23 August 2016
Development, Appeon, SAP, Engagement Profiles
Wholesale Electric Supply Company of Houston, Inc. (WES) is a national leader in the electrical distribution industry. WES needed to update several existing PowerBuilder web applications. A unique feature of these PowerBuilder web applications is that the client tier is pure HTML. There is no browser plug-in other than Adobe Acrobat involved. A key consideration for them was that SAP Sybase EA Server had been End of Lifed (EOLed) By SAP and WES needed a viable alternative to EAServer.
Wholesale Electric first called on Intertech to perform an architectural evaluation. Intertech analyzed the WES technology stack and selected a conversion strategy utilizing .NET and Microsoft IIS. Intertech then performed a proof of concept to develop the best solution that remained consistent with their current user experience and provided long-term maintainability.
For this particular EAServer replacement project, Intertech harnessed the power of .NET Web Forms and converted JSP pages running in EAServer to ASPX pages running in IIS. Existing PowerBuilder comoponents were compiled as .NET managed code assemblies throughout the application. .NET assemblies for PowerBuilder are created by mapping PowerBuilder system classes to .NET ancestors, and then creating and compiling c# code from the native PowerBuilder code.
Once the .NET managed code assemblies were generated, the PowerBuilder classes can be easily integrated and consumed within the .NET runtime and Visual Studio IDE, just like any other managed code assemblies by adding appropriate references. These references were then utilized within the project by available components, such as the .ASPX web forms that Intertech used in this particular conversion. During execution, a component invokes the PowerBuilder logic in the assembly to allow seamless communication between the native .NET environment and the PowerBuilder managed code all within a completely integrated development experience, Visual Studio 2015.
Creation and modification of the managed code assemblies is made easy within the PowerBuilder environment. The process involves simply making any necessary changes to the PowerBuilder code, then compiling the assemebly and adding the new component as a reference to your .NET project.