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Command-Line Deployment with OrcaScript

The PB 8 IDE got a complete overhaul with the introduction of Workspaces and Targets, a revamped SCC interface, and the capability of one-click deployment. These enhancements touch every facet of the day-to-day programming effort, much more than any new object classes or enhanced PowerScript methods. However, one important feature was still missing—the ability to automate the Sync/Regen/Compile process from front to back. For that reason, Sybase developed a new facility named OrcaScript.


ORCA (Open Repository CASE API) is an API library originally developed for CASE tool vendors as part of the CODE (Client/Server Open Development Environment) program. It allowed third-party developers to write utilities that could look inside the PBL and get directly at the object source code. It was used by design tool vendors, foundation class library vendors, and other third-party utility authors to directly manipulate PowerBuilder objects. OrcaScript is a command-line language that exposes several of the ORCA API calls and allows for batch scripting of the entire build process. OrcaScript can be used to perform the following functions, all without operator intervention:

  • Regenerate all the objects in a PowerBuilder target.

  • Copy PowerBuilder objects from one PBL to another.

  • Synchronize a developer's local PBLs with the latest version of objects from the SCC repository.

  • "Bootstrap" the PBLs directly from the exported source code.

  • Deploy PowerBuilder targets into compiled executables (PBDs or machine code DLLs).

  • Deploy PowerBuilder components to EAServer.


OrcaScript commands are written into a ASCII text files and are typically given a .dat file extension (although any file extension is valid). The OrcaScript command processor is named ORCASCR9.EXE, and it can be found in the \Program Files\Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder folder. The OrcaScript command processor is invoked from the command line, or inside a BAT file, passing the name of the DAT file as a parameter. For example, the following command would invoke OrcaScript, and the commands in the file regen_workspace.dat would be executed:

c:\>orcascr9.exe Regen_Workspace.DAT

This command could be placed into a BAT file, which would enable it to be executed on a recurring schedule. The processor also takes the parameters shown in Table 3.2.

Table 3.2 OrcaScript Parameters





Sets variables that are valid in

orcascr9.exe /D root c:\pb9 myScript.datthe batch file


Runs with tracing on

orcascr9.exe /T myScript.dat

/H or /?

Prints syntax help to screen

orcascr9.exe /H

Each line of an OrcaScript batch either succeeds or fails. If an error is encountered, the OrcaScript session is ended, and the remaining lines in the batch are not executed.


You should not run OrcaScript if the PowerBuilder 9 development environment is currently running on the same machine. If the PowerBuilder IDE is not shut down while OrcaScript is running, the PBLs can be corrupted.

OrcaScript Command Reference

OrcaScript commands are not case sensitive. In the command syntax that follows, brackets indicate an optional parameter. A pipe character inside angle brackets < | > indicates that a choice must be made from the listed choices. Text in italic font indicates a variable.

start session
end session
set liblist pbl_list [pbl_list ...]
set application pblName applicationName
set name = value
set name += value
echo value [value ...]
file copy fromFile toFile
regenerate pblName entryName entryType
copy entry pblName entryName entryType toPblName
build library pblName pbrName <pbd | 32 >
build executable exeName iconName pbrName pbdFlags [machinecode]
build application <full | migrate | incremental >
build project pblName projectName [ serverName serverPort ]
create library pblName pblComments
SCC get connect properties workspaceName
SCC set connect property provider sccProvider
SCC set connect property userid userID
SCC set connect property logfile logFileName
SCC set connect property project projectPath
SCC set connect property localprojpath localProjectPath
SCC set connect property auxproject auxProjectPath
SCC set connect property logappend <true | false>
SCC connect
SCC set target targetName [refreshType][refreshOption][refreshOption]
SCC get latest version file_list [file_list]
SCC exclude liblist pblName [pblName ...]
SCC refresh target targetName <full | migrate | incremental >
SCC close

OrcaScript Argument Descriptions

Table 3.3 contains the descriptions of the various arguments to the OrcaScript functions listed in Table 3.2.

