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PowerBuilder at a Dead End? Hardly

PowerBuilder at a Dead End? Hardly

We've heard the rumors. Could this really be the last version of PowerBuilder? Not by a long shot. We're busy creating and evolving your favorite product.

I must admit, before joining Sybase I heard the rumors myself and wondered about their validity. Now on the inside looking out, I realize the irony of the situation. As talk continues of PowerBuilder heading into its twilight, it's actually daybreak in PowerBuilder Land and the sun shines on.

I see you rolling your eyes. Is this fanatic marketing hype or is it inspired confidence? I'll just give you the facts and the product direction for 2004, and let you decide.

Sybase Is Just As Committed to PowerBuilder As It Ever Was
Sybase has a renewed focus on the developer market and PowerBuilder is the centerpiece of this initiative. We are concentrating considerable resources on every function critical to the success of the product, including sales, marketing, engineering, training, and support.

Sybase continues to invest heavily in R&D for the product, evolving PowerBuilder to a new stage of productivity, or what it calls "4GLplus." This means that PowerBuilder will enable full life-cycle development from design and modeling to development, deployment, and management.

PowerBuilder Will Give You the .NET Advantage
Last March, PowerBuilder 9.0 introduced .NET support by enabling you to build, publish, and use Web services. Version 10 will deepen .NET support with DataWindow.NET.

If your organization is developing for the .NET platform, your PowerBuilder skills will give you a huge head start. You can take advantage of the DataWindow technology for data retrieval and manipulation, and avoid the complexities of coding in a .NET language.

DataWindow.NET will also be available as a standalone product, so developers using other tools, such as Visual Studio .NET, can incorporate the DataWindow technology into their applications.

As part of Sybase's .NET strategy, later versions of the product will let you use .NET components from within PowerBuilder and create new ones. While others are struggling to learn the basics of .NET, you'll already be the "point person" for the .NET platform.

PowerBuilder Puts You on the Forefront of the Mobile Computing Market
At many organizations, it's becoming increasingly critical for employees to maintain access to time-sensitive, up-to-date enterprise data while away from their PCs.

Enter Pocket PowerBuilder. You already have the skill set to build the applications needed for the sales team today, and quickly create the inventory application to meet customer demand during the holidays. When user needs change, it's easy to update your application, since Pocket PowerBuilder extends 4GL RAD development to mobile applications.

Three things make the product such a huge win for PowerBuilder developers heading into the Windows CE world. The first is the familiar PowerBuilder IDE. Since you know the environment, you're set to go. The second is the DataWindow for dynamic data access. Third is the ability to synchronize mobile and enterprise data via MobiLink technology. These features help you avoid the drudgery of hand-coding user interfaces, data manipulation language, and data synchronization management so you can concentrate on fulfilling business requirements.

Those who adopt mobile devices and infrastructures expect a rich, capable GUI experience. Pocket PowerBuilder makes it possible to deliver that experience, and do it quickly, elevating you to "go-to-guy" status for mobile applications.

PowerBuilder Will Let You Go Global with Unicode Support
PowerBuilder 10 will deliver support for Unicode, making it easy to internationalize enterprise applications. Unicode will be supported in PBLs and JSPs, as well as database interactions. You can lead the way in extending your organization to worldwide markets by building smart applications that automatically render in the user's native language.

PowerBuilder Use Continues to Grow
PowerBuilder remains heavily entrenched in large IT organizations, and the number of new PowerBuilder users continues to increase. A recent survey by Novalys shows an 8% increase in the use of PowerBuilder for brand new projects.

Web application development with PowerBuilder is on the rise as well. Twenty percent already use the product for Web applications, and 50% plan to build some, if not all, Web applications with PowerBuilder going forward.

The message here is that PowerBuilder remains a strategic development technology for organizations around the world.

Your Future Is Bright, Too
The fact is, PowerBuilder supports more platforms and protocols than ever before. Whether your organization adopts EJB, JSP, J2EE, .NET, Unicode, XML, or any other emerging technology standard, PowerBuilder will keep you on the forefront of innovation.

Our strategy for the future includes evolving the product to ensure that you can continue to add immediate value to new development initiatives, regardless of which technology direction your company takes.

From a personal perspective, PowerBuilder development will continue to provide a rewarding and lucrative career path. The demand for your skills and the extensibility of the technology mean that you'll be tapped to lead the new and exciting development projects.

Sybase is not only improving PowerBuilder to help you stay in the lead of innovation, but we are also invested in expanding the user community, reestablishing public enthusiasm, and making it really cool to be a PowerBuilder developer.

There's a solid plan for growth ahead - for PowerBuilder and for you.

More Stories By Karen Frederiksen

Karen Frederiksen is the director of Application Development Technologies at Sybase. Prior to joining Sybase, she founded and led a product management consulting firm located in San Francisco. Karen has also served as vice president of marketing for Borland's client/server tools group, director of SQL server marketing at Sybase, senior product manager at Synoptics (Bay Networks), and systems engineer and product manager at 3Com.

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