Thursday, December 31, 2009

Here's another way to access .Net from PB

Particularly for those folks using pre-11.0 versions who don't want to take the CCW approach:

Calling C DLL From PowerBuilder

Friday, November 27, 2009

Pay-as-you-go mobile broadband

Because of some recent internet provider issues (see previous post) I found myself in urgent short-term need of some mobile broadband.  I don't really require it often enough to justify the $60 a month fee that is typical for most plans.  So I picked up a Broadband2Go USB stick, which allows for pay-as-you-go broadband.  You buy a certain amount of data (e.g., 250 MB) and you have a certain amount of time to use it in (e.g., 30 days).  You don't pay again until the next time you need to use it.  Ran into a couple of problems.

A little network restructure

I've got a commercial internet account at home with Charter Business because I host out of my home (not much to look at, but it hosts a number of important utilities that TeamSybase members use).

More on MyPhone

Just a follow up from my last post.  The "Find My Phone" feature is a premium service of My Phone (My Phone itself is free).  But there is also a 7 day trial.  Note that there are more options that I originally mentioned.  You can:

1.  Ring the phone (even if the phone is in vibrate or silent mode)
2.  Locate the phone on a map (last synch location is part of the free service, current location is a premium service)
3.  Lock the phone (and leave a message indicating how to contact you)
4.  Erase the phone (reset to factory defaults)

The 7 day trial allows you to try 3 each of the first two options and 1 each of the last two.  So far, the 2nd option (locate my phone) hasn't worked for me.  It may be because they're relying entirely on GPS, and I don't have the built in GPS activated (I use an external device for Tom Tom on the phone).  Perhaps, unlike Google Latitude, they will not attempt to use cell tower triangulation if GPS is not available.  However, the ring option worked great.  I'm not brave enough to test the other two.

Some interesting stuff from Microsoft for us Windows Mobile users

The first is Windows Marketplace, the Windows Mobile version of the iPhone App Store.  The second is MyPhone.   Besides the link that Microsoft sent me, it also appeared as the most populate download on the Windows Marketplace.  Most of the features aren't really that valuable to me.  The one I find particularly intriguing -- since I misplace my phone so often -- is the Find My Phone option.  The "find currently location" feature seems somewhat useful (usually when I misplace my phone I already know the general vicinity of where I left it, like in my house somewhere).  The one that looks primarily useful is the "ring my phone" feature.  In particular, it's the ability to force the phone into audible mode for the ring even when the phone is sent to silent or vibrate.  Typicallly, when I misplace my phone that's the setting it's on, so calling it from another phone hasn't been entirely helpful.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Unified SCC

One of the issues with using some of the more popular source controls systems out there (e.g., Subversion, CVS) from PowerBuilder is that PowerBuilder uses MSSCCI (Microsoft Source Code Control Interface).  MSSCCI was originally developed as a common API for source code control systems, but later abandoned it as they moved to Team Foundation Server.  Older source control systems (e.g., Serena PVCS) support MSSCCI, but many of the newer ones do not.  Even if you want to use Microsoft's Team Foundation Server, you need to obtain a MSSCCI provider that translates the MSSCCI calls into something that TFS understands.

A similar option (a provider that translates MSSCCI calls into something else) is available for some of those other systems though.  Historically, PushOK has been a choice for people who wanted to use Subversion or CVS, as PushOK supplied a provider for each.  Recently I started researching this issue again because of a pending migration to Subversion, and I discovered Unified SCC, a single provider that not only supports Subversion and CVS but Bazaar as well.

Will update as work progresses, but so far it's looking good.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Adobe Max 2009 Pictures and Video

And least the stuff I'm taking



Adobe Max 2009 First Impressions

A couple of requests for next year, given that Max 2010 will be here in LA as well:

1.  Tell people where the LA Convention Center is, how to get there, where to find parking, etc.  Some of us live close enough to want to drive in, but not close enough to know the area well.

2.  If you're going to have this same kind of security for the general sessions, open the doors sooner so that folks can get in.  I don't know if it's why the first general session got such a late start, but there's no way it could have gone off on time with the amount of time it took all of us to get in.  And many of us were waiting outside for some time, time that could have been better used going through security earlier.

Off to #AbobeMax 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

PowerBuilder returns from the dead...

Not sure how I missed it when it was first released.  Or perhaps my age is showing and I just forgot I saw it earlier.  In any event, it's an IDC report reviewing the history of PowerBuilder and commenting on the .Net direction incorporated into the last few releases.  Of particular interest for people using the product since the early days, it includes the release date for every major version back to 1.0.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

And an extract utility

Universal Extractor. It's particularly useful for extracting files out of the custom CAB format that Installshield uses (and which PowerBuilder setup files are generated in).

