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Legacy System - .... embed it in Sharepoint (or similar)

Posted on 2013-06-10
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Last Modified: 2013-06-11
Okay folks,
Bear with me!
I am a freelance consultant.
I have been asked by a small software company to help one of their clients.

The client has a legacy system (10 years+) written in Powerbuilder.  They want changes to this system.

I have been advised (?), that it may be possible to give additional functionality to the system by "embedding" it into SHarepoint (or some other tool).

Specifically, this embedding may facilitate adding "workflow" functionality.

I should add, that I fully understand if this question seems a but vague.

Question: Is it possible to enhance a "legacy" system by "embedding" it into other systems.


(not the clearest of questions, I know!)
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Question by:Patrick O'Dea
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Dave Baldwin earned 250 total points
ID: 39236396
It looks like there was a new version in 2010.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PowerBuilder   To me, getting "additional functionality to the system by "embedding" it into SHarepoint (or some other tool)." doesn't really make any sense.
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Author Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39236920
Thanks Dave,

The embedding does not make a great deal of send to me either!

However, I just thought I would put the idea out there.
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Assisted Solution

by:virtuadept
virtuadept earned 250 total points
ID: 39238387
Sharepoint has the ability through something called "Web Parts" to directly work with Windows Forms code (.NET variety). PowerBuilder 12 and the upcoming 12.5 can write native .NET forms objects. If you have source for the legacy PowerBuilder system, you could migrate it to PowerBuilder 12 and then convert it (this will have to probably be done object by object) to the PB 12 .NET style, then develop a "Web Part" (this is something I have no experience with) that Sharepoint can then talk to the now totally different PB 12 .NET code with. So yes, you are essentially rewritting the legacy system, but making use of the latest PB that is completely .NET could cut down on development time over having to convert the legacy PB into a totally different technology. Or it may completley not work and waste untold hours. :-)  Without knowing anything about the legacy PB or even what version of PB it is, that's pretty hard to determine. But theoretically, yes, SharePoint could talk to an (updated version of) the PB objects and that could (theoretically) save time developing a solution.
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Expert Comment

by:virtuadept
ID: 39238429
Also there may be additional work involved depending on what the legacy app is using to store data. If it's MS-SQL, fine, it won't be that hard to get SharePoint to talk to that also. If it is some other vendor then depending on how big of a database it is and whether or not SharePoint will know how to talk to it, that could add a whole lot of complexity.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patrick O'Dea
ID: 39238456
Thanks folks,

The answers were good.

(My question was not so good!)
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