CodeGear Branches Out with New PHP, Vista, AJAX Tools

CodeGear, the developer tools group spun out of Borland, delivers its first set of major tools that take the company into new directions with dynamic language support, among other new features.

CodeGear, the developer tools unit of Borland Software, has announced new tools to enable the rapid development of PHP applications, as well as a new rapid application development environment for Windows Vista and AJAX.

CodeGear on Feb. 20 announced Delphi for PHP, a component-based RAD IDE (integrated development environment) and VCL (visual component library) for PHP.

"When we spun out the division, we said we were expanding into dynamic languages and we hinted at PHP and Ruby," said Michael Swindell, vice president of products and strategy at CodeGear, based in Scotts Valley, Calif. "The PHP market has a handful of tools out there, but none that provide a modern application development platform for PHP."

Moreover, Swindell said there has been a lack of a component standard for componentizing PHP code into easily reusable plug-ins. So Delphi for PHP brings the RAD approach of Borlands popular Delphi IDE to the PHP platform.

"The most important thing this product brings to the market is a standardized component model to PHP so that you can visually build PHP applications from the components," Swindell said. "We supply about 50 components, and developers can build their own" or they can "wrapper" existing PHP code and make components, he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifBorland CEO Tod Nielsen and CodeGear CEO Ben Smith discuss their plans for the companies. Click here to read the interview.

Jonathan Benedicto, owner of JomiTech, a developer tools company based in Ontario, and an early user of the new Borland technology, said in a statement: "As a long-time PHP developer, I quickly adopted Delphi for PHP as my favorite editor. The VCL for PHP offers the familiar Delphi design with tremendous RAD-oriented capabilities. I am now able to simply decouple the GUI from the actual webpage logic code by using the integrated page templating feature. Delphi for PHP truly takes PHP development to the next level."

Delphi for PHP includes VCL for PHP, an open-source PHP 5 visual component library with more than 50 extendable and reusable components with seamless AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) integration; out-of-the-box database integration with InterBase, MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server and other popular databases; an integrated PHP debugger; and a code editor with Code Insight, Code Explorer and Code Templates to make it easier and faster to write PHP code, CodeGear officials said.

VCL for PHP is based on the most popular open-source PHP scripts and libraries, including Qooxdoo, Adodb, DynAPI, Smarty, XAjax and JSCalendar, CodeGear said. VCL for PHP is an open-source library available on SourceForge at

Delphi for PHP is expected to ship in March and will be available for an introductory price of $249.

Swindell said Delphi for PHP is part of a family of products from CodeGear that includes Delphi 2007 for Win32, Delphi .Net, C#Builder, C++ Builder and Developer Studio.

Developers will be able to hear more about these products, as well as JBuilder 2007 and InterBase, at the first-ever CodeRage 2007 Virtual Developer Conference to be held March 12-16 online. The online developers conference will feature more than 50 technical sessions, covering a range of topics. Registration and agenda details will be available soon at

Also on Feb. 20, CodeGear announced Delphi 2007 for Win32, a new version of the companys application development environment that supports Microsoft Windows Vista and AJAX.

Delphi 2007 for Win32 enables developers to more easily build rich client applications to support Windows Vista Aero user interfaces and dynamic AJAX-enabled corporate Web applications. The product also includes the new DBX 4 database architecture that supports the latest versions of the most popular databases used today, including Microsoft SQL Server, InterBase from CodeGear, MySQL and Oracle.

"Built for ISVs, system integrators, VARs and small to medium enterprises, Delphi for Win32 enables customers to develop ultra high-performance native Microsoft Windows applications on either Microsoft XP or Vista that not only support both platforms, but are enhanced on Vista," Swindell said in a statement.

He added that the majority of CodeGears customer base are independent software vendors and developers "who require a native RAD solution. They are building industrial applications, ISV reseller applications, off-the-shelf applications, and applications for science, engineering, aerospace and the military."

Indeed, Swindell said that in the last Delphi survey CodeGear conducted, 80 percent of Delphi customers said they needed or preferred a native solution.

In addition to the aforementioned features, Delphi for Win32 features development on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Vista, and deployment on Windows 2000, Windows XP and Vista; Microsoft MSBuild support for enhanced build flexibility and third-party support; themed application support; and backward compatibility with Developer Studio 2006 components from CodeGear, the company said

Delphi 2007 for Win32 Professional will be available in March for new-user pricing of $899; special upgrade pricing will be $399. New-user pricing for Delphi 2007 for Win32 Enterprise runs $1,999, and special upgrade pricing is $1,299.

Borlands new PHP announcement follows by a week Zend Technologies announcement of the Zend Platform 3.0, a PHP application server created specifically to support the management, performance, integration and scalability requirements for organizations that use PHP to run business-critical Web applications, said Andi Gutmans, co-founder and co-chief technology officer at Zend, of Cupertino, Calif.

/zimages/3/28571.gifRead more here about Zends PHP push.

On Feb. 12, Zend announced three editions of the Zend 3.0 product. Zend Platform PS (Performance Server) is targeted at SMBs (small to midsize businesses) and provides the performance and management functions needed for every PHP deployment, Gutmans said. Key features include PHP Intelligence to monitor business applications to detect issues and resolve them while reducing downtime, Code Acceleration, dynamic content caching, output compression and configuration management

The Zend Platform IS (Integration Server) is targeted at organizations with application and infrastructure integration needs. The Zend Platform IS features a Java Bridge for creating applications that interact with Java objects, Eclipse BIRT (Business Intelligence and Reporting Tools) integration and SNMP integration.

Zend also offers Zend Platform ES (Enterprise Server), which features session clustering, support for job queues and the Zend Download Server.

However, according to CodeGears Swindell, although Zend provides an IDE for PHP development, it does not measure up to CodeGears new offering. "Zend offers a basic compiler, editor [and] debugger setup. Our solution offers a full visual development environment with a component library and full IDE features," he said.

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