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)
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
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
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
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)
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)