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2014 PowerBuilder Worldwide Survey Results - Database Usage and Architecture of PowerBuilder Projects

Article Index

Database usage and Architecture of PowerBuilder Projects

PowerBuilder and databases

rdbms used with PB

rdbms used with PB

Since 2011, SQL Server has remained popular among PB developers surveyed. Usage of ASA and ASE has increased. Oracle remains the second most popular RDBMS.

rdbms used with PB

rdbms using a lot of stored procedures with PB

Ninety percent of those surveyed use stored procedures in their applications. Almost half of them are using 'a lot' of stored procedures, however with a 6% decrease from last year. As PowerBuilder applications migrate overtime to n-tier applications, this tendency will grow and stored procedures will progressively be replaced by other technologies.



a. Type of Applications

PB applications types

Applications types in the future

b. Application server usage

PB applications types

PB applications types

Unsurprisingly, Microsoft’s application server is the most used, as it’s free, easy to use and installed by default on Windows Servers.

On the segment of servers running Unix/Linux, EAServer arrives first with 15% of survey answers. With its future at SAP compromised, we can suppose that the number will decrease in the coming years. We can also see this trend in the second graph concerning future usage, with a 2% drop in EA Server.

The most used application server after EA server is JBoss, with 13% of the market share. Should EA Server be replaced, SAP may think of proposing a migration path towards this application server. For those projects that deploy PB code to their server using EA Server, SAP could revive the PowerBuilder Application Server Plug-in, by porting it to JBOSS… (see question 5 below on the replacement of EA Server)

If you need to deploy PB code in the middle tier, or have to replace EAServer in case it’s EOL, which solution(s) could work for your company?

PB applications types

Since having taken over Sybase, SAP has affirmed a number of times that they have no intention of killing PowerBuilder (for example during the Berlin PB seminar November 2014). The situation is not as clear for EAServer.  It’s doubling with a house product, has evolved little over the past couple of years and its world market share is small. It seems logical that SAP is searching for a reasonable migration path to allow EAServer users to easily port their existing code towards one or multiple long term solutions.
The question can then be asked, which solution(s)? Netweaver should logically be a part of this, however SAP knows that all users cannot necessarily adopt Netweaver/HANA (for reasons of cost or simply due to technical challenges/choices).

SAP is not necessarily keen on pushing its PowerBuilder clients into the arms of a major competitor such as Oracle or IBM by proposing a migration towards WebLogic or WebSphere. But even when excluding these 2 application servers, there are a number of alternative possibilities that will be more or less attractive to PB users.

This question has as a goal to provide SAP with indications on alternatives for EAServer that could be the most easily adopted by the PowerBuilder Community. A major point to consider is the deployment of PB code to the back-end, which EAServer allowed, but that other application servers (for the moment) cannot do… unless SAP ports the PowerBuilder Application Server Plug-in (PB ASP) towards other products available on the market like IIS, JBoss or NetWeaver.

Deploy Code with Appeon
PB ASP for netweaver
PB in the HANA Cloud
RDL Code

Other technologies used

Other technologies

There’s been an increase in the use of .NET technologies (Webform, Winform, Other .Net Tech.).

SAP Products %
Business Objects 9%
Business Suite 7%
Net Weaver 4%
Other 2%
SAP Cloud 1%

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