Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Recap of PowerBuilder Future Webcast 5

The recording of the webcast is available at:  www.appeon.com/recordings  The following is my summary of what was discussed.

SAP Agreement is Final

The agreement between SAP and Appeon was finally made official on July 5th.  A "new generation" of PowerBuilder is planned for release in 1H 2017.

1.  SAP Announcement:  http://tinyurl.com/sappbpr
2.  Important FAQs: http://www.appeon.com/pbfaqs
3.  Version 12.6 Bugs: http://www.appeon.com/pbbugs (to report 12.6 regression issues)

Multi step process before new version can be released

1.  Setting up development environment
2.  Knowledge transfer from SAP
3.  Missing pieces
PowerBuilder uses some third party technology that SAP may not be able to transfer rights to or which may no longer be available.  In either case, engineering effort will be required to replace the technology.
4.  Add new features
5.  Convert to new licensing system

PowerBuilder 2017

Agile development:  9 to 12 months between releases

PowerBuilder 2017 PowerBuilder 2018 PowerBuilder 2019
Win10Modern UIDesktop Cloud Apps
Native PDF New Graphs WCF Services
Latest DB Drivers JSON Support N-Tier TransFlow
Mobile Cloud Apps PBL Removal New Desktop Controls
CI Compiler New Mobile Controls
Testing Framework
DataWindow Spy

Mobile Cloud Apps is the ability to create iOS and Android applications directly from PowerBuilder.

Key Facts

Name:  PowerBuilder 2017
Codebase: v 12.6 Native
OS: Windows, iOS, Android
Availability:  Q2 2017
License:  Non-perpetual
Free Upgrades: No
Vendor: Appeon

There are no free upgrades from the existing 12.6 (USP no longer applies).  Instead, you will need to purchase Appeon PowerBuilder from Appeon.  Technical support will be from Appeon.

12.6 is the last version of PowerBuilder that SAP will release.  SAP's current EOF date for PowerBuilder 12.6 is January of 2018.

Mobile Cloud Apps

  • Most PowerBuilder features are supported.  All DataWindow styles other than Rich Text and OLE are supported.
  • Utilizes Cordova to provide API access to local device features.
  • There will be a later webinar specifically on Mobile Cloud Apps.
  • Appeon Mobile 2016 (available in September of 2016) can be tried out to see what the new functionality in PowerBuilder 2017 will look like.

Upgrade Process

Need to consider
  • Deprecated Features
    • Deprecated through 12.6:  http://tinyurl.com/pbmigration
    • Deprecated in PowerBuilder 2017
      • PowerBuilder.Net
        • Can continue to use existing SAP product (perpetual license)
        • Will provide improved web service capability similar to PowerBuilder.Net in later versions of PowerBuilder Native
      • Ghostscript
  • Environment Compatibility
  • Regression Bugs
    • If you are already on PB 12.6 Build 4098, you should not experience regression bugs with PowerBuilder 2017
    • Possible regression bugs with regard to RTE control, as it will be replaced in PowerBuilder 2017
PowerBuilder 2017 will migrate code from all older PowerBuilder versions, not just 12.6.

Cloud Licensing

You will be able to install PowerBuilder on as many machines as you want regardless of how many seats you have purchased.  The licensing won't limit the number of installs, but instead will limit the number of active sessions.
  • Virtualization friendly.
  • Telecommute friendly.
  • Offline friendly. - You keep the key until you actively log it back in.  You can be offline up to 5 days and continue to use the product.

Subscription Licensing

  • Simple
    • One fee to use, upgrade and get bug fixes for PowerBuilder
    • If subscription is not renewed applications will continue to run, but IDE will not.
  • Flexible
    • Change your team size a subscription at a time
  • Economical
    • Savings if upgrading every 6 years or less.

Subscription Pricing

Prices below are per developer, per year

Standard Cloud Universal
Desktop C/S
Desktop Cloud
Mobile Cloud
N-Tier NVOs
Unlimited Updates
Self-Help Support
USD 695/yr USD 995/yr USD 1595/yr

Premium support is also available at an extra cost.

There is no runtime charge for end users.

