New versions of PowerBuilder and Power Designer, with updates to the central data access component, have been released by Sybase.
PowerBuilder 12.5 can be used to build applications for use with the Microsoft Win32 and .NET frameworks. At the heart of PowerBuilder is a component called DataWindow that is used to handle the data access for applications. This has been updated in the WPF version and Win32 versions, and can now be embedded within Custom Visual User Objects (CVUOs) that can then be deployed in your .NET applications.
The new version of PowerBuilder has also been improved to let you work in a combination of Win32 and .NET WPF, and migrate existing Win32 apps to .NET. You can create a PowerBuilder .NET target, then reference it in another PowerBuilder .NET project, without exposing the source code behind it.
Sybase has also released a new version of Power Designer, its data modelling software. Version 16 has a new user interface and better support for access from thin clients. The Power Designer Portal provides thin client access to all authorized metadata including graphics and full element definitions and descriptions for metadata sharing. The intention is to make sure a wider proportion of users can be involved in the data modelling, with a portal composer that lets users make edits to key information directly through the web interface. Whether this fills you with joy or complete fear will, I suspect, depend on which side of the user/developer fence you sit!
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