Home > Articles > Programming

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

Delivering the Completed Application to End Users

Once the PowerBuilder target application has been compiled into an executable version, it must be packaged and delivered to the desktops of the end users. This is not as simple as copying the EXE and PBD files onto the user's computer. Several commercially available software installation packages are available today. Tools like this are responsible for collecting all the components of the software distribution and "packaging" them into a single installable unit. Some of the more popular tools for this are

There are several additional components to a successful end-user deployment of the application. The following installation checklist covers both the application-specific items as well as the environmental items.

Environmental Components

The items listed in this section are concerned with the runtime execution environment, also known as the "Virtual Machine." These consist of the PowerBuilder Runtime DLLs, Database Interface DLLs, and any other supporting software, outside of the PowerBuilder application code.

PowerBuilder Runtime DLLs

The runtime DLLs enable PowerBuilder applications to run outside of the IDE, and they are required whether or not the application was compiled to machine code DLLs or Pcode PBDs. For optimal performance, these files should be installed locally on each end user's machine. They can be found on development workstations in the folder C:\Program Files\Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder.

These files are shown in Table 3.5.

Table 3.5 PowerBuilder Runtime Files for Deployment


Required for all applications


Required for all applications


Datawindow/Datastore engine


Rich Text


Maps unavailable fonts


Label datawindow style predefined formats


Database connection tracing


Font substitution mapping file

It's only required to deploy the files supporting features that are implemented by your application. For example, if your application does not use Rich Text, PBRTC90.DLL is not required. It is also important that the same versions of these files are used to develop, compile, and run the applications.

When deploying them to the end-user machine, they can be placed in one of three locations:

  • In the same folder as the executable

  • In a folder that has been added to the system PATH variable

  • In a folder that has been added to the application's AppPath registry key. This key is

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Current Version\AppPaths\

Localized runtime files are provided for French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. These files are usually available shortly after the general release of a new version of PowerBuilder. The localized runtime files let you deploy PowerBuilder applications with standard runtime dialog boxes in the local language. They handle language-specific data when the application runs. However, this does not imply that an application can be translated into a specific language simply by deploying the localized runtime files. Significant consideration must be given to many design issues when developing an application for multi-language support. Sybase has several White Papers available on this topic at http://www.sybase.com.

Database Interface Files

If the PowerBuilder application accesses a datasource, whether the datasource is a relational database or not, you must also deploy the specific drivers for that datasource. These can be either the "native" drivers, or "generic" ODBC, JDBC, or OLE DB drivers. The list of database drivers shown in Table 3.6 are provided with the Professional and Enterprise versions of PowerBuilder 9.

Table 3.6 PowerBuilder Native Database Interface Runtime Files for Deployment


Informix I-Net 7


Informix I-Net 9


Microsoft SQLServer 6 and 7


Oracle 7.3


Oracle 8.0.x and Oracle 8i 8.1.x


Oracle 9.x


Sybase DirectConnect


Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise CT-LIB


Sybase ASE CT-LIB (for EAServer deployment only)

ODBC Drivers and Profiles

Microsoft's Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard provides an alternative method of connecting to ODBC-compliant datasources. Table 3.7 lists the files that are required for data connections from PowerBuilder to ODBC datasources.

Table 3.7 PowerBuilder ODBC Database Interface Runtime Files for Deployment


Generic ODBC Driver


-Initialization file for ODBC access (required for ODBC applications)

Accessing a database through an ODBC driver also requires an ODBC Profile. These are Registry settings or .DSN files that encapsulate the driver configuration that is pertinent for the selected database. For more information on ODBC profiles, refer to Chapter 12, "ODBC." Installing these profiles on the client machine can be accomplished by including the appropriate registry settings in the deployment package.

OLEDB Drivers and Profiles

OLE DB is a standard Application Programming Interface (API) developed by Microsoft. It is a component of Microsoft's Data Access Components software, and OLE DB version 2 is required. OLE DB, much like ODBC, provides a standard interface to a number of different data sources.


The PowerBuilder Professional and Desktop versions do not support the OLE DB interface.

PBOLE90.DLL is the PowerBuilder OLE DB database driver file that must be deployed to support OLE DB connections.

JDBC Drivers and Profiles

PowerBuilder 8 introduced the Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) interface, and support for this driver continues in PowerBuilder 9. The JDBC interface in PowerBuilder 8 supports both the Microsoft Virtual Machine (VM) and the Sun Java Runtime Environment (JRE) versions 1.1 and later. The JDBC interface in PowerBuilder 9 supports the SunJRE version 1.2 and later.

