Sybase Mobile Evangelist

Ian Thain

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J2EE Journal: Article

Using PowerBuilder Components in Sybase WorkSpace 1.5

RAD developers become service developers process developers

This article describes the synergies between PowerBuilder and Sybase WorkSpace for services-oriented development and shows how to use a PowerBuilder component in Sybase WorkSpace 1.5.

Rather, PowerBuilder has a legacy. It has evolved from its client/server roots and now enables developers to build n-tier, Web, and Tablet PC applications and components for use in other environments. It continues to do what it does best - incorporate emerging technologies and abstract them for ease of use.

Sybase WorkSpace is a PowerBuilder-enabler into the world of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) - allowing your investment in Sybase's popular Rapid Application Development (RAD) development tool to continue and thrive.

SOA has evolved over the last decade and refers to an architectural framework for building applications. SOA is neither a technology nor a product. It's a set of frameworks, patterns, designs, and development principles for modular applications. SOA builds on the legacy of Remote Procedure Calls (RPC), Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA), Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM), and most recently, XML and Web Services. Currently SOA employs services to enable integration by joining systems together in a simple and consistent fashion to deliver new applications. Your PowerBuilder components can interact with .NET, Java, and existing Web Services. SOA is characterized by components and applications that are:

  • Loosely coupled - The application services and the services that invoke them can be changed independently in contrast to point-to-point application integration, which separates business rules from the application components' source code.
  • Coarse-grained - Business-level interfaces are built using original interfaces and combined to achieve high-level business-oriented functions. The low-level, fine-grained application interfaces exist in discrete silos and usually don't participate in SOA.
  • Standards-based - SOA is standards-based, lowering the cost of modification and integration and promoting efficient reuse of existing applications.
  • Business-oriented - Enabling developers to rapidly and more agilely take advantage of services-driven flexibility to create new business processes and bypass technology bottlenecks.
  • Patterns-based - Implementing solutions using services that are pre-designed and already exist.

Sybase WorkSpace is an Eclipse-based unified development environment enabling developers to build applications ranging from J2EE Web to Business Process Integration solutions in a quick and easy way. Sybase WorkSpace leverages Service Oriented Development of Applications (SODA) and a visually rich graphical environment to take the user through the stages of service development in a RAD manner. Like a RAD tool should, WorkSpace simplifies linking infrastructures such as databases, messaging systems, and enterprise applications, and allows for rapid development of sophisticated applications.

We can gain many benefits from SODA practices in a SODA tool. Developers can progressively create services from existing components and create composite applications by combining them with existing services. Existing enterprise application components can be reused, improving quality and reducing delivery times. Any given service implementation can be changed without necessitating changes to other services. This preserves loose coupling for future applications and services can in turn be independently designed, upgraded, or modified. Developers can then focus on business functions, not the underlying complexity of systems infrastructure and middleware. SODA tools increase efficiency, enable incremental testing and diagnostics, and help detect errors early in development and testing - maximizing the time available for higher value-add developer activities

Sybase WorkSpace - the design and development environment for Sybase servers - is a Java toolkit offering the five important design and development tools in an integrated easy-to-use Open Source framework. WorkSpace lets developers seamlessly combine data development, Web applications, services-oriented development, and mobile development with enterprise modeling. As in the "Eclipse way," WorkSpace gives a consistent development paradigm organized as a set of perspectives, and each perspective has its own set of views. WorkSpace implements development best practices and easy-to-use and visual metaphors to produce an end-to-end development process support - design, develop, test, deploy, debug. (see Figure 1) The whole integrated tooling package supports:

  • Enterprise Modeling (model-driven development)
  • Service Development (SODA)
  • Process Orchestration
  • Database Development (data objects and replication)
  • Mobile Application Development

To use your existing PowerBuilder components in a SOA, assuming that you have Sybase WorkSpace v1.5 installed, follow these steps: .

1.  In this example, we have a simple PB component deployed in EAServer. Currently this component is called by other PowerBuilder components as a CORBA component and isn't exposed as a Web Service.

2.  In the Enterprise Explorer, right-click and connect to your EAServer.

3.  Navigate to the WST Repository and expand the Other Components.

Note: If the PowerBuilder component was exposed as a Web Service, it would appear in the Web Services folder.

More Stories By Ian Thain

As one of the Sybase Technical Evangelists, Ian regularly addresses technical audiences all over the world and his sessions are always very well attended. He also writes education classes, whitepapers, demos and articles for various Sybase products and publishes regularly in Journals such as SYS-CON's PBDJ and International Developer Magazine. He is also the Sybase Unwired Platform & PocketBuilder Evangelist and works closely with the team in Dublin, CA and Concord, MA on new features and demonstrations for the products. In his customer-facing Evangelist role, Ian is very involved with the design, production and testing of Enterprise class Unwired Solutions, that have been implemented using Sybase's Unwired tools for Sybase customers around the globe. In addition, Ian is a dedicated technical expert continually working with Sybase's key partners and clients to enhance the capabilities of the Unwired solutions that Sybase can offer to its customers. Ian can also be found on Twitter @ithain

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