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PowerBuilder Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Arthur Hefti

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Top Stories by Arthur Hefti

The latest development technologies rely on intermediate languages and can be decompiled. PowerBuilder is no exception. In this article, we will address the risks posed by decompilers. We will also discuss what can be done to protect against the possible negative results of decompilation - whether you create in-house applications, commercial applications, or are using these applications for your business. A PowerBuilder Decompiler? A decompiler is a program that reads executable code and decompiles it, providing access to source code. It has nothing to do with viruses or other forms of hacking, but - of course - it can be used illegally. Imagine that you've lost your source code (which is certainly possible if you don't use source code control systems); you have the right to use a decompiler on your code. You don't have the right to decompile someone else's code (unl... (more)

Using PowerBuilder Assemblies in .NET

PBDJ Feature Story There's a lot of "legacy" PowerBuilder code that you might want to access from .NET applications or perhaps PowerBuilder has some superior functionality that you would like to make use of in a .NET application. Think about how easy it would be to create a report in PowerBuilder with a DataWindow. Of course, PB can provide functionality through Web Services (see my article "Prognos with DataWindow.NET 2.0 and PowerBuilder 11 Web Services" in PBDJ some time ago) but this has its limitations. In the article "PowerBuilder 11's .NET Interoperability" in PBDJ, John S... (more)

Encryption in PowerBuilder

Keeping information away from curious eyes is a challenging task. For example, you might need to encrypt data before sending it over the Internet. Or you might be storing some information in a database that not even an administrator is allowed to see. This article provides a brief overview of encryption techniques and shows how to do encryption in PowerBuilder. Short History Encryption goes as far back as ancient Egypt. In 1900 B.C. the Egyptians used a derivation of standard hieroglyphics to make a message more difficult to read. The art of hiding messages improved over the centu... (more)

Prognos with DataWindow.NET 2.0 and PowerBuilder 11 Web Services

Prognos is an application used over the Internet to determine if it makes sense to apply for a scholarship. It's part of a program package used in a couple of cantons (the equivalent of a state in the U.S.) in Switzerland to manage applications for a scholarship. The current version runs with DataWindow.NET 2.0 and uses PowerBuilder 11 Web Services. To keep the installation slim it uses no database; instead the data is stored in DataWindows or XML files. Prognos makes use of AJAX techniques and accesses .NET classes from PowerBuilder for XML handling. Since it's used in Switzerl... (more)

PowerBuilder - The ClassDefinition Object

In the first article we presented a some theories about the ClassDefinition object and were able to show the libraries of a PB application in a treeview control. This month we'll read the objects from the libraries and inspect their content. When a user expands an entry in the treeview, we check to see if it was expanded once already. If it was, we don't take any action. We code this in the itemexpanding event of the treeview control, where we get the clicked treeviewitem by calling This.GetItem. If it wasn't expanded already, we check to see if the level of the treeviewitem is... (more)