WaveMaker For PowerBuilder Developers Part 1 (Introduction)
Considering that PowerBuilder 15 (beta) is not publicly available without a special SAP login id for existing customers, I decided to take the time to build a WaveMaker web application and see how it compares to PowerBuilder. We’ll also find out how difficult, or easy it is for a PowerBuilder developer to develop with when they have had no formal WaveMaker training. WaveMaker is now 100% Open Source including the multi-tenant and commercial database functionality.
FYI – I just completed another WaveMaker application, and hosted it on this web server. You can check it out on my first WaveMaker application article. This app is unrelated to the series.
This article is the first in a series covering the creation of a web application using WaveMaker with mySQL.
Quick History & Opinions of WaveMaker
In short, WaveMaker is a Java based rapid application development tool similar to PowerBuilder. The tool has gone through at least two ownership changes in the last five years, it was recently acquired by Pramati Technologies, a business incubator and enterprise software company founded in the 1990′s.
If you’d like a to read more about WaveMaker first you can take a look at some of my previous articles or see the WaveMaker About Page which has a nice summary of the tool history.
- WaveMaker it might be the next PowerBuilder for AJAX and Web Applications
- Wavemaker delivers for the cloud like PowerBuilder did for client server
- WaveMaker – Take Two – PowerBuilder Pro Reaction, OMG
- WaveMaker – Revisited Part 2 – Perspective of a PowerBuilder developer
Differences between WaveMaker and PowerBuilder
At a very high level, here are the main differences between PowerBuilder & WaveMaker.
- WaveMaker is designed to develop web/cloud applications using Java, and other Open Source technologies. PowerBuilder is designed to develop client-server & web based applications using proprietary & .NET technology.
- WaveMaker does not have a datawindow, nor does the IDE have any obvious support for object oriented design. WaveMaker being Java based should support OOP however the development tool doesn’t appear to provide any support for inheritance that is built into PowerBuilder, this observation may be a result of my minimal experience with WaveMaker.
- WaveMaker has an impressive list of customers but has never reached critical mass becoming a mainstream tool like PowerBuilder did in the ’90’s.
Features of WaveMaker Development
This quick list of features is based on my opinion. Some shops may view them differently, specifically open-source technologies which is not embraced by some large companies. PowerBuilder shares many of these or is capable of sharing most with the exception of responsive screen layouts and open-source.
- Visual Development (similar to PB)
- Smart Layouts for Devices (aka Responsive)
- Re-usable API Prefabs that can be published for use by others
- One-click deployment to many environments
- App-Store Integration for applications or API prefabs
- Collaboration & Release Management
- Standards based, uses open source technologies
Here are a few WaveMaker videos that will show you the basic features, and new API prefab functionality. If you haven’t used WaveMaker before you may want to watch a few of them.
WaveMaker Studio – The Grid Designer
WaveMaker Studio – Creating a Database From Within WaveMaker
WaveMaker Studio 7.0 – API Prefabs
We learned that WaveMaker is an application development tool used for building web & cloud based applications. The development IDE offers drag-and-drop visual development similar to that in PowerBuilder. WaveMaker is Java based and uses many open-source technologies such as Spring, Dojo Framework & Struts. WaveMaker builds a stand-alone Java application, and the source code can be opened in any Java development IDE.
This was the first in a series of articles that cover creation of a working web application used as a developer registry. Next we’ll make sure we have all the necessary tools and begin development.
[important]Part two of the series is now available, WaveMaker Series Part II. [/important]
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