Sybase’s PowerBuilder v12 is powerful, .NET based, and wonderful! Why you shouldn’t use it

The following is MY perception of Sybase’s PowerBuilder:

Years ago PowerBuilder was king.  No one could touch it.  It was relatively inexpensive.  Microsoft’s Visual Basic matured and the Pascal based Borland’s Delphi was released.  Then it fell and fall it did.

Sybase
Sybase

As it was falling from the throne Sybase purchased Powersoft, makers of PowerBuilder.  As the the market share continued to shrink, PowerBuilder developers had more difficulty in finding new projects.  Most new development was written in Visual Basic or Java.

Years went by with marketing of PowerBuilder little more than the occasional road show, TechWave presentations and the ISUG Technical Journal ads catered towards existing customers.  Little to no effort was put forth by Sybase to gain new PowerBuilder customers.

During this week’s Sybase TechWave, PowerBuilder version 12 was released.  It has all the whistles and kitchen sinks you could ask for.   An amazing tool for development!  Too bad no one outside of the die hard PowerBuilder programmers will use it.

Blasphemy!  Heretic!

Consider this:

Sybase owns PowerBuilder.  It owns the PowerBuilder software, PowerBuilder language, PowerScript, the PowerBuilder vm, and everything PowerBuilder.

No problem right?

What will happen to PowerBuilder when Sybase is bought out by another company?  Products with tiny market share like PowerBuilder would likely be killed or in a state of limbo for several years.  Anyone remember what happened when IBM bought Informix?

Do you really want to bet your career and business on a software development tool that is locked to a single smallish vendor?

Maybe, perhaps, if Sybase were to release the PowerBuilder 4GL language and PowerScript to the world like Microsoft did with the C# and Visual Basic languages and Sun with Java…   Perhaps if Sybase would allow 3rd parties to develop tools based around the PowerBuilder language royalty free…

Sybase:  PLEASE FREE THE POWERBUILDER 4GL LANGUAGE!

I mean, really, what benefit could Sybase have to cripple the PowerBuilder developers?

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Native support of SQLite in Sybase PowerBuilder and PowerDesigner?

What I would love to see is native support for SQLite. http://www.sqlite.org

It is the most installed embedded database on the planet hands down.  Don’t believe me?  You know that Firefox web browser, Thunderbird newsreader, most Adobe products, Miro, etc all have it embedded?  – reference http://www.sqlite.org/mostdeployed.html

We use it extensively at work as:

  1. staging for mass data imports/exports/conversions
  2. local application ‘cache’ for large data sets
  3. projects that don’t require all the features of Sybase ASE (or Oracle for that matter)

One of the best features is that the database itself in platform independent… copy the db on to AIX from your Windows box … then on to your old Amiga … then on to your windows mobile device.  Getting the point?  🙂

I really wish Sybase would make it so that the Sybase ASE databases were truly platform and character set/sort order independent… but that is in another dream 😉

Not a blurb in the PowerDesigner/PowerBuilder manuals or anything

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