Table 3.3 OrcaScript Argument Descriptions




String containing the list of PBLs for the session application. PBL names can be separated by semicolons in a single string, or separated by a blank space in multiple strings.


Name of a PBL for an OrcaScript action or for the OrcaScript session application.


Name of the application for an OrcaScript action.


String variable name that is defined for an OrcaScript session.


Value of a string variable that is set for an OrcaScript session.


The name of a file to be copied.


The path/filename of the destination for a file copy operation.


The name of an object in the current Workspace.


Value specifying the type of the referenced object. Values can be: app, dw, fn, menu, query, struct, uo, win, pipe, project, or proxy.


Name of the PBL that is the destination of an object copy operation.


Name of a PowerBuilder resource file to be used during the OrcaScript build.

pbd | 32

Select PBD to generate PowerBuilder dynamic libraries. Select 32 to generate platform-specific machine code.


Name of the executable to be built.


Name of an icon to use for the compiled executable.


String composed of a series of y and n values for each library in the library list. A value of nnyy indicates that four libraries are in the library list, and the last two are to be compiled into dynamic libraries. The objects in the PBLs that correspond to n settings are copied into the executable file.


Use to compile a project as machine code.

full | migrate | incremental

Build strategy for the application being deployed.


Name of the Project object that will be used during the OrcaScript deployment session.


The name of the application server for deployment.


Port for the server where you want to deploy a project.


Comments for a PBL that is created in an OrcaScript session.

In addition, the arguments shown in Table 3.4 are used in SCC specific OrcaScript commands.

Table 3.4 OrcaScript Argument Descriptions


The fully qualified path and filename of the workspace file.


Name of the source control provider. This should match the option as listed in the Workspace properties dialog box.


Name of the user registered to source control.


Name of a log file used to record SCC transactions.


Path to the source control project.


Local root directory for the project.


Contains any string that the SCC provider wants to associate with the project. It has a different meaning for every SCC vendor.


Name of the target for source control operations.

true | false

Boolean value for appending to the source control log file. If this command is not used but a log file is specified, the session value defaults to true.


Value can be Refresh_all—Gets latest version of all objects from the SCC provider and refreshes all target libraries. Does not perform comparisons. Outofdate—Performs comparisons and updates objects that are out of date. If no RefreshType value is specified, the RefreshType defaults to outofdate. This value cannot be used with the RefreshOption variable set to ImportOnly.


Value can be ImportOnly—Does not perform object comparisons and does not refresh from the SCC provider. This option will rebuild the target from the versions of exported code that is currently located in the local project path. Use this option after taking a specific code configuration from the SCC provider into the local project path. Exclude_Checkout—Prevents objects that are currently checked out by the current user from being overwritten. Can be used with the outofdate parameter in the same OrcaScript command. Use a space to separate RefreshType and RefreshOption parameters when combining them in a single OrcaScript command.


String containing one or more file names using relative or absolute path specification. Filenames can be separated by semicolons in a single string, or separated by a blank space in multiple strings. This option can be used to retrieve the latest version of PB, as well as non-PB files from the SCC provider.

Sample OrcaScript Command Files

The following code examples are based on the Cashtrak sample application that ships with PowerBuilder 9. These present the contents of a typical OrcaScript DAT file that would be passed to the ORCASCR9.EXE command processor in a command-line batch file. These samples do not use qualified pathnames to reference the Target PBLs, so they would need to be placed into the same folder.

The example in Listing 3.1 performs a full build of the CashTrak target. The three PBLs are compiled into dynamic PBD libraries, and the EXE file is generated.

