PowerBuilder has for years been considered the best application development software among RAD softwares. Its main benefits are speed and simplicity, which are offered by its DataWindow component. Unfortunately though, due to advances in technology, programming languages as well as business needs PowerBuilder is falling into obscurity. The results of this are diminished support services as PowerBuilder experts are becoming scarce and a lack of extensibility for Power Builder based applications. This has necessitated migration to modern platforms such as Java and Microsoft .Net platforms. Legacy migrations such as PowerBuilder to Java have their benefits as well as complications.
The main benefit that is reaped from the PowerBuilder to Java migration is platform flexibility. Other advantages associated with this migration are both platforms have the same type of look and feel and PowerBuilder to Java has some degree of automation. There is error handling and security as well as near exact replication. As an upgrade, the PowerBuilder to Java migration provides similar services as the PowerBuilder Classic version, just with more efficient technology. As such the Power Builder to Java upgrade should be able to provide the same productivity levels and higher in a modern environment; little to no limitations on the target server platform as well as an open, flexible platform development environment. This means the upgrade should enable application design and creation using the latest software development methods. Maintenance costs should also be reduced.
As with any legacy system migration, quite a bit of money and expertise is needed. Further more migrations such as PowerBuilder to Java can be risky and complex as critical business applications are involved. Thus the process needs to be conducted with care and professionalism. There are a few considerations that organizations should take into account when considering which vendor to employ for their PowerBuilder to Java migration. PowerBuilder to Java migration companies should have:
- High quality expertise and successful track record – The vendor should have a team of capable experts as well as practical experience in legacy software migration. It’s an added benefit if they have successful previous experience in PowerBuilder to Java, migrations.
- Cost and time effective services – As PowerBuilder to Java migration is taking place, the organization is still operational. Thus the migration should take as little time as possible to avoid disruption of business.
- A customer-centric approach and skilled IT resources – Every stage of the PowerBuilder to Java migration project should have clearly designed goals whose overall aim is to fulfil the current needs of the organization.
While maintaining the PowerBuilder platform does not negatively affect the business, it does widen the gap between the businesses IS and advances in technology. The main reason for migrations such as PowerBuilder to Java is so that organizations can cater to and gain from the rapid and dynamic changes in IS.