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Power Builder application on Dropbox

Collaborator | Level 10

Has anyone tried using Power Builder on Dropbox? My company is considering to move some of our file server to Dropbox. 

For Power Builder, one file contain multiple object inside. This file can be open by the development team from our file server (shared drive). The tool will help to open the file and can see multiple objects. Each objects can able to checkout by different developer and do the changes. This objects are connected with Microsoft VSS control tool. This will maintain the version of change done by each developer.

To test this with Dropbox, we have copied the development file into Dropbox shared folder which is accessible by 2 developers. When we try to open and change the object inside the file will create duplicate copy of the same PBL file with different name. Is there any workaround to this or does that mean that there is no way to move Power Builder files onto Dropbox and I would still retain my file server in this case?

9 Replies

Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hi there, if the PBL file is similar to a database of files and multiple people are accessing and editing files on the database, then you’ll get conflicted copies of the file, along with other unforeseen issues.
 
In general, we recommend that people don’t sync live databases with Dropbox. You can sync saved snapshots, however, with no issues.
 
Regardless, if it is a normal file (like a text file) then even in those cases it would generate a conflicted copy if two people edit and save the file at the same time.
 
If I’m misunderstanding something, please let me know more details!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Collaborator | Level 10

@Jay Is there a reason why the file does not create a conflicted copy in the file server yet does on Dropbox? 

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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
I thought you said you copied the file from the file server into the Dropbox folder? Are you referring to accessing the file server directly using Powerbuilder, or using Dropbox? Is the Dropbox folder in the file server?
 
Only Dropbox would create a conflicted file, provided the file itself is in the Dropbox folder, and if it was accessed and edited by multiple users at the same time.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Collaborator | Level 10

@Jay Yes I copied the file over to Dropbox shared folder. I was just thinking out loud why when the PBL file does not create a duplicate copy when it is on the file server and when it is on Dropbox.  

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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Well, I imagine that this is because the PBL file is being opened in its native app, so there aren’t any conflicted copies generated since it recognizes that it is a database.
 
However, bear in mind that the conflicted copy you’re seeing in the Dropbox folder is created by Dropbox itself, since it does understand that two or more people edited the file at the same time, which could result in data loss if the wrong file is saved (hence the copy).
 
Now, with the PBL file, since I don’t know how Powerbuilder works, it could be intelligent enough to know that many people can edit the objects inside it at the same time, without losing any information. 
 
This would be similar to how users can write on the same Dropbox Paper doc at the same time without new copies being created, since collaboration is native to that system.
 
Then again, there is a possibility that it doesn’t expect this behavior, and in fact there could be data loss if two people are making changes at the same time. Since I have no way to check or confirm this, perhaps you can test it out by having two users edit an object in the file, then having User A save it, and then User B.
 
If only User A or User B’s changes appear, then there is data loss. If both changes appear, then it should be fine. 
 
Naturally, I’d recommend checking with Powerbuilder directly just to be 100% certain!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

New member | Level 2

Hi Mxoh,

PowerBuilder 2017 supports native interface to Git and SVN source control.  You can surely store PBLs in Dropbox, but if multiple developers are working on it you need source control system like Git or SVN to handle the conflicts and merge the changes multiple developers have made to the same file.

Just to clarify, even if using Git or SVN, Dropbox can be useful as a backup for your project.  Once a version of your project is finished developing and you would like to cut a release you may want to store the source code of that release in Dropbox.

Regards,
Appeon PowerBuilder Team

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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Collaborator | Level 10

Hi @Appeon, thanks for the answer! Could I ask how would storing PBLs work with Git source control? 

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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

New member | Level 2

These two blog articles may help answer your question:

  1. https://community.appeon.com/index.php/blogs/recent-blogs/enhanced-source-code-controlfor-pb2017-r2-...
  2. https://community.appeon.com/index.php/articles-blogs/tutorials-articles/2-powerbuilder/183-powerbui...

If you are interested to use Git source control for your PowerBuilder project I would recommend you try it out yourself with a free trial version of PowerBuilder 2017.

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Re: Power Builder application on Dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Thanks for the input, @Appeon
 
It helps having the developer answer these questions sometimes!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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Power Builder application on Dropbox
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