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Helping PowerBuilder developers create visually appealing user interfaces

Brad Wery

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Top Stories by Brad Wery

If you've read any of my past articles, you know that I love a good challenge, a challenge that really gets me thinking and ultimately ends up teaching me something. One thing I always wanted to do was create dockable windows using pure PowerScript. I held off from doing this for some time because of the almost overwhelming complexity that was inherent with this type of control. Seeing as this would be the perfect test of my skills, I motivated myself to do it. The first thing I had to do before I started was investigate an existing control so that I could record proper behavior. To do this effectively I would need a really good example to analyze. Those of us using PowerBuilder 7 or higher know that the System Tree window in the IDE is as good an example as any. Here is what I observed using the System Tree as an example: An outline appears when the windows title ... (more)

Office 2003 Toolbar: A New Look For Your Old PowerBuilder App

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 developer... (more)

A PowerBuilder Challenge

PowerBuilder contains so many features and capabilities that it's hard to fully understand and learn all of them when you're caught up in the "daily grind." A good way to deal with this is to create a skill-developing challenge. In most cases, I try to do something that I figure can't be done in PowerBuilder. My latest challenge was to create an XP style listbar similar to the one in the Windows XP Control Panel (see Figure 1). I think it's a sharp-looking control that provides an efficient way to navigate an application. Could it be done in PowerBuilder? With enough time and cr... (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)