile application.

   TIP: Even if you have tried the low-level device features in Appeon Mobile beta2, I would strongly advise the PB developer to retest these again in Beta3 as new/enhanced functionality has been added in the areas of Media, Camera, Notification, Barcode, and Device introspection and use.

TouchPad Support

"of_SetAssistantTouchBtn_Visible" command's effect
  The TouchPad feature enables your iOS based PB application to display a mouse icon on the AWS title bar. This icon will allow the iOS application user to switch touch modes between tap (left-mouse), drag and right-mouse interpretation like on a real MS-Windows based device. Appeon Mobile has also made it easy to control the TouchPad feature by providing an Appeon Work Space NVUO that the PB appliation can utilize to interface to this AWS feature. A new "of_SetAssistantTouchBtn_Visible ( ) method has been aded to visually control the TouchPad's icon.

Once the TouchPad icon is visible, the  application user can tap it to change the input mode. This most important mode I found to use was the right-click so that PB applications that utilize the PopMenu ( ) method feature on the RHMB of MS-Windows can now also use this on the smartphone and tablet devices!

PopMenu Support

    From the above TouchPad feature support in AWS, the PB developer is ready to allow the iOS mobile user to interact with pop-up menus. This is super news for developers already using my STD Foundation Classes (FC) for PB Win32 and Web as you already know that the framework allows any window dialogue's contents to be zoomed! Developing this feature initially in 1993 for version 1.0 of the FC's was so that users could zoom any dialog to see the information better on poor quality CRT monitors. In the 3rd generation of the FC's for PocketBuilder, the zoom feature was an instant hit on the small WinCE device screens for readability. With Appeon web and now just deprecated Webforms, the zoom feature also allowed the browser user to control the readability as well. So extending this feature to the mobile world for the smartphone and tablet user will hopefully give them the same readability boost that poor conditions like strong sunlight, night light glare, small screen or human visual acuity problems can easily be overcome to make the users experience more positive & the PB iOS application easier to use!
Actual Zoom (182%) feature working on my iPhone in AM beta3!

ASE Native Driver

    In poking around the new Appeon 2013 beta3 version I came across a new "gem" of a database feature for ASE!  The nice surprise was the discovery of a new native ASE driver for the Sybase DBMS that can now deliver much higher performance and DML functionality for those more demanding production applications. This last DBMS upgrade in Appeon 2013 completes all new database support for HANA and MySQL - plus the native driver for ASE places this DBMS on the same playing field as Oracle and MS-SQLServer which already had native driver support in Appeon (Zoom, Zoom!).
Actual AEM in Beta3 showing the native ASE driver option!

Production - April 30th

 HOT ...    For a limited time, Appeon Corporation is also now accepting pre-orders for Appeon Mobile and they will allow the buyer a special early-adopter 30% discount on your Appeon Mobile purchase! These great savings will even make your transition to Mobile PB applications a great ROI argument to your IT purchasing department.

PS: personally ...  I can't wait to show off to my PB clients the Appeon Web improvements and the mobility applications I know they want!

regards ... Chris

Monday, April 8, 2013

Foundation Classes - Remove WPF?

** Pole Question **

   Since Sybase has officially deprecated PocketBuilder and Webforms (in PB 12.5.2) and is basically allowing EAServer to stagnate - I am now busy removing all the dependent code from my STD Foundation Classes that referenced those PB features listed above. This will make the framework more efficient, faster to compile & execute, less prone to functional errors, etc. At the same time though, I am adding more support for Appeon Web and finalizing some new code improvements for Appeon Mobile support.

   The question I have for the PowerBuilder community at this moment though concerns PB.Net and in particular the WPF feature support. I am considering dropping WPF support all together from the framework as I see that WPF in general is basically being ignored by Microsoft and no longer in its key technology directions. Plus, the adoption of seems extremely low and not a direction for most PB sites. =>

  Q: Is anyone using my framework with PB.Net? Let me know! 

Regards ... Chris

Monday, April 1, 2013

Webforms EOL?

** Interesting News **

Webforms Deprecated?

 Sybase seems to have just released the online documentation update that corresponds with PB release 12.5.2 (which is not currently officially released). However, its not uncommon to have Sybase (now SAP) release product documentation on the eve of a new product release / update.

  This new documentation begs a few interesting questions though ...

1) When will PB 12.5.2 be released?
2) Will SAP correct the current lock-out of the MR/EBF download area?
3) Is the Webform feature actually deprecated?

  In answering the last question, the answer seems to be in the "Changed Functionality" section listed in the PB 12.5.2 release bulletin section .... "Web Forms Target Removed". You can actually see this for yourself ...

Interesting ... n'est pas?

Regards ... Chris