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Legacy Application Modernization: Moving Away from PowerBuilder

PowerBuilder migration

PowerBuilder has been one of the most preferred development tools for Client/Server applications in the past years and is undeniably among the best time-tested tools for developers. However, due to the limitations and exclusivity of this language, enterprises are considering moving away from PowerBuilder. Legacy application modernization is crucial in today’s age since applications need to keep up with the demands of the business as well as the technology utilized in current platforms. For this reason, learning the best approach for PowerBuilder migration is necessary to be successful in legacy application modernization.

Although PowerBuilder remains to be dominant in the market for being an excellent tool for building rapid and powerful Client/Server applications, the proprietary nature of this language and its limited information resources make it quite difficult to maintain and modify to fit the needs of businesses. Other factors that influence the decision of enterprises to move away from PowerBuilder include:

  • Failure to adapt to the current needs of businesses such as extending the application’s functionality to the web, mobile, and other handheld devices.
  • The non-standard web deployment platform behind PowerBuilder makes it difficult to integrate with other business applications.
  • Shortage of qualified PowerBuilder experts since not a lot of developers are interested in learning this language due to insufficient learning materials, tutorials, and training. There has been limited awareness about PowerBuilder because of the lack of long-term opportunities for developers.

Businesses are exploring alternatives to PowerBuilder to fill the need for extending functionalities of business applications, catering to an increased number of users, keeping up to date with the current platform for web and mobile integration, and ensuring fast ROI with lower cost of ownership.

There are several ways to deal with moving away from PowerBuilder. These methods include complete rewriting, buying a new product, or making a PowerBuilder migration.


Rewriting applications involve tons of effort as well as high risks since it will include the need for recreating embedded/undocumented functionalities. This method will require high-costs for investments with domain experts, developer teams, project management, as well as user retraining. Rewriting will consume a lot of time and have long learning curves with lower ROI due to the longer duration of the development cycle. It is possible rewriting helps performance and results with easy maintenance, but not always.

PowerBuilder Migration

Integrating a PowerBuilder migration tool for your legacy application modernization is undeniably more beneficial than any other method. The integration of PowerBuilder auto migration and auto refactoring preserves all business knowledge and workflow, leaving the users to be almost unaffected by the conversion. This method is cost-effective, less time-consuming, and offers higher ROI. An effective PowerBuilder migration tool guarantees excellent performance and results that can be better than those of rewritten applications.

Migrating from PowerBuilder entails expert knowledge and proven results to be successful. Choosing the right vendor that prioritizes the needs of the enterprise and provides an end-to-end solution is critical in this business endeavor.