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Richard (Rik) Brooks

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Top Stories by Richard (Rik) Brooks

I'm considering changing my emphasis in my column. Since speaking with some people at Sybase I am convinced that PowerBuilder is poised for a mighty comeback. The fact is that still today PowerBuilder is by far the most productive development tool available. It eclipses all the rest. An experienced PowerBuilder programmer is demonstrably more productive and can finish tasks faster than C# or even VB.NET. So why is .NET used by more companies? Mine would just be a guess and in fact, the answer is irrelevant. I'm here to tell you that Sybase is making an obvious push to regain some of the ground that it lost. The programmer who positions himself as a PowerBuilder expert today will benefit tomorrow. I am going to split my writing. This month I'll do another article on the classic DataWindow. That architecture is not going away. I've discovered that many companies are ... (more)

The PostOpen Event – Why It Is So Important

Normally I try to write applications on the DataWindow or Appeon but every now and then I get a question that makes me sit back and say, "Huh?" In this case the question concerns the PostOpen event. I've seen that event named different things: ue_post_open, postOpen, post_open, ue_postOpen, etc. It has, as far as I can see, always had post and open in the name of the event. Further, just about every framework that I've ever seen has had that event in the base window. The question that I was asked was, "Why is that event there?" The programmer wanted to know why there was code in t... (more)

Service-Based Architecture for the DataWindow

Service objects were introduced for PowerBuilder at about the same time as the PowerBuilder Foundation Classes. Much like the PFC, most programmers found reasons not to use them. In this article we will reduce the complexity of these objects and in so doing perhaps open a new world of efficient objects that are easily maintained and understood. This article is going to create a service object for the DataWindow. The idea behind this object and others like it is to minimize the footprint of the DataWindow. We want to minimize the amount of memory that the DataWindow requires and ... (more)

Using the Tag Property – Part 1

Have you ever seen a form that has its own microhelp that changes when a field gets focus? I'm sure you have. You might see a window and at the bottom of the window is a line that says, "OPTIONAL - Enter the employee birth date," when a field is entered. We are going to create a simple automated solution that will allow you to carry the microhelp along in the DataWindow. Take a look at Figure 1. It's a freeform DataWindow with a SQL data source. I chose the Employee table from the sample database that comes with PowerBuilder. I didn't do anything special to it. My goal here is to ... (more)

Using the Tag Property - Part 2

This is the second part of a two-part article. In the last article we learned how to use the tag property to create our own microhelp and automate it. In this article we are going to go one step further and use the tag property for other things. The list of items that I used the tag property for has shrunk over the years as Sybase has tried to give us more tools. Apart from the microhelp the most common use I had was to implement a tool tip. Now Sybase gives us a tool tip without our having to code a pop-up window. Luckily I don't have to have a long list of items; one more is su... (more)