Building an application

This section describes the basic steps you follow when building a traditional client/server application. After completing step 1, you can define the objects used in your application in any order as you need them.

To build a traditional client/server application:

  1. Create the application (using a New wizard) and specify the library list for the application.

    When you use a Start wizard, you create the Application object, which is the entry point into the application. The Application object contains the name of the application and specifies the application-level scripts.

    See Working with Targets and Part 3, "Coding Fundamentals."

  2. Create windows.

  3. Place controls in the window and build scripts that specify the processing that will occur when events are triggered.

    See Working with Windows.

  4. Create menus.

    Menus in your windows can include a menu bar, drop-down menus, cascading menus, and pop-up menus. You define the menu items and write scripts that execute when the items are selected.

    See Working with Menus and Toolbars.

  5. Create user objects.

    If you want to be able to reuse components that are placed in windows, define them as user objects and save them in a library. Later, when you build a window, you can simply place the user object on the window instead of having to redefine the components.

    See Working with User Objects.

  6. Create functions, structures, and events.

    To support your scripts, you define functions to perform processing unique to your application and structures to hold related pieces of data. You can also define your own user events.

    See Working with User-Defined Functions, Working with User Events, and Working with Structures.

  7. Create DataWindow objects.

    Use these objects to retrieve data from the database, format and validate data, analyze data through graphs and crosstabs, and update the database.

    See Defining DataWindow Objects and the DataWindow Programmers Guide.

  8. Test and debug your application.

    You can run your application at any time. If you discover problems, you can debug your application by setting breakpoints, stepping through your code, and looking at variable values during execution. You can also create a trace file when you run your application and use PowerBuilder's profiling tools to analyze the application's performance and logical flow.

    See Debugging and Running Applications, and Tracing and Profiling Applications.

  9. Prepare an executable.

    When your application is complete, you prepare an executable version to distribute to your users.

    See Creating Executables and Components.

Using other books

This book tells you how to use PowerBuilder painters and tools.

For programming techniques for building applications and building clients and components for application servers, see Application Techniques.

For programming techniques related to DataWindows, see the DataWindow Programmers Guide.