As we go into the second half of 2013, i wanted to talk a bit more about our plans moving forward, what we have been working on and what we are working on and planning for the foreseeable future.
I can’t believe it’s only been a little over a month since we released Oxygene 6 and Nougat, and so far the feedback we’ve been getting has been just incredible. I am really thrilled to see so many of you diving into Mac and (more so, unsurprisingly) iOS development with Oxygene. Cocoa is a great and exciting platform to be working on, and that will only become more so with the upcoming releases of the groundbreaking new iOS 7, and with OS X Mavericks (both of which i know lots of you have already been using the betas of with Oxygene successfully).
We’re not sitting on our laurels, but moving ahead full steam with development of Oxygene and related technologies, and we have a lot of cool things coming up this and next year.
For starters, we’ve been working on an incremental “July” update for Oxygene 6 to address some bugs and add some minor enhancements here and there. “Gammas” for this release have been out for a while, and we are very close to finalizing the update (think a week or so). July, versioned as 6.0.51 will be a free update for all active subscribers and all Prism XE3.2 users (Embarcadero might have abandoned you on the roadside like a toy they have lost interest in, but we’re not giving up on you!).
Hot on the heels of that will be our August release. Versioned as Oxygene 6.1, this will be a significant update release for Oxygene with a handful of really cool big features and featurettes that i, personally, am very excited about. Of course there is full support for the new Visual Studio 2013 that Microsoft recently announced. There’ll also be ASP.NET MVC 4/4.5 support, and some really cool IDE workflow enhancements, some of which we have been working on for a long while in the background. The first “alpha” of Oxygene 6.1 is available for active subscribers now.
(Do note that as of Oxygene 6.1, the product will no longer be accepting Embarcadero Prism serial numbers, as our collaboration period with the great people at Embarcadero has come to an end for good by the time 6.1 ships. If you are a Prism customer with Software Assurance beyond August 2013, please make sure to contact us, we will take care of you.)
Beyond 6.1, i just want to name-drop a few projects/technologies that we are working on, without going into much (or any, really) detail on them, yet.
There’s “Hydrogene” coming up, which we’ve been dropping a few hints about here and there for a while now. Hydrogene is an exciting new sister product for Oxygene that we think will really be a game-changer. We’ll be rolling out Hydrogene to select beta testers soon, and the plan is to ship the “1.0″ product with the Winter (November) release cycle of Oxygene. This is not a promise for a timeline, though, and we won’t ship (or formally announce) Hydrogene until it is ready.
2014 will be a very exciting year for Oxygene and Hydrogene, and we have three related projects that will bring everything together in ways you cannot even imagine yet:
“Fire” started as a personal side-project of mine that runs orthogonal to Oxygene (and Hydrogene), and has recently been ‘promoted’ to something we’re officially pursuing as a company project (and which has made great strides since). If and when it ships, hopefully sometime in 2014, it will become a regular part of the Oxygene and Hydrogene products.
There’s also “Marzipan” and “Infrared” (who comes up with these code names, right?), two amazing under-the-hood compiler-level technologies that Carlo’s team has been working on. Thinking about the possibilities with these two techs makes me dizzy, trust me.
Data Abstract and RemObjects SDK
Over on the DA side, we also have big things in the works. We’ve been thinking a lot about the future direction for Data Abstract over the past year or so, and last month we made the decision to stop and switch gears a bit in how we develop and ship DA (and RO). The quarterly releases we have been doing are great for getting new features out on a regular basis, but they also make it harder for the team to sit back and focus on the bigger picture, and on more fundamental changes.
So we’ve decided to take a bit of a break. A break, that is, from shipping significant releases every quarter. As of right now, we’ll be focusing the majority of our R&D effort on the major “next generation” version of RO/DA, which we plan to ship sometime in the first half of 2014.
The umbrella code name for this project is “DA8“, but this is more than just another major version number increase. We are taking a step back and really rethinking DA, and (re-)designing a DA “for the next ten years” (to borrow a phrase). A lot has changed (and is changing) in our industry since we first came up with DA in 2003, and we have a lot of ideas and plans for what we want to do, to not only make DA stay relevant in the changing market, but to make sure that DA remains the leading and best infrastructure for your data access and server development.
Some of these plans are very concrete, some of them are still very vague and in flux. Some of these changes and features we will start talking about (or even have alpha/beta bits of) very soon, while others will remain under wraps a while longer. Some of these will ship with the first DA8 “1.0″ release in early 2014, while others will be longer-out. Once again, we’re starting on a new DA for a new decade of technology.
Of course active subscribers will stay in the loop on DA8 as it develops. We will have a regular stream of pre-release builds for you to let you get an early start on some of the new technologies and changes as they emerge.
We’re also keeping the current “7.0″ code base active in a branch, and we most likely will keep shipping (very light-weight) quarterly updates for August, November and/or February, to fix crucial bugs or support new platform versions — such as Visual Studio 2013 (which we already have a Gamma of RO/DA out for), Xcode 5/iOS 7/Mavericks, or Delphi XE5.
As you can see, whether you’re using Oxygene or Data Abstract and the SDK (or both!), we have a lot of cool things planned for you for the next twelve months and beyond. Here at RemObjects, we are very excited about all of these projects, and we can hardly wait to show and tell you more.