PowerBuilder 12.5: A Comparison of Classic and .NET Versions
PowerBuilder is a popular rapid application development tool that allows developers to create rich client applications for Windows and Web platforms. PowerBuilder 12.5, the latest version of the tool, offers two separate IDEs: PowerBuilder Classic and PowerBuilder .NET. In this article, we will compare the features and benefits of these two versions and help you decide which one is best for your project.
What is PowerBuilder Classic
PowerBuilder Classic is the rebranded name of the familiar PowerBuilder IDE that has been used for decades by millions of developers. PowerBuilder Classic retains the same basic functionality as in earlier PowerBuilder releases, such as:
The DataWindow technology that enables data access, manipulation, and presentation with minimal coding.
The object-oriented scripting language that supports inheritance, polymorphism, and exception handling.
The visual development environment that allows drag-and-drop design of user interfaces, reports, menus, toolbars, and more.
The rich set of built-in controls, functions, and libraries that simplify common tasks such as database connectivity, security, web services, XML, PDF, and email.
The ability to deploy applications as standalone executables, dynamic link libraries (DLLs), or ActiveX controls.
PowerBuilder Classic is ideal for developing and maintaining client-server and Windows Forms applications that run on Windows operating systems. PowerBuilder Classic also supports creating .NET Assembly targets that can be consumed by other .NET applications or components.
What is PowerBuilder .NET
PowerBuilder .NET is the new IDE that hosts the Visual Studio isolated shell and is designed for compliance with the common language specifications for .NET. PowerBuilder .NET introduces a new target type called WPF Window Application that allows developers to create modern Windows applications using the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) framework. WPF is a graphical subsystem that provides rich graphics, animation, interactivity, and data binding capabilities for user interfaces. PowerBuilder .NET also includes two new project types: WPF Window and WCF Client Proxy. WPF Window projects are used to design and code individual WPF windows that can be reused in WPF Window Application targets. WCF Client Proxy projects are used to generate proxy classes that enable PowerBuilder applications to consume Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) services.
PowerBuilder .NET also enhances the .NET Assembly target type by adding new language features such as generics, delegates, anonymous methods, lambda expressions, nullable types, and extension methods. These features make PowerBuilder code more compatible with other .NET languages and frameworks. PowerBuilder .NET also supports migrating existing PowerBuilder Classic targets to PowerBuilder .NET using the WPF Window Application target wizard.
PowerBuilder .NET is ideal for developing and deploying applications that leverage the latest .NET technologies and standards. PowerBuilder .NET applications can run on any Windows operating system that supports the .NET Framework 4.0 or higher.
Which Version Should You Use
The choice between PowerBuilder Classic and PowerBuilder .NET depends on several factors such as:
The type and scope of your project
The requirements and expectations of your clients or users
The skills and preferences of your development team
The compatibility and interoperability with other systems or components
The availability and cost of resources and tools
Here are some general guidelines to help you decide:
If you have an existing PowerBuilder Classic application that works well and does not need major changes or enhancements, you can continue to use PowerBuilder Classic to maintain it.
If you want to create a new Windows application that requires a modern user interface with rich graphics and interactivity, you should use PowerBuilder .NET and the WPF Window Application target type.
If you want to create a new Web application that runs on multiple browsers and devices, you should use PowerBuilder .NET and the Web Forms target type.
If you want to create a new component or service that can be consumed by other .NET applications or components, you should use PowerBuilder .NET and the .NET 061ffe29dd