Listing 3.1 Simple Target Regeneration and Compile

start session
SET liblist "cashtrak.pbl;cashtrk2.pbl;cashtrk3.pbl"
SET application "cashtrak.pbl" "cashtrak"
BUILD library "cashtrak.pbl" "" PBD
BUILD library "cashtrk2.pbl" "" PBD
BUILD library "cashtrk3.pbl" "" PBD
BUILD executable "cashtrak.exe" "cashtrak.ico" "cashtrak.pbr" "YYY"
end session

The example in Listing 3.2 reads the Workspace SCC properties and connects to the SCC Provider—in this case, PBNative. It then does a Target-wide "Get Latest Version," retrieving only those objects that are out of sync and not currently checked out to user PaulH on the current machine.

Listing 3.2 Get Latest Version from SCC Provider for Entire Target

start session
SCC get connect properties "C:\PB9\PBNative\Source\cashtrak.pbw"
SCC set connect property userid "PaulH"
SCC Connect
SCC set target "cashtrak.pbt" "OUTOFDATE EXCLUDE_CHECKOUT"
SCC refresh target incremental
SCC Close
end session

The example in Listing 3.3 rebuilds the three target PBLs from the exported source files. In doing so, it assumes that the three CashTrak PBLs do not exist. The BAT file that invokes this DAT file completely erases them first. The CREATE library commands create empty PBLs, giving them the specified comment. The SCC set target command uses the refresh_all parameter, so OrcaScript will repopulate the three PBLs from the tip revisions of all the objects in the SCC provider. The PBG files are used as the "roadmap," which OrcaScript uses to place each object into its respective PBL.

Listing 3.3 Bootstrap Import—Full Refresh of Target from SCC Provider

start session
CREATE library "cashtrak.pbl" "Main Application PBL"
CREATE library "cashtrk2.pbl" "Datawindows"
CREATE library "cashtrk3.pbl" "User Objects and Structures"
SCC get connect properties "C:\PB9\PBNative\Source\cashtrak.pbw"
SCC set connect property userid "PaulH"
SCC Connect
SCC set target "cashtrak.pbt" "refresh_all"
SCC refresh target "full"
SCC Close
end session

The example in Listing 3.4 is similar to the one in Listing 3.3; however, it does not retrieve the tip revisions of the objects from the SCC provider. The combination of REFRESH_ALL and IMPORTONLY tell OrcaScript to use whichever source code files it finds in the local root folder. This allows you to "get" a different revision level from the SCC provider and re-create that configuration in the Target.

Listing 3.4 Bootstrap Import—Full Refresh of Target from Exported Source Files Only

start session
CREATE library "cashtrak.pbl" "Main Application PBL"
CREATE library "cashtrk2.pbl" "Datawindows"
CREATE library "cashtrk3.pbl" "User Objects and Structures"
SCC get connect properties "C:\PB9\PBNative\Source\cashtrak.pbw"
SCC set connect property userid "PaulH"
SCC Connect
SCC set target "cashtrak.pbt" "REFRESH_ALL IMPORTONLY"
SCC refresh target "full"
SCC Close
end session


Any discussion of the deployment of PowerBuilder targets would be lacking without a mention of PowerGen, a third-party tool from ECrane Computing (http://www.ecrane.com). This tool is similar to OrcaScript, in that it is designed to support the regeneration and compilation of PowerBuilder applications. However, PowerGen stores its build instructions in "project" files outside of PowerBuilder (as opposed to Project objects inside the PBLs themselves), and it has a graphical user interface that greatly assists in the development of these project files. PowerGen also possesses a command-line interface, so it's possible to create complex BAT files that automate the entire deployment process.

Figure 3.6 shows the main PowerGen project window, with a typical PFC-based PowerBuilder project loaded. The Applications list shows all the PowerBuilder targets that are to be compiled with the PowerGen project. The project shown in Figure 3.6 has only a single target. The lower half of the screen shows the Library List for the currently selected application. The options in this list provide total control over the regeneration and compilation phase for each PBL in the application's library list. It's possible to exclude entire libraries, such as the PFC/PFE foundation layers, from the regeneration and compile phases.

Figure 3.6Figure 3.6 PowerGen version 5 Project Window.

For a full description of the capabilities of PowerGen, and to download a trial version, visit http://www.ecrane.com.

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