Foxhound is the better* Database Monitor for SQL Anywhere.
*better: More thorough, more relevant, more effective.
...more Alerts, more All Clears, more details, more control in your hands.
Last modified: August 16, 1998
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In Los Angeles, on the other hand, it's no big deal to miss a couple of green lights because a huge Panavision-wielding truck is sailing around the corner and down Wilshire Boulevard to track the action for a major motion picture. At least, it appears to be no big deal because the cab driver appeared unconcerned, the pedestrians weren't paying much attention, and there were no crowds of the curious.
At the Team Powersoft dinner the tables were set up well away from the big doors to the street. Right outside, a tanker trunk was parked diagonally across West Seventh Street, and many dozens of movie people were milling about. It was clear that even for Los Angeles, a Big Deal was about to begin.
Indeedy - doo, when they blew the thing up you could feel the blast heat on your face through the glass doors and the flames and noise sure looked like the real thing. (The Real Movie Thing, that is, because the real real thing would have left the coroner with many autopsies to perform.)
It's clear they know what they're doing... the curbside potted palms weren't even scorched,
and the private unmarked fire truck rolled up within seconds to douse the
tanker's burning tires. (What was that, a "private unmarked fire truck"? Yes, this is
Last night we got to enjoy the White House Fireplace Experience at the Inter-Continental
Hotel here in Los Angeles: a cozy fire in one of the bars, with the air conditioning
blasting away to beat the searing August-in-LA heat outside. Very decadent, very cool.
Dear Diary: It was an exciting day on Monday, but I don't have time (yet) to write anything here.
That's because writing An Open Letter To Steve Benfield seemed more important.
Dear Diary: OK, I'm back now. Here are some of my conference notes from Monday.
...some random thoughts: I feel like an inhabitant of a two-dimensional universe who has just been exposed to the third dimension. It's gonna take a bit of getting used to. They were right when they said morale is getting better. "Rich Client" is the new, improved, more socially-acceptable term for "Fat Client". jBridge works better than it has any right to, but it will never scale to an airline reservation system. With Citrix every mouse move does a round trip to the server... can you say "bandwidth"? PowerDesigner is getting a compare-PDM-with-actual-database facility. This is more useful than just a competitive checkpoint (ERwin does it now). When you generate a physical database it is possible to have messed up the generation options; by always doing a compare between what you THINK you have generated (the PDM) and what you HAVE generated (the actual database), you can find your errors before the programmers come screaming 'round the corner. PowerDesigner 6.1.1 (coming in 4Q98) will have much better trigger support, with the ability to modify and add template code. This is good. It will also have support for MSS 7, ASE 11.5, ASA 6 (but not Java classes until PD7), DB2 Universal Database and AS/400. Did I say Java classes in ASA 6 are cool? Yes, they are. I am a huge Waterloo/Watcom fan, they do things the way they should be done, and I will never get tired of saying that (and I'm quoting someone else). The PowerDesigner Metaworks database is getting a rework, which is a good thing (even if all they did was make the table and column names longer). And the documentation that has always been available on-request for various obscure things (like the Metaworks database, the ProcessAnalyst import format, etc.) will be put on the CD where it belongs. Yes, it will. Trust me. I met one of the core PowerDesigner developers, a truly nice person. He was wearing a truly nice tshirt. I am truly hoping that by writing nice words about PD, I will get one of those tshirts. It might be self serving and shallow, but it's true (the good things about PD, that is). I've been using ERwin for a few months (after using PD for a long time, and before that, ERwin), and PD is starting to look like fun again. Don't get me wrong, ERwin is a fine tool (and thank you, Leo Tohill, for pointing out some ERwin features without making TOO much fun of my ignorance). But I'll bet PD will get support for Java-Classes-In-SQL-Anywhere long before ERwin.
I don't care much (right now) about developing databases for the Palm Pilot but Ultralite has features of interest for all databases. Here are two:
This thing is going Beta in 3Q98, and it might ship before the end of the year.
I want the Analyzer to build frozen, encapsulated databases to store as objects (components?) inside applications... and maybe inside other databases (as Java classes stored as columns in ASA 6+ databases?). Don't, however, expect THAT any time soon.
