How to Explore Dependencies at PBL Level

September 2020 Update

Visual Expert 2020 introduces diagrams to visualize PBL dependencies in your application. This allows PowerBuilder developers to identify objects in a PBL that reference an object stored in another PBL.

Below is a screenshot of a PBL Dependency Diagram:

PBL Dependencies Diagram


This diagram indicates that components of 'pfeapsrv.pbl' have one or more dependencies on the components from five other PBLs.

=> Learn how to create PBL dependency diagrams using Visual Expert

 

PBL Dependencies

Developers may need to see code dependencies at PBL level.

For instance:

  • When isolating a given module of the application, to make it independent from the others
  • When tracking the dependencies between client and back-end PB code (deployed on EA Server, running with the PB Application Server Plug-in )

Whenever an object of PBL (A) is calling an Object of PBL (B), a dependency is created between these 2 PBLs. This feature will show all levels of dependencies between PBLs, like a call tree:

PBL Dependencies in Visual Expert

Once you have identified that PBL (A) is somehow calling PBL (B), you may need to dig deeper to see exactly which object is calling what in the called PBL.

In the example below, the application object “demopfc”, defined in the PBL “demopfc.pbl” is calling 1 userobject and 4 events outside of this PBL.

 

Configure the Hierarchy Level

  • Select a PBL.
  • In the treeview, mouse over the ‘PBL Dependencies’ macro.
  • Click on the wrench that appears on its right end.

    PBL Dependencies Wrench Icon

    A configuration window appears on the screen.
  • Define the number of hierarchy levels up to which you want to find the PBL dependencies.

    Hierarchy Levels for PBL Dependencies Diagram

For example:

On configuring the Hierarchy Level as 3, the resultant PBL Dependencies will be displayed as shown below.

Resultant PBL Dependencies

 

External References

PBL External References

Depending on what you’re looking for, you can take it from there and:

  • Show the PBL containing the object(s) called by the application object “demopfc”

    external references to pbl

  • Show the source code of the application object “demopfc”, and higlight the reference to the object called in another PBL

    higlight the reference to the object called in another PBL

 

 

PowerBuilder, Code Exploration, VE 2015