Thursday, May 13, 2010

Powerbuilder vs Visual Studio

PowerBuilder is a tool that I work with. I started using PB back in version 3. "flashback"remembering when software was distributed on the 3 1/2" floppy and we would remove locking mechanism so we would not overwrite the content"/flashback" I was excited about working with a "truly OOP language". Today, PowerBuilder is on version 12.x and has taken the steps necessary to move their code to the .net platform, sound good right - wrong. Let me explain why Visual Studio is a better tool to use when creating a .NET application.

First - intellisnse. According to wikipedia: "IntelliSense is Microsoft's implementation of autocompletion, best known for its use in the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment. In addition to completing the symbol names the programmer is typing, IntelliSense serves as documentation and disambiguation for variable names, functions and methods using reflection." I can't tell you how many times this feature as gotten my butt out of a jam. When work with PowerBuilder you have to know all the methods that are associated with an object.

But probably the most important reason I use VS over PB is because of the community. In the VS community we continue to educate ourselves and we do so without charging people to attend. How you ask, with user groups and Code Camps. Now I know that there are event that charge but there are so many events that don't, I consider this a benefit. We also try and help other developers, for free. Microsoft has a program known as the "MVP" program. If an individual receives the honor of this award it is because s/he has taken time out of their schedule and helped other developers with their Microsoft products. I know that if I have a question and I ask one of them I get an answer. Does Sybase have a simulair program, I think so, I see some professionals on the Newsgroups; but here is the problem - I have personally added questions to the Sybase Newsgroup and not received a reply. If it is believed that this is a chargable question you might not get a response, your question will just sit there. That just would not happen in this community - or at least it has not happen to me.

I'll give Sybase credit for their DataWindow.NET application. This tool, by itself, would make a developers life easier in the reporting tools area. So if you are looking for a reporting tool that integrates very nicely with VS - Datawindow.NET is an excellent choice.

In my humble option, if you are going to design/create a web site, and you have to choice between VS or PB I would highly recommend VS.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Do a little more research. PowerBuilder 12 .Net uses the Visual Studio isolated shell. You get VS, you get Intellisense, and you get applications that compile to .Net managed code. Best of both worlds.

Bruce Armstrong [TeamSybase] said...

The Microsoft MVP program was based on the program that Sybase (at that time PowerSoft) already had:

http://www.noveltheory.com/TechPapers/mvp.htm

I'd also be interested in what name you posted your questions under. I've done a search over the last year for messages with your last name and came up with nothing.

Jim Pendarvis said...

To Anonymous:
Fair enough - with PB 12 you can create either a .NET assembly or a WPF application.However, classic PB 12 still does not have the intellisence.

To Bruce:
I did not mean to imply that Microsoft came up with the concept of the MVP. I am saying that I have personally met Microsoft MVP's because of the free community events. I have not seen events like these from Sybase. As far as the search, I normally don't use my full name, as a matter of fact, I don't believe I ever have. I know that I have posted many questions on the forums, some have had responses but most have not. For me it's about the support, and I just don't feel it..It might be me

I'll reiterate one point, DataWindow.NET is the best data display tool I have ever used.

Bruce Armstrong [TeamSybase] said...

>>I am saying that I have personally
>>met Microsoft MVP's because
>>of the free community events.

Well, if you'd come to the recent Sybase Developers Days stuff here in California (the state, not the city) you would have met me. I don't know that we've got anybody near Maryland. Last time I checked, Microsoft had over 3000 MVPs, Sybase has 30 TeamSybase members. We're a bit rarer breed.

>>I have not seen events like these from Sybase.

They haven't done much for some time. That was a concern a lot of us had when Sybase merged with PowerSoft, Sybase doesn't do marketing. They've gotten better in the last year or two though. Dave Fish has been on almost constant road travel doing events.

>>I know that I have posted many
>>questions on the forums, some
>>have had responses but most have
>>not.

If you don't get a response to a newsgroup message within a day or two, go ahead and repost it. Many of us, if we don't have an immediate answer, will pass over the question to allow somebody else handle it. Reposting the question alerts us that the original one never got responded to (see the posting guidance, where we recommend this approach):

http://www.sybase.com/detail?id=47613

Posting more information would also be useful. At least in the two posts I did find, there wasn't much to go on.