From the Editor-in-Chief of PowerBuilder Developer's Journal

Bruce Armstrong

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Top Stories by Bruce Armstrong

This two-part article provides a primer on OLE, some practical examples of its use, and demonstrates some methods for addressing the limitations of PowerBuilder's implementation of OLE. In Part 1 I provided some background information for OLE and discussed the use of custom controls, in Part 2 I talk about OLE Automation and OLE objects. OLE Automation OLE Automation is the interface through which one application (e.g., Microsoft Outlook) makes the methods, properties, and events of its objects (e.g., Folders, Messages, Address Book) available for use within another application. Using OLE Automation, a developer could automate another application (e.g., creating and then printing form letters from Microsoft Word) or they may just use a portion of another application within their own (e.g., using the spell-check capability within Microsoft Word to spell-check text ... (more)

Implementing the Microsoft Rich Edit Control

What we needed to do was implement spell checking in the rich edit fields in our application (see Figures 1 and 2). To do that, we got a license for the Sentry Spelling Checker Engine from Wintertree Software ( The utility is easily implemented and works quite well on standard Rich Edit controls. However, the PowerBuilder Rich Edit control is an OEM version of an old third-party control that was popular before Microsoft introduced its Rich Edit control to the common controls. As a result, the messages and functions it supports are completely differen... (more)

Using the New TableBlob Column Type

If you're familiar with the Database Binary / Text Large Object column type in PowerBuilder Classic (see Figure 1), you know it's a way of storing blob data associated with an OLE Automation application (Paint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel) and then displaying it as part of a DataWindow. There were some limitations with the Database Binary / Text Large Object. It required the end user to have the application that was used to add the object to the database in order to view the data. It often didn't display the data well within the DataWindow. And it wrapped the data stored in th... (more)

DataWindow.NET Pet Shop

In the early days of Java, a sample application called Java Pet Store was introduced as a "blueprint and guideline" for Java development. A few years later when Microsoft introduced .NET, they also provided a similar sample application to demonstrate preferred methods of coding for .NET called .NET Pet Shop. That has subsequently resulted in a bit of warfare as the two camps attempted to demonstrate why their implementation was a better, higher-performance implementation. To provide a sample of using DataWindow.NET, I took a look at the .NET Pet Shop with an eye toward demonstra... (more)

DataWindow.NET How To: Data Entry Form

Last month we looked at Microsoft's .NET Pet Shop sample application and saw how DataWindow.NET technology could be used in the data access layer of an ASP.NET-based application to reduce the its complexity and increase developer productivity. This month we'll look at another Microsoft sample application to see what benefits DataWindow.NET technology can provide when used for data presentation and data access in a Windows Forms (WinForms) application. To fully appreciate how much DataWindow.NET simplifies the development of database applications in Windows Forms, you'll need the ... (more)