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Migration Information

You can migrate a PowerBuilder application from any version of PowerBuilder directly to PowerBuilder Classic. You cannot migrate applications from PowerBuilder .NET to PowerBuilder Classic, or from PowerBuilder Classic to older versions of PowerBuilder.
Migrate older applications to PowerBuilder Classic before you port them to PowerBuilder .NET.

Migration to PowerBuilder .NET

The WPF Window Application wizard in PowerBuilder .NET provides an option for converting a standard PowerBuilder Classic client/server or a Windows Forms target to a WPF Window Application target. The .NET Assembly wizard in PowerBuilder .NET provides an option to convert a PowerBuilder Classic .NET Assembly target.

After you select these conversion options and click Finish, the wizards automatically migrate the PowerBuilder Classic targets you select. However, you may still need to manually refactor some applications after you convert them.

This table lists some of the features that require special attention after you migrate applications from PowerBuilder Classic. Topic references in the table are to the PowerBuilder .NET Features Guide.

Feature Effect of Migration
Accelerator characters Ampersand (&) changed to underscore (_). See Accelerator Characters in Control Labels.
Conditionalized (preprocessor) code blocks Invalid code blocks for PowerBuilder .NET are maintained, but ignored. See Conditional Compilation in PowerBuilder .NET Targets.
Control handles Controls nested in windows do not have their own handles. See Modified and Unsupported Features in PowerBuilder .NET .
Dashes in identifiers Dashes are replaced with a string you can select in the target wizard. See Coding Restrictions.
Event sequence May require manual refactoring. See Modified and Unsupported Features in PowerBuilder .NET .
GroupBox controls Controls that are inside a GroupBox belong to the GroupBox, not to the container of the GroupBox. SeeSemantic Differences.
Large application migration May cause OutOfMemory error. Turn on 3G switch to avoid this error. See Memory Tuning for Large Applications.
Menu and toolbar styles Maintained from PowerBuilder Classic. If you migrate PowerBuilder applications earlier than 11.0, menus and toolbars use traditional styles. See Selecting a Toolbar Styleand Menu Styles in PowerBuilder .NET.
Non-TrueType fonts Visible at design time, but replaced at runtime. See Modified and Unsupported Features in PowerBuilder .NET .
Pipeline and Query objects Imported, but ignored at runtime. See Modified and Unsupported Features in PowerBuilder .NET .
Resource files Resource directories that you select in the wizard are copied relative to the new target path, based on the relative path to the original target. See Adding Resources to a Target andProject Painter User Interface.
Skins Default skins are attributed to migrated applications. SeeSkin Selection for Applications and Controls,

The WPF application includes migration options for applications with dashes in identifiers and with right-to-left formatting. If you click Finish before making a migration option selection, the wizard migrates the application using default settings for these options.

Migration to PowerBuilder Classic

You can migrate applications from any earlier version of PowerBuilder to PowerBuilder Classic 12.6.

Before you migrate, back up your files and use the Migration Assistant to identify obsolete code. The applications you build using the current version of PowerBuilder must be deployed with the PowerBuilder runtime DLLs from the current version.


The "Migrating PowerBuilder Applications" technical document at http://wiki.scn.sap.com/wiki/display/SYBPB/Migrating+PowerBuilder+Applications published on SAP site includes information on changes to PowerBuilder since version 6.5 that might affect the conversion of applications to a more recent PowerBuilder version.

In this section:

When you migrate .NET Web Service components, you might need to remove or install supporting files on development and deployment computers.

If you deployed .NET projects from earlier versions of PowerBuilder, verify or complete these steps before redeploying the migrated .NET projects:

  • For .NET Windows Forms projects, select Full for the project rebuild type before you redeploy your applications from PowerBuilder Classic for the first time.
  • For .NET Web Service targets, clear ASP.NET temporary files for the application or component on development computers and production servers.
    The temporary files are located in the C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\<version>\Temporary ASP.NET Files\<projectName> directory, where <version> is typically v2.0.50727, and <projectName> is the project’s Web application name or its Web service virtual directory name.
  • For all .NET targets, uninstall earlier versions of PowerBuilder runtime files (system assemblies and win32 DLLs) on all deployment computers or servers, then install the runtime files for the current version of PowerBuilder using the Runtime Packager or another tool, as described in the “Checklist for deployment” section of the Deploying Applications and Components to .NET book.
  • To migrate a PowerBuilder 12.0 or 12.1 solution, open its .PBWX file using the File menu. If you double-click or drag and drop the file into PowerBuilder .NET 12.6, the Visual Studio Conversion wizard opens, inappropriately. You can use the double-click and drag-and-drop methods to open PowerBuilder 12.6 solutions.


