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John Olson

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Top Stories by John Olson

Though PowerDesigner 7 was released a few months ago, not many people are aware that it's much more feature-rich than past versions. Sybase has been pushing hard to get the word out that PD7 is a great product, but it's getting only mediocre media coverage. We haven't even mentioned it yet in this magazine, so I'm going to focus on it now. First, a little history... Back in 1994, Powersoft was looking to broaden its toolset by adding relational design capabilities, a database and various other components needed for full-cycle development. Rather than taking years to build them from the ground up, they chose to find and purchase existing products and integrate them with PowerBuilder. A well-advertised acquisition was Watcom of Waterloo, Ontario. The company had one of the best stables of C/C++ developers in the world and some products, Watcom C and Watcom SQL, that we... (more)

PB7 Wizards for Jaguar Components

Some of the most popular new features in PowerBuilder 7 are the wizards because they make it easy to perform complicated, multipart tasks. However, the first time I ran PB7 and attempted to create a Jaguar component I was stunned to find identically labeled, as well as nearly identically labeled, options on three of the tabs in the "New" dialog (to get to the New dialog, launch PowerBuilder, then choose File/New off the main menu). I guess Sybase decided that the wizards' functions are obvious based on the tabs they're on. I've found that many PowerBuilder developers don't find t... (more)

Predictions Or Statements Of The Obvious

Another year has quickly passed and once again we'll take a moment to look at how my predictions for the year fared. Last January I predicted the following five things: Over the next three years high-speed data access will dramatically change the face of the Internet. Many Java and Web development tools will stop being produced, while a few tools will rise above the fray to take control of the market. Most Sybase tools customers will actually start developing distributed and Web applications. Many Sybase tools customers will bypass PB7 and migrate directly to PB8. A flood of new ... (more)

The TechWave Shuffle

For me TechWave is primarily about networking, schmoozing, and hanging out with friends and colleagues. Up at 7 a.m. and to bed at 1 a.m. with a lot of events in between. Of course, the in-between time is spent preparing my sessions, participating in TeamSybase functions or duties, giving out magazines at the SYS-CON booth, talking to vendors about their products and authors about potential articles, participating in ISUG activities, talking to Sybase engineers and product managers, reviewing new product features and plans, and giving my opinions on just about everything. This y... (more)

Two Heads Are Better Than One

After careful consideration I've come to the conclusion that having two heads is better than having just one. While it may sound like I'm simply stating the obvious, in fact, most people have only one head.1 However, those who are blessed with two heads enjoy a measurable advantage over their single-headed rivals. This conclusion was affirmed in a headline-grabbing paper by two Princeton economists for the National Bureau of Economic Research entitled "Are Two Heads Better Than One?"2 Having multiple heads is most beneficial when performing work that requires multitasking, such ... (more)