Delphi XE2 Support

I want to take a few moments to talk about support for the upcoming Delphi XE2 in our “for Delphi” products. As most of you have probably heard by now, Delphi XE2 is one of the more exciting releases for the development tool in the past years, adding a lot of new functionality. For the purpose of our products, there’s really four areas of interest that are new in XE2:

  • Platform support for 64-bit Windows
  • Platform support for 32-bit Mac OS X
  • Live Bindings
  • FireMonkey

Our products, especially Data Abstract and the underlying RemObjects SDK are mostly non-visual, so the new platform support is probably the most interesting aspect for us.

As you know, we have long supported Win64 and (to a lesser degree) Mac OS X via the open source Free Pascal compiler, so we have been in good shape for supporting these two new targets with Delphi XE as well. So it goes without saying that we’ll be fully supporting RO and DA on these three platforms, starting with the next release, both for creating clients and servers.

64-bit Windows will be a default part of new VCL-based Data Abstract projects created thru our wizards; and we will also have new templates to get going with FireMonkey-based DA clients on Windows and Mac.

Live Bindings are another interesting area for Data Abstract, as they make it a lot easier to connect visual controls to database content without relying on separate “TDB*” components, as used to be necessary. Data Abstract will include full support for Live Bindings as well.

As already mentioned above, RO/DA are pretty much non-UI libraries, so they work regardless of the actual UI layer and will function in FireMonkey and VCL applications alike. Of course we do have some visual elements in DA, such as our standard Reconcile Dialogs, and these areas have been abstracted to properly provide different versions of the dialogs for VCL vs. FireMonkey (and of course you have always been able to add your own Reconcile UI yourself, and you can still do that).

FireMonkey is a lot more interesting for Hydra, and as you might have seen in Alex’s blog post a few days back, we have been hard at work to fully integrate FireMonkey into Hydra as a UI platform equal to VCL, WinForms and WPF, so that you will be able to seamlessly mix all four of these UI technologies with the upcoming Hydra 4 release (in addition to a fifth UI platform for plugins: Silverlight). Hydra will be supported on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows.

Timelines.

The important question you have of course, is: when can you get your hand on this stuff? The answer is: ASAP.

We have been shipping beta builds with (secret) XE2 support for a while now, so people who have been participating in the field test of Delphi XE2 and installed our betas could already use RO/DA with the new technologies.

As of the day Delphi XE2 RTMs, we are planning to have a fresh beta build up that will be off our “stable” branch and can be used with XE2. This build will not contain binaries (to ship XE2 binaries, we need to integrate the final XE2 into your build system, which we cannot do until it is final ;), but it will include all the files you need to build and install the XE2 design time packages from source.

Later in September, probably somewhere in the early second half of the month, we will ship our official “Fall 2011” releases of RO and DA, which will contain all the XE2 support outlined above, including pre-compiled binaries, and we will also have a new Trial version that supports XE2.

For Hydra, we will stay in beta a little wile longer; we expect to have a “usable beta” build with FireMonkey support for you within September.

Remember: Our betas are accessible to all customers with an active subscription, so to get going with RO/DA on Delphi XE2 right away, just head over to beta.remobjects.com. If your subscription has lapsed, there’s no time like the present to go and renew now to make sure you have access to the betas and will get the final products with XE2 support as soon as possible.

marc hoffman

Chief Architect and CEO here at RemObjects Software. Project Manager for Elements and lead developer of Fire, our awesome new development environment for the Mac.

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