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PowerBuilder: Article

Using Application Server View

Using Application Server View

The Application Server view is a new feature in PowerJ 4.0. Similar to the Components view in PowerBuilder 8.0 that displays ActiveX controls, plugins, JavaBeans, and servers, the PowerJ Application Server view can be accessed from the main menu by selecting View Application Server.

The Application Server view provides several developer productivity enhancements. From this view you can:

  • View and edit existing server profiles or add new ones.
  • Display packages/components, applications, connection caches, and so on.
  • Import components to a PowerJ palette.
  • Remove components from a PowerJ palette.
Maintaining Server Profiles
The Application Server view initially lists the default application server profiles for EAServer 3.6.1 and 4 defined on the local host using port 9000. It allows you to list multiple servers, including ASE 12.5 database servers, if they've already been defined.

Right-clicking on any one of the listed servers brings up a menu item, Connect, to connect to a server if a connection hasn't yet been established. The Connect popup menu item changes automatically to Disconnect after a connection has been established.

You can also right-click on an empty area of the view and bring up a popup menu (see Figure 1). This lets you add or edit your server profiles, refresh a server when the packages/components are changed, open a pane on the right to display the contents of the folder selected, and navigate forward and backward.

Display Packages and Components
You can expand a profile to view the list of applications, connection caches, packages, default, and user-defined servers, servlets, and Web applications that exist on your server.

Figure 2 shows a view similar to what you'd see in the server folder when you use Jaguar Manager. The benefit of this is much more evident when, in the course of developing your enterprise application, you create a lot of packages, components, and methods. The Application Server view organizes all this information for you. If it was difficult to remember the Package/component name combination before, that shouldn't be the case any longer. All the information you need is now right in front of you from within PowerJ.

How many times have you added a new package/component but weren't quite sure what name you used for the combination, especially when you were coding the lookup for the package/component pair? In PowerJ 4.0, you can just refresh your server view and get immediate feedback on whether it deployed successfully; what you called it; and available packages, components, and methods. You don't have to leave the PowerJ development environment and open another application like Jaguar Manager just to view all the components and methods deployed to the server.

Importing/Removing Components
Much has been said about the seamless integration of PowerJ and EAServer. It's even more true of this version of PowerJ. The powerful combination of the two is in evidence from the moment you start using wizards to create Enterprise JavaBeans targets to the time when you want to import components.

Adding or importing existing components isn't new - this capability existed for component libraries, Java components, and Application Server components in earlier versions. But what is new in PowerJ 4.0 is that you can import, remove, or reimport components right from the Application Server view (see Figure 3). The Import menu item for a component changes to reimport and remove after you import the component. Clicking import/remove on a component launches the familiar component wizards for importing or removing components.

Usage Notes
A couple of usage notes might be useful here:

  • Depending on the number of packages and components deployed, the time to connect to the server varies from 30-220 seconds. This also depends on your network speed, if connecting remotely.
  • Since the connection to a specific server isn't saved when you exit PowerJ, you have to reconnect when you start PowerJ. Even when you switch between the workspace views, the refresh isn't immediate.

    Conclusion
    The addition of the Application Server view is one of many productivity enhancement features in PowerJ 4.0. For those new to PowerJ, most of these features will be user friendly and self-explanatory. Those already familiar with PowerJ need only be aware that these enhancements are there and that they incorporate the true and proven techniques used in previous versions. With the deployment and maintenance of components made even easier, business application developers can now focus on the true art of developing business applications.

  • More Stories By Felleke Habtemariam

    Felleke Habtemariam has been with Sybase for over five years, the last three as a QA engineer. He has a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Massachusetts and a high-tech MBA from Northeastern.

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