Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Elizabeth White, Ed Featherston, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Progress Blog

Related Topics: PowerBuilder, Microsoft Cloud, Machine Learning , Silverlight

PowerBuilder: Article

How Quickly the Mighty Have Fallen

At least we can’t say we don’t live in interesting times

On November 9, Adobe announced in a blog post[1] that it had decided to cease efforts to develop browser plugins for mobile devices to play Flash, indicating that HTML5 was "the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms." In case that sounds like Adobe abandoned Flash entirely, it should be noted that Adobe indicated their intentions to continue to develop the AIR player for mobile devices, so that the role for Flash on mobile devices would be restricted to native apps, just not browser-based apps.

A few days later in another blog post[2], Adobe also noted that it was releasing the entire Flex SDK (used by the Flash Builder IDE to generate Flash RIA applications) to open source, indicating that "In the long-term, we believe HTML5 will be the best technology for enterprise application development."

What is so surprising about these announcements is just how quickly they came. As recently as January of 2010, HTML5 seemed to be going nowhere fast.[3] Meanwhile, Adobe was finishing up a new version of Adobe Flash Professional that would not only generate Flash, but would generate applications that would run on iOS as well. Everything was looking like Flash would not only rule the Internet, but would start taking on mobile devices as well.

Then in February of 2010, the W3C gave HTML5 I swift kick in the pants (although still targeting 2014 for the release of the standard).[4] Perhaps more important, on April 3 of 2010, Apple released the iPad. Five days later (April 8) Apple revised its Developer License to essentially ban the Flash-to-iPhone compiler feature of Adobe Flash Professional. Finally on April 28 of 2010, Steve Jobs released his "Thoughts on Flash" in which he outlined the reasons why he would never allow the use of Flash on iOS devices and instead backed HTML5.

A year and a half later and Adobe has ‘abandoned the field' so to speak, joining the HTML5 bandwagon and largely limiting the use of Flash to AIR applications on mobile devices. They indicate they will still work on the Flash browser plugin for desktop browsers, but given that plugins seem to be on the way out for desktop browsers, we may end up seeing Flash limited to the AIR player on desktops as well. The speed at which Adobe has capitulated, and somewhat similar moves that Microsoft has made recently, have led one person to suggest that Microsoft will take the same approach with Silverlight, making the soon-to-be-released version the last version. So far, there's been no other indication that might be the case though.

Of course, at this point you may be wondering, "What does this have to do with PowerBuilder?" I think there are a number of observations I would make from these recent events:

  1. If we thought that SAP/Sybase has problems communicating and supporting the product, think how the Flex developers feel right now. At least they got treated better than the "classic" Visual Basic programmers. You have to give SAP/Sybase some credit. PowerBuilder is still rolling, and a lot of the tools that were supposed to have killed it off (classic VB, Flex) have been killed off themselves.
  2. While HTML5 may be the future, the future isn't here yet. The Adobe post on the Flex action indicated that it would probably be 3 to 4 years yet before HTLM5 is in a position to replace Flex applications. With that in light, their decision with regard to Flex seems premature to me. Nonetheless, the lesson we might take away is that HTML5 currently isn't suitable for line of business application development, though it may be in a few years. We probably shouldn't expect to see anything out of SAP/Sybase to support generating line of business applications with HTML5 before then.
  3. With regard to development for mobile devices, apparently Adobe sees enough potential there to continue to support development of native applications for them. That is certainly an area where PowerBuilder could play as well. Of course, SAP/Sybase has been there before with PocketBuilder. Perhaps the main issue there was the dependence on one particular mobile operating system. In order to play in this market, PowerBuilder would need to be able to generate native applications for both Android and iOS at a minimum. The Developer Agreement changes referred to earlier were reversed by Apple, so cross-compiling applications to work on iOS is acceptable once more.
  4. Change happens. A year and a half from now we may all be wondering what all the hype regarding HTML5 was about as we are all excited about some new technology. Given that it takes approximately a year and a half for SAP/Sybase to release a new version of PowerBuilder, it's perhaps wise for them to not rely on one particular technological approach to solve a particular issue. I would like to see PowerBuilder 15 include HTML5 generation capabilities. I'm also thinking that for a number of reasons (immaturity of HTML5, less than 100% adoption of HTML5 capable browsers, inconsistencies of implementation of HTML5 between browser vendors) that PowerBuilder may need another non-HTML5 method of supporting web application development. Perhaps HTML5 with a fallback to Silverlight, or Silverlight with a fallback to HTML5 might be an option. Even if Microsoft does decide that 5 is the last version of Silverlight, it offers a viable alternative method of generating web-based line of business applications until HTML5 fully matures and the adoption rate for HTML5 capable browsers improves.

Those are my thoughts anyway. At least we can't say we don't live in interesting times.

More Stories By Bruce Armstrong

Bruce Armstrong is a development lead with Integrated Data Services (www.get-integrated.com). A charter member of TeamSybase, he has been using PowerBuilder since version 1.0.B. He was a contributing author to SYS-CON's PowerBuilder 4.0 Secrets of the Masters and the editor of SAMs' PowerBuilder 9: Advanced Client/Server Development.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
Mobile device usage has increased exponentially during the past several years, as consumers rely on handhelds for everything from news and weather to banking and purchases. What can we expect in the next few years? The way in which we interact with our devices will fundamentally change, as businesses leverage Artificial Intelligence. We already see this taking shape as businesses leverage AI for cost savings and customer responsiveness. This trend will continue, as AI is used for more sophistica...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
What is the best strategy for selecting the right offshore company for your business? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, will discuss the things to look for - positive and negative - in evaluating your options. He will also discuss how to maximize productivity with your offshore developers. Before you start your search, clearly understand your business needs and how that impacts software choices.
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusic will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Fusic Co. provides mocks as virtual IoT devices. You can customize mocks, and get any amount of data at any time in your test. For more information, visit https://fusic.co.jp/english/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enroute Lab will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enroute Lab is an industrial design, research and development company of unmanned robotic vehicle system. For more information, please visit http://elab.co.jp/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that MIRAI Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MIRAI Inc. are IT consultants from the public sector whose mission is to solve social issues by technology and innovation and to create a meaningful future for people.
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Lennart Frantzell, a Developer Advocate with IBM, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing devel...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Mobile Create USA will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Mobile Create USA Inc. is an MVNO-based business model that uses portable communication devices and cellular-based infrastructure in the development, sales, operation and mobile communications systems incorporating GPS capabi...
Today traditional IT approaches leverage well-architected compute/networking domains to control what applications can access what data, and how. DevOps includes rapid application development/deployment leveraging concepts like containerization, third-party sourced applications and databases. Such applications need access to production data for its test and iteration cycles. Data Security? That sounds like a roadblock to DevOps vs. protecting the crown jewels to those in IT.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Corporation is a company developing, manufacturing and marketing high quality and wide variety of industrial computers and interface modules such as PCIs and PCI express. For more information, visit http://www.i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Keisoku Research Consultant Co. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Keisoku Research Consultant, Co. offers research and consulting in a wide range of civil engineering-related fields from information construction to preservation of cultural properties. For more information, vi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SIGMA Corporation will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. uLaser flow inspection device from the Japanese top share to Global Standard! Then, make the best use of data to flip to next page. For more information, visit http://www.sigma-k.co.jp/en/.
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, will discuss how data centers of the future will be managed, how th...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp em...