Sybase introduces new PowerBuilder beta for mobile users

Twelve years after the release of its original application development system, Sybase Inc. has announced beta testing for a new wireless edition of its PowerBuilder offering.

According to the Dublin, Calif.-based company, Pocket PowerBuilder 1.0 is intended to simplify and speed the creation of mobile and wireless enterprise applications for PowerBuilder developers, allowing organizations to leverage their existing applications to extend enterprise information to Windows CE-based devices.

Martyn Mallick, product manager for Power PocketBuilder in Waterloo, Ont., said 1.0 was designed to help the PowerBuilder community quickly and easily develop mobile applications that leverage their existing skill sets.

“What Pocket PowerBuilder does is essentially open the door to building mobile applications to that large, loyal PowerBuilder community,” Mallick said. “They now have a way to take their existing applications, or existing skills and use it in an IDE [integrated development environment] that is extremely familiar to them, and build applications for Windows CE devices extremely productively.”

Mallick said PowerBuilder customers will notice two new key functions of the mobile model.

“One is that the IDE itself is nearly identical to PowerBuilder 9.0. So, when [customers] start using the tool, they will be very familiar with how it’s laid out…so they’ll be productive right off the start. The second thing they’ll notice is that they’ll be able to take some of their existing code, their existing PowerBuilder applications and bring over components of them directly into the Pocket PowerBuilder IDE,” Mallick said.

Features of Pocket PowerBuilder include: the ability to deliver fourth generation languages (GL) IDE for mobile development; extending DataWindow – which enables data access with display formatting and data manipulation capabilities without coding – to mobile environments; and simplifying the creation of database powered mobile enterprise applications with Sybase’s SQL Anywhere Studio software, a data management and enterprise synchronization solution.

The beta testing will be conducted in two phases. The first will begin April 18, but Sybase is looking for participants with specific criteria.

“We’re looking for people that have mobile projects in mind that will actually use the product. We’re looking for people that are willing to give us feedback on their experience and report any difficulties…things that they like and things that they don’t like about the product. And we’re looking for people that may have some PowerBuilder development skills,” Mallick said.

Phase two of the beta testing is scheduled for May 2003, and will be open to the public.

Information about the Pocket PowerBuilder beta testing can be found online at

Sybase can be found online at