PowerBuilder and TFS Source Control

I have been helping customers who are implementing Team Foundation Server (TFS) and would like to put PowerBuilder Code into TFS source control. I’m not sure how different this would be in the newest versions of PowerBuilder that support xaml and where powerscript is a .net language. However for the older versions where the customer is still using native PB there are a couple of things you might want to do to make the experience better for all involved.

First let me explain one problem with PowerBuilder and TFS: If you just add the PBL’s in your target to TFS all the exported objects end up in one folder and it’s hard to tell where everything comes from. This may not be a big deal if you never look at the source explorer in Team Explorer, but why wouldn’t you?

So here are my suggestions:

1. First set up a folder structure that will become your local working copy of the PB code. I recommend putting each PBL into it’s own folder. This might seem odd at first but once TFS gets a hold of it and all your objects are in each folder along with the .PBG file it will be a lot easier to work with. So lets say your folder structure looks something like this:


2. Now put your target file in the MyPBApp  folder. In .net speak the PBL is the project and the target is like the solution. There is one more level above that (the workspace) but I’m going to ignore that in source control and just keep it local. You will have to fix the target in PowerBuilder so that it can find the PBL’s in their new locations.

3. Make sure PowerBuilder is connected to TFS via the MSSCCI provider. You can set up the connection by right clicking on the PowerBuilder workspace, select properties and go to the Source Control tab. I would also install Team Explorer so you have access to the full feature set of TFS.

4. From PowerBuilder pick your target and select Add To Source Control. This will export all the objects out of their PBL’s and create a PBG file which is a manifest of the objects inside that PBL. Now anyone on the team can get latest and open the Target in their local workspace.

5. Make sure to tell everyone to make the local copies of their PBL’s writable. Or they will have to check them out when they check out an object. Trust me it’s easier to make them writable locally.