Helping Developers Master PowerBuilder Classic and .NET

Yakov Werde

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PowerBuilder in Asia Pacific

A visit to the Sybase office in Hong Kong

Whenever traveling to a new venue, I concern myself with learning about the state local PowerBuilder community while promoting PowerBuilder .NET, eLearnIT's free .NET training resources hosted on Sybase.com  and eLearnIT's online PowerBuilder Classic courses offer through ISUG.  This week, personal affairs brought me to Hong Kong, China, a bustling oriental city.  While there I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with Young Wong, Manager and Technical Evangelist whose responsibilities include the PowerBuilder product line.  Young's territory includes the Philippines, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Singapore and extends southward to Australia and New Zealand.

Young Wong and Yakov Werde at Sybase Hong Kong

Young's description of the state of PowerBuilder matched that of other regions; Majority percentage mature enterprise scale Classic applications some still running on version 6.x, either in maintenance mode or dormant; minority percentage still in active or new development.  Young spoke of the pressure PowerBuilder developers are feeling from management to abandon their code and rewrite in .NET or Java. Young and I speculated as to whether having Silverlight and browser based deployment support today would be sufficient to keep most the shops in the fold.  I mentioned the many Appeon for PowerBuilder success stories and how it was possible to migrate entire enterprise applications with little to no modification directly to the web including MDI.

Young asked me what I thought the major impediments to migration to .NET were.  We listed management support for PowerBuilder as a platform and tooling set as number one, followed closely by developer readiness for .NET, including familiarity with the environment, platform and tools as number two.  I placed setting user expectations about differences in the UI as number three.  We both agreed that it was in the best interest of all customers to reduce risk and cost in any future development by leveraging their existing code assets in any new development effort.

We talked about changes in developer education due to budgetary and time constraints coupled with the unavailability of traditional instructor led classroom training in the region. I responded by showing him how online / on demand / interactive streaming rich media content can create a self-paced learning experience that is classroom quality.  I introduced Young to eLearnIT's unique online core PowerBuilder training http://www.isug.com/common/PBTraining.html .  He was quite impressed by the richness of the learning experience and the comprehensiveness of its content.  He agreed that it addresses a need and fills the gap.

More Stories By Yakov Werde

Yakov Werde, a 25 year IT industry veteran, is a member of TeamSybase and the newly formed Sybase Customer Evangelist Team. Yakov is a recognized author, speaker and trainer who has been designing and delivering PowerBuilder, .NET, EaServer, Web App Development, and Java training for over 14 years to corporate, military and government developers. Prior to discovering his aptitude as an educator, Yakov worked as an architect, project manager and application coder in the trenches of application software development. Yakov holds a Masters in Education with a specialty in instructional design for online learning from Capella University and a BS in math and computer science from Florida International University. Yakov, managing partner of eLearnIT LLC (www.elearnitonline.com), authors and delivers workshops and web based eLearning tutorials to guide professional developers toward PowerBuilder Classic and .NET mastery. Follow Yakov on Twitter as @eLearnPB