I know that there are several ways to Web-enable applications in PB. I am looking for the most cost-efficient and least time-consuming solution. Any ideas?
This is a difficult question answer without knowing the details of your application, such as the number of windows, complexity of user interface, Client Server/N-Tier, and the like. Also without knowing your reasons for Web-enabling the application, such as management pressure or reducing desktop requirements.
Therefore I will answer your question based on listing them by time/cost for the solution:
1. The cheapest and easiest solution is to use the PowerBuilder window plugin. It does not require much work, the users keep a very similar interface and speed, but it does not reduce the requirements of the client PC, require the PB runtime, and a fast Lan connection.
2. Next cheapest is to use web.pb, add an extra library or two to your application for a web.pb front end, and use the business logic as it exists. This is only good for a small number of users with a simplish interface. You will no longer need the PB runtimes on the desktop and you can put the app over a Wan-type network.
3. If your app is N-tier already, then you can use another product to Web-enable your business logic. I have used about five of the leading Web products, and I’m sure there are plenty of others, but I would recommend PowerDynamo from Sybase or ASP from Microsoft, which are similar. This method will support masses of users with as complex of an interface as HTML supports. Of course, if your app is not N-Tier, it’s basically a complete rewrite. This is the best but most costly solution.