Monday, November 07, 2005

The Second PowerBuilder Developer Meeting in Latinamerica

On October 28th and 29th the Second PowerBuilder Developer Meeting in Latinamerica was held in Bogota, Columbia. I participated and did presentations on PowerBuilder, EAServer and PocketBuilder.

I've posted my pictures from the conference and from the special event (a tour of the "Cathedral of Salt").

Some observations:

  • The vast majority of customers are already using Windows XP.

  • Most people were using PB8 or PB9. Nobody was using PB10. Nobody was participating in the 10.5 beta. There were several questions on what benefit 10.5 and 11.0 would actually have (would they be worth migrating to).

  • There was essentially no interest in DataWindow.Net

  • There was essentially no interest in compiling to ASP.Net.

  • There were only three people using EAServer.

  • Quite a number of people were using and/or interested in PocketBuilder.

  • There was *considerable* interest in the PowerBuilder Plug-in for Application Servers.

There were also a number of questions on which I indicated I needed to research the answers. Those were:

SQL Anywhere

Q. Is a runtime license required to deploy ASA to PocketPCs if stored procedures are used? We've got a desktop based application that we want to mobilize without significant re-write, but it uses stored procedures extensively.
A. Yes. The "free" runtime license doesn't include stored procedure support.


Q. We would like to use PowerDesigner, but the cost per seat ($4000 US) is unreasonable when compared to Enterprise Architect ($600).
A. [Still waiting on an answer for this one from the PowerDesigner folks.]

Q. Why are the only localizations for PowerDesigner in English and French?
A. [Still waiting on an answer for this one from the PowerDesigner folks.]


Q. Why is the licensing cost of EAServer so high, are there any discounts?
A. Your reseller may be quoting you for EAServer Advanced. Ask them specifically for pricing on the Workgroup edition, which is less than half the cost of the Advanced version.

Q. When will there be a PBVM available for EAServer for Linux?
A. That's actually available now. If you got to the EBF/Maintenance portion of the Sybase Downloads area and click on EAServer, you will find a 10.0.1 PBVM for EAServer 5.2 and a 9.0.2 PBVM for EAServer 5.0. You may have to set the timeframe for searching to something other than the default (6 months) to see both downloads.


Q. Why is the licensing cost of PowerBuilder so high ($5000-$6000 US).
A. The licensing cost of a product outside of the United States is based upon the exchange rate about the time the product is released along with an additional amount to cover items like the movement in the exchange rate and the cost of doing business in other geographies. The retail cost is only revisited on a yearly basis at most, so there is the potential that significant movement in the exchange rate could make the product dramatically more expensive (or less expensive) compared to the U.S. retail cost.

Q. Why is a "patch" required to get localized (i.e. Spanish)
A. The "patch" you are referring to may be simply the localized DLLs. They are released several months after the GA release of the core product with English language DLLs, but that's true for all the localizations, not just Spanish.

Q. When will there be an update for the Informix driver? Version 10 was released on May 12, 2005. By the time that 10.5 is released, it will almost be a year after the version 10 release, but still no version 10 driver.
A. Informix will only be supported through ODBC and OLE DB going forward. If this is not satisfactory for the customer they should complain (loudly) to Sybase.

Q. If PowerScript is moving to become a .Net language, how does that impact the ability to compile and deploy non-visual objects to third party app servers? Won't that mean that the .Net Framework will need to be available on the platform that the app-server is running on?
A. That will depend on when the Win32 PBVM is declared end-of-life. That will certainly not happen before PB 12.


Q. Why do I need a seperate IDE for mobile deployment? Why isn't this included with PowerBuilder?
A. The PocketBuilder IDE is highly customized to target mobile development (small screen size, unsupported PowerBuilder functions, additional PocketBuilder functions not supported by PowerBuilder).


Q. The local distributor seem to have limited product knowledge. They just do sales. As a result, they don't provided a great deal of support.
A. I'd recommend that you consider using the Spanish language PowerBuilder forums hosted by Sybase as an alternate method of obtaining support and product information.

Q. I want to put on a PowerBuilder training class (my own, not one of the Sybase ones). I've been told by the local distributor that I have to pay them a licensing fee to do that. Is that true?
A. No. So long as you aren't presenting official Sybase training materials (Sybase licensed courses), you do not need seek permission or pay a fee to the local distributor.

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