Anyway, understand this: the Application Specific Databases might have frozen the schema but not the data... you can still do updates, and I saw a 3-table database update program running on a Palm Pilot, and it used 56K of RAM.
I also want the Automatic Synchronization because it makes more sense than Publish Subscribe
for a large class of applications.
Q: I'm a PB developer and I like the product. Several months ago I went to a conference where a speaker was giving a presentation on the future of PB. Well, basically he said there is no future. He claimed in 3 years we won't be doing PB development, we'll be doing Java instead. Has he ever heard of COBOL?
I think we all realize that software tools have a finite lifespan. The problem with him saying this is that this can become a self fulfilling prophesy. If enough of the PB gurus say PB is dead, people will start using other tools for no good reason.
A: Folks in this industry are often guilty of exaggeration to make a point; I know I am. Having said that, Java is getting converts from 3GLs like C++ and VB, not products like PB. Java is the name of the language; when it gets a good tool wrapped around it (like PowerJ V3, perhaps), it may compete with PB. After all, we use PowerScript (a 3GL) but we don't say "we are PowerScript programmers" like the Java folks say "we are Java programmers." PowerJ V3 is getting the DataWindow, which will make it look 80% like PowerBuilder (and that, perhaps, is also an exaggeration but I stand by it).
Java is better than PowerScript in the Elegance Department. But that doesn't matter... what counts is The Java Steamroller. Powersoft is right in making PB and PJ look (pretty much) the same, to let people use both, together, and switch back and forth.
As for me, I've tried to learn C++ and then Java, on more than one occasion, and I've given up... life is too short for that kind of crap (can you *print* from Java? I didn't think so :) But Java in Adaptive Server Anywhere procedures and Java classes as columns is gonna get me to learn it at last. And then there's PowerJ 3, coming next year(?)... maybe I'll actually DO something in the beta program.
If you spend your time learning the DataWindow then the future is bright. If you waste your time counting how many NVOs can fit on the head of a pin (i.e., futz around with the PFC) then it may not be so bright.
Ooops, did I turn this into a Service Based Architecture rant? Sorry.
Q: Great idea - this diary! It's precious info for unfortunate ones like me who could not make to the conference. So please enlighten us with what you saw, heard and understood about...
1. Java Inside Adaptive Server Anywhere. What would I do with it?
A: Use a better language to write stored procedures, AND directly reference object instance variables AND methods in SQL statements, as in WHERE table.column.method ( arguments ) = value, where an object is stored as a column.
Q: 2. New Adaptive Server Enterprise Features and PowerBuilder / PB and Jaguar. Will PB be able to use CORBA objects? Will other CORBA clients be able to use PB NVOs?
A: I'm ORB-challenged but there's all sorts of stuff present in PB6 and coming in PB7... I might write more on this later, but I'm just learning it. Like "Jaguar is a Corba ORB", whatever that means :)
Q: 3. Sybase Developer Network. Hmmm... haven't ever heard about this one before.
A: Check out http://www.sybase.com/sdn. The page won't be around for long, it's just a test site now, final version coming in future. Send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. That's Lynn Caruso, tell her you heard about it from Breck. Folks have a real chance to influence how it works.
Q: Could you explain why PBDJ has banned free lance authors?
A: To stop other authors from daring to write for the competition. I don't think they ban folks any more, but they did, and it worked.
Q: PowerBuilder Developers Journal editorials have been quite pessimistic about PowerBuilder ever making it to the Web or distributed computing. I don't agree. How do you feel about this after the conference?
A: Personally, I think Powersoft and Sybase are concentrating on the right things. They have cut back (dropped?) development of PFC and Power++ and concentrated on making PowerBuilder and PowerJ look the same except for the syntax and class libraries (and who knows what form the libraries will take). In particular, PowerJ will get the DataWindow. Jaguar also looks very cool, in the next version. Other products like PowerDynamo, web.pb, etc., are being rolled into PowerBuilder and PowerJ, starting with PB6.5 and PowerJ 2.5 which are shipping now (at least, PB6.5 is, and they handed out eval copies of PJ 2.5 at the conference).
I think Sybase has a 50-50 chance of avoiding Borland's fate.
It might be better than that, I'm an overly-pessimistic kinda guy.
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