Some cool PBL related utilities

I just stumbled across this site, although it's been out there for at least a few years. He's got some utilities that do ORCA like operations without requiring the use of ORCA. There's also a utility for setting the background color of command buttons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

AT&T Fast Pitch Awards

AT&T is running their Fast Pitch Awards again this year.   It's an opportunity for mobile device content developers to win up to $10,000 and have their application(s) sponsored in AT&T's mobile app distribution channel.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Some good news, and some bad news

It looks like some of the pre-conference courses for the TechWave Symposium are filling up.  The good news is that might mean that the symposium will be well attended as well.  The bad news is that you're running out of time if you were hoping to attend one of those courses.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The PowerBuilder 12.0 beta is officially on...

It includes a new infrastructure, built on the Visual Studio Isolated Shell, support for WPF and WCF, as well as fully managed code at runtime.  Joing the beta at:

There is also a webcast on July 21st.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Latest meeting

Finally made a meeting of the LA Flex User Group.   They tend to hold their meetings on Wednesdays, which only works for me during the summer, so there's only about 3 meetings a year I can really attend.

There was a power outage in the area, so the first thing I learned on the way over is that few people in Los Angeles know how to perform a 4 way stop correctly.  I took surface street to avoid the nightmare of the 405.  Guess that didn't quite work out.

In any event, they had technical troubles with the presentation, so they didn't start until after I arrived late anyway.  The main event of the evening was an introduction to the beta of Flash Catalyst.  I had looked at this product earlier when it was Thermo, and I wasn't particularly impressed then.  It's come a long way.  It's like they took a 4GL and split it in half.  Catalyst is the true GUI design tool, and Flash Builder (formerly known as Flex Builder) is the 3GL coding tool you use to implement the logic behind the GUI.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Update on TechWave 2009

Registration is open, and most of the content is now listed.  It's primarily keynotes and education sessions.

TechWave 2009

There are also "business sessions", but still no word on the content.

What's interesting is that the first day of the event is now free.  You only need to pay the $200 registration fee if you plan to attend the second day.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

TechWave 2009 - Washington, D.C. date announced

They've finally released the date and other pertinent information on the Washington, D.C. TechWave "Symposia".  It will be August 26-27 at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.  No final agenda or registration information yet, they are trying to get that available by the end of June.  Also no word yet on any other "international" locations that are supposed to be holding similar events for 2009.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TechWave goes global...

From Paul Horan's blog.  Not much I can add, just passing it along.  Bit of a bummer, as I was looking forward to the DC event.  Who knows, perhaps one of the other locations will make up for it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Fast Pitch 2009 contest

Have a mobile application you think rocks?  Check out the Fast Pitch 2009 contest for a chance to win one of the $25,000 grand prizes.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another cool utility...

Rather small one, but if you work with ActiveX controls and play around with manifest files, it's pretty handy.

It's a registry script that adds a couple of options to the right mouse button popup menu in Windows Explorer when you're on an ActiveX or related files (e.g., type library).

If you want to be able to register / unregister an ActiveX control with a couple of mouse clicks, it's great.

Chris has quite a few other utilities on that page as well.  The UrlRun and the XML validator look intriguing, but I haven't tried them yet.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Microsoft's Plans for Windows Mobile...

Microsoft has indicating that they'll be making a major announcement in February about Windows Mobile.  Early indications are that they will announce, among other things, a narrowing of focus of the product to a selct few devices.  Not sure that bodes well for PocketBuilder, given that Windows Mobile is the only platform it currently deploys to.  Time to support SilverLight for mobile devices instead perhaps?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

DataWindow Formatting Tip

This is from Chris Werner in the Sybase newsgroups.  Someone asked if there was a way to improve the formatting of data in a grid datawindow that uses cell borders by forcing a leading or trailing space on the data.  Chris' response:
I'm not sure if it is documented behaviour but sometimes I use a blank in the format of a datawindow column to achieve what you want. For instance for right-aligned number you can use "0 " instead of "0", for left-aligned strings " [general]" works. Of course the will not work if the data is bigger than the column and cut.

Perhaps what stuns me the most is that after many years of PowerBuilder use, I had never tried this.  Great tip.

Monday, January 19, 2009

PowerBuilder Accelerated Development Tour

The PowerBuilder Accelerated Development Tour is making it's swing through the U.S.  Currently scheduled stops are Dallas and Houston, with more to be announced soon.