You can convert .NET Windows Forms targets to WPF targets in PowerBuilder .NET. SAP suggests that you migrate older .NET Windows Forms targets to PowerBuilder Classic before you convert them to WPF targets. You cannot directly convert .NET Assembly targets in PowerBuilder Classic to .NET Assembly targets in PowerBuilder .NET.

Migrating EAServer targets from earlier versions of PowerBuilder to PowerBuilder Classic may require some additional considerations. PowerBuilder .NET does not support EAServer targets.

Migrating Components to EAServer 6.0.1 or Later

Intercomponent calls from a PowerBuilder component running in EAServer 6.0.1 require proxies for all called components. In earlier versions of EAServer, a PowerBuilder component can sometimes call another PowerBuilder component running in the same server without the use of a proxy, because the PowerBuilder VM dynamically creates a proxy for the component using method names that match the names of the component's methods.

In EAServer 6.0.1 and later, PowerBuilder components are wrapped as EJBs, providing an extra layer of security and preventing the PowerBuilder VM from dynamically generating a proxy with names that match the component's method names. Therefore, you must create a proxy object for all components you invoke with intercomponent calls. Without a proxy object, the TransactionServer object cannot obtain the correct method names of the component you are calling.

Accessing EAServer Components from .NET Targets

PowerBuilder installs the EAServer DLLs, com.sybase.iiop.net.dll and com.sybase.ejb.net.dll, in the Global Assembly Cache (GAC) on the development computer, and requires these DLLs on runtime computers for applications that access EAServer components from .NET targets. You can use the Runtime Packager to place these DLLs in the GAC on deployment computers.

The DLLs intalled by the PowerBuilder setup program have been tested, and are compatible with EAServer 6.3.1. However, if you use an EAServer version other than 6.3.1, SAP recommends that you copy the DLLs from the EAServer/Lib directory to the GAC of all computers where you deploy your applications. If you then run or re-run the Runtime Packager, you must also recopy these DLLs to the GAC, because the Runtime Packager overwrites them.

Creating an EJB Client Proxy for an EAServer 6.x Component

Building EJB client applications for EJBs running in EAServer 6.x requires additional steps when you create the EJB client proxy.


  1. Copy the <packagename> directory from the %DJC_HOME%\deploy\ejbjars\ directory on the server to the client computer, where <packagename> is the package that contains the EJB you want to use.
  2. In the Select EJB Component dialog box that you open from the EJB Client Proxy project painter, add this directory to the class path.
  3. Generate the proxy.

Creating a Client Application for an EAServer 6.x EJB Component

Building EJB client applications for EJBs running in EAServer 6.x requires additional steps when you create the client.


  1. Copy the eas-server-15.jar file (or eas-server-16.jar if you are using JDK 1.6.x) from the %DJC_HOME%\lib directory to the client computer and include its full path in the client’s CLASSPATH.
  2. Copy the stub files from %DJC_HOME%\genfiles\java\classes\ directory to the client computer and include this path in the client’s CLASSPATH. Copy the <packagename> directory from the %DJC_HOME%\deploy\ejbjars\ directory on the server to the client computer, where <packagename> is the package that contains the EJB you want to use, and include this path in the client’s CLASSPATH.
    If you copied these files and directories to a directory on the client called EAServer6, and you want to use an EJB in a package named datamapping, the client CLASSPATH setting might look like this:

In PowerBuilder versions 10.5 and later, you cannot use system types as variable names in Web service proxies.

If a PowerBuilder system type is used as a variable name, the Web Service Proxy wizard renames the variable by applying the prefix ws_. If you are migrating Web service applications from PowerBuilder 10.2 or earlier, and regenerating the Web service proxies in PowerBuilder 10.5 or later, you may need to modify your code to reflect the change in variable names.