There are OEM plans available if you create commercial software using PowerBuilder and then sell that software to others.

You can mix subscriptions. For example, you can have 4 developers with a Standard license and 1 with a Cloud or Universal subscription.

Although the features that are unique to Cloud and Universal will not be available until 2019, there will be promotions before then at a reduced cost.

Key Take Aways

1.  Easy migration for existing customers
2.  Most urgent pains will be resolved
3.  Appeon will take care of you


Unknown said...

Thank you Bruce.

I appreciate your on.gong PB work.

Steen Jakobsen

D. Maymone said...

I also appreciate.
I wonder if you have a plan to support better the work with configuration management.
For example when I right-click a datawindow the ability to perform a check-in / check out, when the datatwindow is inside another object (window or user object)
Maymone D.

Unknown said...

The new licence system will definitively kill PowerBuilder...
What kind of society will accept to rent her own software ? not mine, sure.
I like PowerBuilder and i can't understand this decision, really...

Unknown said...

Really i don't understand the new licence system.
What kind of society will accept to rent her own software ?

I like powerbuilder really but this time i understand my IT Director to move to anything else except PowerBuilder...

This time is the end of PowerBuilder, what a pity

Bruce Armstrong said...

>>I wonder if you have a plan to support better the work with configuration management.

I don't work for Appeon, I'm just reporting on what was covered at the webcast.

Bruce Armstrong said...

>>What kind of society will accept to rent her own software ?

Ours. Appeon didn't invent the approach, it's the same licensing model used in Software as a service (SAAS), which is already quite popular.

Personally that's the way I license Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative.

At the company I work for, we license a number of products that way including Actuate and Qlik Sense.

JR said...

Our management is intent on a feasibility assessment and additional set of eyes will help. Here’s the official description of the gig:

The Arizona Supreme Court and Court of Appeals utilize a case and court management system developed in PowerBuilder. This application development was commenced in an early version of PowerBuilder that predates the PFC. The application is a typical two tier client server application chiefly built around the datawindow. The application has been continuously maintained and enhanced over its lifespan. A new significant release of the application is currently pending deployment to Production. The application is currently at a modern version pf PowerBuilder (12.5.2) and uses an Informix database on the back-end.

The Information technology Division (ITD) of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) is seeking to modernize the application to more modern tool sets. This includes C#, .NET, and WPF, and to also replace the Informix database with MS SQL Server.

To this end, the AOC is seeking a consultant for an engagement of limited duration to advise the migration team on the best approaches, tools, and techniques to incrementally migrate the existing PowerBuilder application to a C# .NET application. The migration team anticipates that this migration may require multiple years to complete, so it is imperative in the approach that the migration occur in multiple phases. At each phase, until completion, the application will still be in part PowerBuilder, and the rest, increasingly, in C# .NET.

After a complete review of the application, and with the full assistance and cooperation of the migration team, a recommendation will be developed, documented, and delivered. This recommendation will advise on the best combination of tool sets and techniques to use to successfully achieve this multi-phase migration.

The qualified candidate will have modern PowerBuilder experience and expertise, including PowerBuilder 12.5 or higher, and PB .NET. Expertise in C# is also imperative. Furthermore, the qualified candidate must have prior experience in migrating medium to large PowerBuilder applications into C# and .NET.

A three week engagement is anticipated.

We would like some face time, but some of this may be done off site as well. If you are not available, do you know of anyone who might be?

Bruce Armstrong said...

I'm swamped. Can't think of anybody in that area off the top of my head. What I'd suggest, if you haven't done so already, is posting something in the jobs sections of the PowerBuilder related Linked In groups:


Jason H said...

PBL Removal? That will be an interesting change. Do you have any more details of how projects are going to be organised without PBLs?

Bruce Armstrong said...

I would assume they would use folders. Same as PB.Net and most modern development tools.

The one thing PBLs provides us with is the ability to run or debug the code without waiting for a build, because PB has been storing the compiled code in the PBLs everytime we save an object. What I don't know is if we'll get something equivalent, like writing out to PBDs every time an object is saved. Or if we'll have to start doing builds before we can run/debug.