PowerBuilder is a tool that I work with. I started using PB back in version 3. “flashback”remembering when software was distributed on the 3 1/2″ floppy and we would remove locking mechanism so we would not overwrite the content”/flashback” I was excited about working with a “truly OOP language”. Today, PowerBuilder is on version 12.x and has taken the steps necessary to move their code to the .net platform, sound good right – wrong. Let me explain why Visual Studio is a better tool to use when creating a .NET application.
First – intellisnse. According to wikipedia: “IntelliSense is Microsoft’s implementation of autocompletion, best known for its use in the Microsoft Visual Studio integrated development environment. In addition to completing the symbol names the programmer is typing, IntelliSense serves as documentation and disambiguation for variable names, functions and methods using reflection.” I can’t tell you how many times this feature as gotten my butt out of a jam. When work with PowerBuilder you have to know all the methods that are associated with an object.
But probably the most important reason I use VS over PB is because of the community. In the VS community we continue to educate ourselves and we do so without charging people to attend. How you ask, with user groups and Code Camps. Now I know that there are event that charge but there are so many events that don’t, I consider this a benefit. We also try and help other developers, for free. Microsoft has a program known as the “MVP” program. If an individual receives the honor of this award it is because s/he has taken time out of their schedule and helped other developers with their Microsoft products. I know that if I have a question and I ask one of them I get an answer. Does Sybase have a simulair program, I think so, I see some professionals on the Newsgroups; but here is the problem – I have personally added questions to the Sybase Newsgroup and not received a reply. If it is believed that this is a chargable question you might not get a response, your question will just sit there. That just would not happen in this community – or at least it has not happen to me.
I’ll give Sybase credit for their DataWindow.NET application. This tool, by itself, would make a developers life easier in the reporting tools area. So if you are looking for a reporting tool that integrates very nicely with VS – Datawindow.NET is an excellent choice.
In my humble option, if you are going to design/create a web site, and you have to choice between VS or PB I would highly recommend VS.