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Embarcadero Brings Developer Tools to the Cloud

The rush to on-demand has largely been confined to business application use, but Embarcadero, a tool vendor with more than 20 tools for programmers, has made its wide collection available as an on-demand service.

Unlike Salesforce.com and other on-demand apps, Embarcadero ToolCloud operates inside a company's firewall. A small client is installed on the developer's desktop computer, they select the tool they want, and it is pulled down and operates in memory on their PC.

There are the obvious benefits from on-demand: the latest version is always delivered from the server and the IT manager has a better grip on licenses because they can limit the number of concurrent users centrally. License management is handled by Embarcadero All-Access.

Another benefit is that it makes it easier to spin up a new team of developers faster, said Philip Rathe, senior director of product management at Embarcadero. "You can put something on a server and within minutes you can provision an entire team with a toolset," he told InternetNews.com.

If the person uses that tool frequently, they can ask for it to be "cached" on their PC; in other words, installed like it used to be. Each time the developer starts the app, it does a license check to make sure the company is not violating its concurrent license agreement, and checks for updates.

A wide collection of application and Web development tools

Embarcadero All-Access supports the company's wide collection of application and Web app development tools, including Delphi, JBuilder, and C++Builder that Embarcadero acquired from Borland in 2008, plus database design and development tools like ER/Studio and DBArtisan.

While ToolCloud runs behind a company's firewall, it does perform a nightly check with Embarcadero for upgrades, and downloads any updates it finds. When the developer starts their system the following day, they are informed that updates are available. However, they also have the option to either not upgrade, or run multiple versions in parallel.

With installed apps, you often can't keep multiple versions of an appdev tool installed on the same computer. ToolCloud does provide the option of running multiple versions on the same computer without conflict between the two, if there are versioning issues, said Rathe.

Embarcadero ToolCloud has four levels of access to different toolsets. Pricing begins at $2,250. It's available now from Embarcadero.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.