Customers of the next version of Delphi will also be able to get Borland Software Corp’s other non-Java languages thrown in.
Borland Developer Studio will offer, for the same price of current versions of Delphi, Borland’s C# for .NET, C++ for Win32 (the predecessor to .NET), in addition to Delphi for .NET and Win32.
It’s part of a strategy to unify Borland’s development tools, extending from programming to modeling tools. In so doing, Borland will also be stealing a page from Microsoft’s book, offering a unified IDE with a bundled modeling environment.
But Borland will also allow developers only to install the specific language that they actually use, and at run time only load the support they need into memory.
For Borland, Delphi is the language that refuses to die. It’s also the product that for better or worse has kept the firm close to its programmer roots.
Although bypassed in recent years by object-oriented languages like Java or the new .NET tools, Delphi continues to retain a loyal fan base.
Backed by a Borland-developed framework, Delphi is getting some of the industrial strength object orientation of today’s mainstream tools. In turn, by bundling C# and C++ into the Delphi suite, they get to piggyback on some of the Delphi enhancements.
Developer Studio includes the .NET and older Win32 versions of Delphi, C# for .NET, and C++ for Win32.
For Delphi.NET and C#, Developer Studio includes the third version of Borland’s Enterprise Core Objects (ECO) framework. ECO 3 delivers services taken for granted in the Java world, courtesy of frameworks like J2EE (Java EE) and Hibernate.
Examples include object/relational mapping, persistence, and transaction rollback or roll forward. The ECO framework uses the UML diagramming engine from Borland’s Together modeling tools.
With the ECO framework, Developer 2006 can be integrated with Borland’s Together UML tool to provide live, two-way modeling where source code and UML models are generated concurrently.
Until now, ECO only supported UML class diagrams. In the new version provided with Developer 2006, it adds most other UML diagrams such as use case, state chart, sequence, activity, plus Gang of Four design patterns and the ability to add your own. And it provides some of the code audit and metrics features of Borland’s Together products.
These frameworks make it possible to invoke these services using visual state diagrams rather than raw coding, and then import them to other applications through XMI (the XML standard for representing UML models). Consequently, state logic developed in Delphi.NET or Borland’s version of C# could be exported to Borland JBuilder or Together Java environments.
Other new features include connection pooling for Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, MySQL, and Interbase, the Borland embedded SQL database.
Additionally, for all of the languages except Borland’s C#, they have added design templates to the GUI builder that help developers layout screens according to cooperate standards, and live templates that help developers with a wizard-like approach for populating visual elements.
Although available for discounted pre-orders beginning October 17, 2005, Developer Studio 2006 won’t ship until sometime before year-end.