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Helping PowerBuilder developers create visually appealing user interfaces

Brad Wery

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Top Stories by Brad Wery

There's a reason why software developers like Microsoft update the look of their applications every two years. It shows the consumer that something has changed and therefore they need to upgrade, at least that's my opinion. If this is true, I can only presume that presentation plays a vital role in the sale of commercial applications. If you're not writing commercial applications, then it's just a cool thing to do. Unfortunately, most developers are usually confined to creating applications with the look provided by the development tool they're using. Fortunately for us developers, some people don't like this kind of confinement. We all know who Aart Onkenhout is: the creator of CoolMenu. For those who are unaware, CoolMenu is a utility that allows us to update the look of the menus in our applications by adding color and bitmaps. It also provides style options: XP a... (more)

Using .NET in PowerBuilder.NET

When the beta for PB.NET (PowerBuilder 12) started I was pretty excited to get my hands on it. This version comes with a whole new IDE and with it many new features. As a result, we now get to take advantage of things like better intellisense, script navigation functions, and a WPF editor for better UI design and development. Most important was the promise of being able to use the .NET Framework to its nearly full potential. What I want to do with this article is walk you through the source code of an application I built; an application that uses some parts of .NET (see Figure 1... (more)

Dynamic SQL with Sybase's Open Client

PowerBuilder offers some dynamic querying capabilities. For simple scenarios it works quite well. But what if your scenario isn't simple? What if you wanted to write a database-querying tool that provides stored procedure compilation, ShowPlan display, or the execution of large complicated batch scripts? I was writing a database-querying tool that was destined to work against our ASE database (and ODBC connections but, that's a whole different article). At first I tried to use the PowerBuilder dynamic SQL functions but found it to be very limiting. That solution was too simple a... (more)

PBDJ Feature: Take Control of Your GUI

One of the biggest complaints I hear about PowerBuilder is how the applications developed with it end up looking old and outdated. PowerBuilder allows developers to create complicated, robust, and efficient business applications. What it doesn't do is offer an effective presentation. Sometimes lackluster presentation can hurt an application's marketability. Unfortunate as it is, the look of the application is what gives users their first impression. An old-looking application just won't impress. What to Do About It... The first option would be to get your hands on some third-party... (more)

Advanced DataWindow Filtering with PowerFilter

As we all know, the DataWindow is a very powerful and flexible control used for data presentation and manipulation. For the most part, the features that you get out of the box allow you to create some very impressive applications. With that said, there is always room for improvement. Fortunately for us, the DataWindow was built with flexibility in mind. By taking advantage of this flexibility, we can extend the DataWindow to do almost anything we want. In this article, I'm going to introduce you to PowerFilter, a control developed by Jim Reese and available for purchase from www... (more)