If your application uses JDBC connections, the JDB driver will be required, as well as the appropriate Java package for the Java VM that is being used. A vendor-supplied JDBC-compliant driver, such as Sybase Jconnect, will also need to be installed and configured on the machine making the database connection. Use the JavaVM DBParm parameter to specify which Java VM to use for the JDBC connection. Table 3.9 lists the deployment requirements for applications using the JDB database interface.

Table 3.9 PowerBuilder JDBC Database Interface Runtime Files for Deployment


PowerBuilder JDBC DB Driver (JDB) for the Sun JRE 1.2 or later


Java package for PowerBuilder JDB driver and JRE 1.2 or later

PowerBuilder Runtime Packager

The preceding sections have presented the lists of PowerBuilder runtime files that must be deployed with the compiled executables. The good news is that a new utility called the PowerBuilder Runtime Packager, released with PowerBuilder 9, makes this list completely obsolete! The Runtime Packager, PBPack90.exe, can be found in the \Program Files\Sybase\Shared\PowerBuilder folder. It takes the guesswork out of runtime file deployment by creating a Microsoft Installer package that contains exactly the files that your application will require.

Figure 3.7 shows the Runtime Packager window, which consists of three main sections:

  • PowerBuilder Base Components: This section has no selectable options because it represents the files that must be deployed for any PowerBuilder application.

  • Database Interfaces: In this section, select the database interface(s) that the application will require. The Packager will automatically select and include only those DLL files that implement the chosen interfaces.

  • Other Components: This section lists four optional components available to PowerBuilder 9 applications. If the deployed application takes advantage of any of these four new capabilities in version 9, select the option to add their respective files to the runtime deployment kit. These four areas are XML Support, PB DOM (Document Object Model), EJB client, or SOAP Web Service client.

Figure 3.7Figure 3.7 PowerBuilder Runtime Packager.

At the bottom of the window is a field to enter the name of the Microsoft Installer (.msi) package that will be created. The .msi package that is created can be packaged along with the EXE and PBD/DLLs of the compiled PowerBuilder application, and deployed to the client machines as a single, seamless install kit.

Database Client-side Communication Software

Many database vendors include a client-side communication component, such as Oracle's SQLNet, or Sybase's CT-Lib. If your application is to successfully connect to the back-end database, you will need to also include this component in the installation package.

Application Components

This section covers the deployment requirements for the actual compiled application code itself. These are the components that will execute in the runtime environment that was discussed in the previous section.

The Executable Application

This component will consist of the EXE file, any dynamic libraries (the Pcode PBDs or machine code DLLs), and any external resource files that are being delivered separately (BMPs, ICOs, and so on). For optimal performance, these files should be installed locally to each machine that will run the application. It is possible to install these files to a shared LAN folder, but that architecture is not recommended for performance reasons.

If these files will be updated with maintenance releases, an effective architecture for managing the distribution of these files to the end-user machines is critical. One possible approach is to place the revised files into a designated location on the LAN, and then have the application itself detect the presence of new versions of these files upon startup. The application can then copy the new files from the LAN location into the appropriate folder on the local machine and restart.

Any Additional Supporting Files

This can include application-specific INI files, Help files, or additional documentation, such as User Guides. In some situations, it might be more appropriate to install these resources onto a shared LAN folder, rather than on each individual workstation.

Local Database Files

If the application is going to be using a local database instead of accessing a server database across the network, it will be necessary to package up the database files for installation on the local machine.

C/C++ Runtime Files for PBNI Components

The PowerBuilder Native Interface (PBNI) is a new feature of PowerBuilder 9, and it enables developers to extend the functionality of PowerBuilder with modules written in C or C++. The most frequently used type of PowerBuilder extension is to "wrap" a C or C++ DLL, and expose its methods as PowerBuilder NVO functions. The PBNI utility PBX2PBD90.EXE produces a PowerBuilder PBD file that contains the interfaces for the C/C++ components. For a detailed explanation on the use of the PBNI facility, refer to Chapter 19, "PowerBuilder Native Interface."

Because PBNI components are actually written in C or C++, it will be necessary to deploy the corresponding C or C++ runtime DLLs along with the compiled .PBD files. Refer to the documentation for your C/C++ compiler for the list of required runtime files.

External Program Files

This can include supporting software that is embedded in the application, such as OLE or OCX controls. Your install package might need to install these components and also register them to the Windows registry. You might not be legally allowed to redistribute external third-party software such as Microsoft Office or an email application. In that case, simply have your application check to see if the required software is already installed and properly licensed.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020