PowerBuilder system types include not only the objects and controls listed on the System tab page in the PowerBuilder Browser, but also the enumerated types listed on the Enumerated page in the Browser, such as band, button, encoding, location, and weekday. For example, if you build a Web service from a PowerBuilder custom class user object, and one of its functions has a string argument named <location>, in the proxy generated for that Web service, the argument is changed to <ws_location>.

In PowerBuilder 10.5.2 and later, when you use the OLE DB database interface with a Microsoft SQL Server database and retrieve data into a DataWindow, or use an embedded SQL cursor in a SELECT statement, server-side cursors help to support multiple command execution.

If this has a negative impact on performance, try increasing the size of the Block database parameter to 500 or more, or adding the following line to the [Microsoft SQL Server] section in the PBODB initialization file to turn off server-side cursors:

 ServerCursor = 'NO'

A change was made in PowerBuilder 10.2.1 Build 9716, PowerBuilder 10.5.1 Build 6505, and PowerBuilder 11.0 Build 5021, to correct an anomalous behavior when the SelectedTab property was applied at runtime to a tab for which the Visible property was set to false.

As a result of this change, there is a change in the behavior of the OpenTab and OpenTabWithParm functions. In earlier versions, calling the OpenTab or OpenTabWithParm function to open a user object as a tab page displayed the tab page even if the user object’s Visible property was set to false. In the current version, the user object’s Visible property must be set to true for the tab page to appear.

If your application uses the ImportFile method to import very large text files into a DataWindow or DataStore, ImportFile returns the error code -15.

PowerBuilder versions 10.0 and later are Unicode enabled. Earlier ANSI versions of PowerBuilder were able to import larger text files

The release bulletins for earlier versions listed the size limit for large files as approximately 839,000 lines. However, the size limit depends on the number of columns in the files, as well as the number of lines.


Identify the requirements for PowerBuilder 12.6

Identify the software requirements for PowerBuilder.

Table 1: System Requirements for PowerBuilder
Product Computer Minimum memory Hard disk space Operating system
This table provides system requirements for each product in PowerBuilder. All products require a DVD-ROM drive. The disk space requirements provided are approximate. The actual disk space you need for each product might vary depending on hard disk size, partitioning, and the features you choose to install. Additional temporary space is required on the hard disk during installation for uncompressing install files.
PowerBuilder Pentium 4 or higher 512MB 656MB for all components Windows XP Professional with SP 3, Windows Vista 32- or 64-bit Business with SP2, Windows 7 32- or 64-bit with SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 32- or 64-bit with SP2, or Windows Server 2012.1
InfoMaker Pentium 4 or higher 256MB 332MB for all components2 Windows XP Professional with SP 3, Windows Vista 32- or 64-bit Business with SP2, Windows 7 32- or 64-bit with SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2008 32- or 64-bit with SP2, or Windows Server 20121.
SQL Anywhere 400 MHz or higher Pentium-compatible 48MB in addition to memory required by the operating system 337MB for all components not including UltraLite and Windows Mobile Windows XP, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, Windows Server 2003, and Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows Server 2008 (x86, x64, IA64)1.

(1) Supports Windows Server 2008 and 2012 runtime only, not development.
(2) Less disk space is required if PowerBuilder is installed on the same computer.

Table 1: Required Software for PowerBuilder features
Feature Required Software
The following table lists the software required for PowerBuilder features.

Install any required framework packages and SDKs before you install PowerBuilder. Microsoft developer software is available from the Microsoft Download Center.

Read this table carefully to determine whether you need to install any software before you run the setup program, and whether you need to install SQL Anywhere before installing PowerBuilder. If you select a feature with a prerequisite that is not yet installed, the setup program displays a warning message.

.NET target development and deployment Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later, Visual Studio 2010 SP1.

This required software can be automatically installed for you during PowerBuilderinstallation, requiring an internet connection.

.NET Windows Forms smart client deployment and update and support for OLE controls in Windows Forms Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later.

For design time only, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Software Development Toolkit (SDK) or later.

WCF Client, REST Client, and Web Service DataWindow inPowerBuilder .NET Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later.

For design time only, Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4.0 or later, referred to elsewhere in this document as .NET Framework 4.0 SDK.

WPF smart client development and update Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later.

For design time only, .NET Framework 4.0 SDK or later.

