My goal in this article is to raise your awareness of the products available
and give you enough information to go on if you choose to investigate them.
I'll also discuss some of the main issues involved in searching for and
selecting off-the-shelf products. Finally, this article ends by listing a few
dozen products you should find useful.
What's Out There?
Often the only products that are well known are the ones for which large
amounts are spent on advertising, which often translates into a high-price
tag. It's a paradox of capitalism. For a company to get its product noticed,
it has to spend a lot of money, but to cover those expenses it must raise the
price of the product, which in turn reduces its sales and profits. That's a
simplistic view, but especially during an economic downturn, it's the most
fundamental reason that product companies stop making and selling... (more)
Last year, after migrating a client's application from PFC 5.0.02 to 6.5,
then applying some enhancements to take advantage of new features, the
program began giving the following PFC error message: "For certain
functionality the PFC DataStore requires a reference to its parent window.
One of these cases has been encountered. To let the DataStore know who its
parent window is, call the of_SetParentWindow() function after the DataStore
At first I was disturbed that the PFC developers had coupled the DataStore to
a parent object. And worse, not only a parent object, but... (more)
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
Sybase is back in the news, having once again posted gains in both revenues
and profits. In fact, their latest quarterly announcement indicates they had
the best quarter in the history of the company. That caps a truly amazing
In the last several years many technology companies successful in the '80s
weren't able to keep up with the markets, went out of business, or were
consumed by other companies such as CA. Sybase is in good company. Oracle,
Microsoft, and Sun all faced that challenge and beat it by making innovative
and somewhat risky moves. A classic example is ... (more)
It's been a long time since we've had a new version of PowerBuilder. I don't
know about you, but I've been very patient and can't wait any longer. I'm
particularly excited about PowerBuilder 8 because many of its new features
address the type of development I'm doing - building Web applications
consisting of JSPs calling PowerBuilder components running on EAServer.
PB7 had several wizards, which helped build and deploy components as well as
build proxies. However, when the PB7 team was designing it, they didn't have
the benefit of input from hundreds of active developers. PB7 deve... (more)