Sybase enabling apps conversion to Web

Sybase Inc. on Monday announced a partnership with Appeon on software to convert client-server applications built with Sybase's PowerBuilder 4GL tool to the Web.

As part of the arrangement, Sybase will announce Appeon 2.5 for PowerBuilder, enabling quick conversion to a Web interface for applications built with PowerBuilder source code, Sybase said. The new offering combines the capabilities of PowerBuilder and Appeon Server. The companies are jointly delivering the product, which enables conversion of applications with a click of a button, according to Sybase. It is available now.

"(The product) transfers the PowerBuilder code into JavaScript and XML and HTML and leverages the DataWindowing technologies from PowerBuilder," said Loren Corbridge, a Sybase product manager in Dublin, Calif. Appeon technology replicates the client-server user interface with HTML, eliminating page-by-page manual rewrites for the Web required by J2EE and .Net applications, Sybase said.

A beta user of the product said it has saved time in the conversion process.

"We ran a pilot and we converted one of our 19 PowerBuilder applications and we were very, pleased with it," said David Bolen, account manager with systems integrator Perot Systems, in Denver. "It saved a large amount of recoding time, it offered a lot of potential" for Web-enabling applications, he added.

Bolen said Perot has had concerns with the speed of the product, but that the speed did improve during the beta period. "We're confident it will continue to improve," Bolen said.

The product helps companies convert applications at a time when they may not have as many developers on staff as they used to, Corbridge said.

"In the last 18 months, what we were hearing from our customers is 'I don't have as many programmers as I've had on staff before,' " she said.

Appeon 2.5 for PowerBuilder is priced at US$25,000 per CPU. It includes Appeon Developer, which is a PowerBuilder plug-in, and Appeon Server, enabling the run-time environment that delivers a PowerBuilder-style interface within Web browsers. The server also provides run-time services such as security, load balancing, database connectivity, transaction management, and DataWindow and printing support.

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