.NET Web services local host deployment Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 or higher.
NoteOn the development computer, IIS is not required for PowerBuilder applications or components unless the same computer is used a server for smart client applications, or for Web service components. IIS is also not required on end users’ computers.
For information about configuring IIS, see Deploying Applications and Components to .NET in the help.
PowerBuilder and InfoMaker tutorials, demo databases, and sample applications SQL Anywhere 16.

SQL Anywhere is available on the DVD. If the setup program does not detect SQL Anywhere 16 on your computer, it displays a warning.

If you choose to continue, the setup program does not install the tutorials or register the demo databases. To use these features later, install SQL Anywhere first, then reinstall PowerBuilder, InfoMaker, or both.

MobiLink™ synchronization Adaptive Server® Anywhere 9.0.2 to SQL Anywhere 16.

MobiLink is a component of Adaptive Server Anywhere and SQL Anywhere. In the SQL Anywhere setup program, select Synchronization and Messaging, and then MobiLink.

EAServer component and Web DataWindow development and deployment EAServer 6.3.1.

Run the setup program in the PBVM directory on the DVD to install runtime files and the Web DataWindow server component in EAServer.

EJB client development EAServer 6.3.1, or another J2EE-compliant application server such as BEA WebLogic 8.1 and later, or IBM WebSphere 6.x. SAP JVM.

The SAP JVM is installed in the Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder\sapjvm7 directory when you install PowerBuilder.

Web service clients and Web Service DataWindow in PowerBuilder Classic Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later.

For design time only, Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 SDK or later.

Saving DataWindows as PDF using the Ghostscript distiller and PostScript printing Ghostscript and PostScript printer driver.
Saving DataWindows as PDF using XSL Formatting Objects (FO) and Java printing SAP JVM and Apache FO processor.

The SAP JVM is installed in the Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder\sapjvm7 directory when you install PowerBuilder.

The Apache FO processor is installed in the Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder\fop-0.20.5 directory when you install PowerBuilder.

PowerDesigner® plug-in PowerDesigner 15.3 ESD #9.

An evaluation version is available on the PowerDesigner page of the SAP Web site.

Data access using the ADO.NET interface Microsoft .NET Framework Version 4.0 or later Redistributable Package.
JDBC connectivity SAP JVM.

SAP JVM is installed in the Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder\sapjvm7 directory when you install PowerBuilder.

Runtime Packager Microsoft Windows Installer.

Microsoft Windows Installer is installed by default on all supported Windows platforms.


Run the PowerBuilder setup program to install PowerBuilder .NET and PowerBuilder Classic.


You must have Administrator privileges to fully install this product.


  1. On the Choose Destination Location page, click Next to accept the destination folder path shown, or clickBrowse and select a different path, click OK, then click Next.
  2. On the Choose Destination Location For Shared Files page, click Next to accept the destination folder path shown, or browse to select the Sybase\Shared directory.
  3. On the Select Components page, unselect any components you do not want to install, and click Next.
    You cannot unselect the PowerBuilder Base Components option.
    Select or select the check boxes of individual components, or click Select All or Unselect All to change all the check boxes.
    The Demo Database is selected by default if you select the Tutorial component.
  4. On the Select Program Folder page, select the program folder to which program icons will be added, or specify a new one; then click Next.
  5. On the Start Copying Files page, review your settings, then click Next to begin installing files, or Back to change your selections.
  6. Install help:
    1. In the Help Library Manager, click Add next to PowerBuilder .NET, and then click Update.
      If you click Cancel, PowerBuilder .NET topics are not available in the IDE help.
    2. When prompted to confirm that you want to proceed, click Yes.
    3. When the Local Library completes the update, click Finish.
    4. Click Exit to close the Help Library Manager.
  7. On the InstallShield Wizard Complete page, click Finish to return to the common setup program.

Table 1: Software Products Tested with PowerBuilder
Software Type or Product Compatibility Description
Application servers PowerBuilder Classic has been tested with EAServer 6.3.1.
SQL Anywhere PowerBuilder 12.6 has been tested with SQL Anywhere 16.0.
PowerDesigner PowerBuilder 12.6 has been tested with PowerDesigner® 15.3 ESD #9.
Microsoft .NET Framework PowerBuilder .NET and PowerBuilder Classic are compatible with Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 and 4.5.
Ghostscript The DataWindow Save As PDF feature has been tested with AFPL Ghostscript version 8.60.

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