Embarcadero Technologies plans to release the next generation of its CodeGear-formerly Borland-rapid application development tools for Windows, Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009, on Aug. 25.
For packaged software developers and enterprise developers building client/server applications, the new CodeGear releases will make application creation more efficient and productive, Embarcadero officials said.
The new releases "are going to be the biggest releases of Delphi and C++ in many years, going back to the Delphi 7 time frame," said Michael Swindell, vice president of products for Embarcadero, which attained the technology when it bought CodeGear from Borland in May. Delphi 7 came out in 2002.
Swindell said Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009 are targeted at both ISVs and line-of-business, workgroup client/server development.
"We think the packaged software industry and the line-of-business and client/server area are very important parts of the software market, and Delphi and C++Builder are premier tools for these areas," Swindell said.
He also noted that with the new releases, developers can now easily expand the global reach of their applications with built-in support for Unicode throughout Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009.
"We've gone through the products from top to bottom and Unicode-enabled everything," Swindell said. "We also revamped all our localization and translation tools."
Built-in support for Unicode means that applications will look and operate properly on all language versions of Windows and seamlessly support both Unicode and ANSI data, the company said. In addition, new and enhanced localization tools make it easier to translate applications to take advantage of specific local opportunities, Embarcadero officials said.
Hannes Danzl, a software developer at Nexus Database Systems, which uses Delphi, told eWEEK:
"For us as a database vendor, Delphi 2009 is the most important new release since Delphi 3. We are very excited about the full Unicode support and the numerous changes to the data access layers. Naturally, for a database product Unicode was always important, and we had to jump through a number of [hoops] to support it. Delphi 2009 now fully implements this functionality at all levels from compiler to IDE [integrated development environment] and allows us to provide complete support for Unicode to our customers. Delphi 2009 is bringing CodeGear back to the top spot of [RAD] rapid application development. For anyone serious about internationally deployed database applications, Delphi 2009 is an absolute must."
Moreover, the new releases take the Delphi and C++ languages forward with a host of powerful new programming language features such as Delphi generics and upcoming C++0x standard language features. "We're bringing the languages to the leading edge," Swindell said.
In addition, a new multitier DataSnap architecture enables developers to use RAD to build high-performance, highly scalable database middleware applications, Embarcadero said. The middleware applications can be connected to via a lightweight, open communications protocol with thin, full-featured clients that can reside on virtually any native or Web client platform, Embarcadero officials said.
Swindell said the community of Delphi and C++Builder developers continues to grow. In 2006 there were 1.75 million Delphi developers and now there are more than 2 million, he said.
Mauricio Buso, a developer with HK Engenharia and another Delphi user, said:
"Delphi 2009 will bring to us a new level of deployment, using the new DataSnap/DBExpress framework. Now, without dependence of COM and Unicode support, we can deploy new concepts of client-side applications, and new clients in other languages. We plan to deploy our ERP system in all of Latin America and the USA, because today we deploy only in Brazil."
Swindell said Delphi and C++Builder 2009 are tailor-made for organizations building packaged software for resale or redistribution, high-performance graphical workstation applications, and client/server workgroup database applications. Top industries using Delphi and C++Builder today to build next-generation solutions include ISVs, micro-ISVs, banking and finance, manufacturing, government, health care, science and engineering, and telecommunications, he said.
Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009 support development and deployment on Windows Vista, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008.
Other new and enhanced features of the two products include new VCL (Visual Component Library) components including Microsoft Office-style ribbon controls, PNG (Portable Network Graphics) image support, dozens of new capabilities for existing controls, and the ability to seamlessly build powerful UIs for Windows XP and Vista desktop applications simultaneously, the company said.
The releases also feature a new capability known as VCL for the Web, which enables developers to build AJAX and Silverlight-enabled rich intranet and line-of-business Web applications, Embarcadero officials said. The products also have updated built-in dbExpress support for CodeGear InterBase and Blackfish SQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM Informix, IBM DB2, SQL Anywhere, Sybase and MySQL databases.
Swindell pointed out that Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009 are the first CodeGear products to emerge from Embarcadero since the acquisition. Thus the new releases represent the first Embarcadero solutions to bring together advanced CodeGear and DatabaseGear functionality in a single offering, he said.
The addition of Embarcadero technology enabled the company to deliver new editions of the CodeGear tools-the Architect editions. The Delphi and C++Builder Architect editions include ER/Studio Developer Edition to provide a complete solution for designing and building database applications. This integration results in enhanced productivity and time to market for developers, Embarcadero officials said.
"Our goal as a combined company is to eliminate the development barriers between applications and databases," Swindell said. "This release combines database architecture and design features from ER/Studio with Delphi and C++Builder to create the ultimate database application design and development solution-the all-new Delphi and C++Builder Architect Editions."
Delphi 2009 and C++Builder 2009 will be available on Aug. 25 with North American pricing beginning at $399 per license for Professional editions, $1,299 for Enterprise editions and $2,299 for Architect editions.