Visual Expert 2017 New Features

Visual Expert 2017 is officially released and available for downloading! Here is a list of the main new features.

Compare 2 versions of your code

  • View differences in a container hierarchy.
  • Drill down to find relevant changes.
  • Filter changes for a given object, or object type: Userobject, Table, Procedure...
  • Filter changes in a given PBL.
  • Save “snapshots” of your code on a regular basis, and compare them anytime.
  • And more...

Review CRUD operations in your PB code
(Create, Read, Update, Delete)

Generate a CRUD matrix, showing which programs access your data, in what way. For instance, which DW or Procedures Create/Read/Update/Delete which Tables.

  • Review dependencies between database and PB applications.
  • Analyze the impact of changing your database Schema, for example changing a table definition or adding an index.
  • Estimate software complexity and development efforts.
  • Find out which table is never updated, deleted from multiple places, etc.
  • Make sure every process has at least one input (R) and one output (CUD).

Oracle + PowerBuilder Cross Analysis

VE 2017 includes a new version of our Parser for Oracle and PL/SQL Code:

  • Analyze both Oracle and PowerBuilder code together.
    Include Oracle tables, views, procedures, functions, packages... in your project.
  • Find all dependencies between Client and Server Code.
  • Navigate seamlessly between each language,
    for instance when a PB Script is referencing an Oracle procedure
PowerBuilder + Oracle Cross Analysis

SQL Server + PowerBuilder Cross Analysis

VE 2017 includes a brand new Parser for SQL Server and Transact-SQL Code:

  • Analyze both SQL Server and PowerBuilder code together.
    Include SQL Server tables, views, procedures, functions... in your project.
  • Find all dependencies between Client and Server Code.
  • Navigate seamlessly between each language,
    for instance when a PB Script is referencing a SQL Server Procedure
PowerBuilder + T-SQL Cross Analysis

And More!

  • Renovated Interface with Ribbon Menu and additional features
  • New Doc Generator, supporting much larger sets of code.
  • New feature to generate partial documentation, for instance on a given PBL, or a selection of objects.
  • New Database section in the PB documentation, listing tables, columns and procedures used by the PB code,
  • New macros for improving performances. For instance for detecting missing indexes degrading response times.
  • Etc.
VE 2017 Ribbon Menu

Identify the consequences of a change

Run Impact Analyses: "If I change this, what is the effect?"
Estimate what you should modify to accomplish a change.

Don't break your application after a change.
For instance

  • Find out where a column or variable is used?
  • If you add a parameter to a function, what else is affected?

Explore complex chains of calls

Display Call Trees: callers and callees for functions and events.

Explore all possible execution paths.
Drill down in the code, click on referenced methods or variables to see their definitions.

Call trees help evaluate the effects of modifications to your code.

Document your code

Generate documentation from the source code and create reference manuals in HTML.
Automatically generate the documents on a regular basis (scheduled job).
Document the references in your code.
Easily navigate between these using hyperlinks.
Keep your documentation always up-to-date.
Share knowledge with teammates.

Understand complex code

When maintaining complex Applications, you may need to learn more about the code.
In such cases, Visual Expert is the perfect companion for PowerBuilder.

Explore the application structure. Understand its inner working.
Navigate in your code via hyperlinks: each reference comes with a link to the referenced item.
Tooltips provide useful information about objects, methods and variables.
Explore inheritance dependencies between PB objects.
Lots of advanced feature will screen your code under various angles.

Review and improve your code

Clean up the code. Streamline maintenance efforts. Avoid unexpected behavior.

  • Identify unused objects and remove some dead code.
  • Find empty methods, temporarily commented or emptied from any source code.
  • Find duplicated objects that PB will ignore.
  • Produce code metrics: How many lines of code, objects, methods, variables…

Teamwork – Collaborative features

Team members can work together on the same applications:

  • Schedule the Code Analysis on a Server.
  • Team member explore the code on their PC with a client application.
  • Team members can explore the same code at the same time.
  • They can share their results (impact analysis for instance) with other members.
  • They can export and send results to other, as Excel or HTML files.

Analyze several applications at the same time

Some systems include several Apps, sharing resources: ancestors, tables, procedures, dlls…

Maintaining such systems requires a global vision of the code, across all applications:

  • Analyze several applications together.
  • Find references to common resources.
  • Explore dependencies between client code and DB code.
  • Search for strings across several applications.
  • Generate documentation across multiple applications.
  • Run Visual Expert on a Server and analyze very large volumes of code.

Integration with PowerBuilder

While exploring your code, you may find objects that you wish to modify: switch automatically to the PB IDE to edit them.

You can also select several items, for instance after an impact analysis, and push them in the PB Todolist. You can then edit them in PB by opening them from the Todolist.

How it works

  1. Code Parsers analyze your code, and store the Analysis in a Repository.
  2. You can then query this repository to learn more about your code
  3. Standalone configurations (Professional Edition) run all components on a single PC.
  4. Recommended for small/medium volumes of code.
  5. In Client/Server configurations (Team System), Code Analyzers and Repository reside on a server. Developers run a VE client on their PC and access the shared Repository.
  6. Code Analysis and Documentation are automatically generated with Scheduled Jobs.

Feedback from our clients