Visual Expert for PowerBuilder Key Features

Visual Expert is a must-have solution for the maintenance of your PB and DB code.
Using Visual Expert, developers easily discover and start working on any existing applications. Understand the code - Identify the modification - Validate the effect of the change - Generate CRUD Matrix - Documentation - and more!

Identify the Consequences of a Change

"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!

  • If I change this variable, what is the effect on my code?
  • If I add a parameter to a function, what else is affected?
  • If a table or column is changed, which code should I update?

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

Generate a CRUD matrix showing which programs access your data.
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).

Generate diagrams from your code

  • Visualize objects and dependencies.
  • Diagrams and source code are synchronized.
  • Select objects to generate a diagram
  • If needed, adjust objects position with an editor
  • Save, export and share your diagrams

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 your code; create reference manuals in HTML.
Update your documentation on a regular basis (scheduled job).
Document the references in your code and navigate between these using hyperlinks.
Share knowledge with teammates.

View a Sample Doc

Compare versions of your code

Compare 2 versions of your application:

  • 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...

Analyze and improve code performances

  • Find the slowest procedures, functions, triggers
  • Reduce the time to access a given table
  • Break down the execution time of a large object into sub-queries or instructions.
  • Decompose the performance of a chain of calls

Review and improve your code

Cleanup 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…
  • Find oversized scripts and PBLs.
  • Find Scripts without comments.
  • Find Controls without a proper name.
  • Find objects that do not inherit from an ancestor etc.

Code Review Sample doc

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 features will screen your code under various angles.

Teamwork – Collaborative features

Team members can work together on the same applications:

  • Schedule the Code Analysis on a Server.
  • Team members 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, like 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 a 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