Borland Tools Update Includes Windows 7 Support

Embarcadero, the developer tools vendor that acquired the legacy tools from Borland Software in 2006, will issue its first big upgrade to Delphi and C++Builder later this month with the release of RAD Studio 2010.

The RAD Studio 2010 suite launches August 25, with upgrades to the Delphi, C++ and Delphi Prism tools. Delphi Prism is Delphi specifically tuned for writing .Net applications using the Visual Studio Shell, instead of stand-alone apps like traditional Delphi.

One of the biggest changes is the addition of support for Windows 7. Support for touch/multi-touch and mouse-based gestures is also included which extends to older versions of Windows. Thanks to Embarcadero’s own gesture libraries, Delphi 2010 can import code written from its 1.0 version back in the 1990s and turn it into a gesture-based application.

“Developers will be able to touch, multi-touch or gesture-enable any app they create,” Mike Rozlog, senior director of Delphi Solutions for Embarcadero, told “If Windows 7 isn’t there, we use our own engine for support in Windows 2000, XP and Vista. So it will work across all Microsoft platforms.”

Gesture-based apps allow for things like using swiping motions with the mouse to perform certain activities, like backing up a page in a browser. It can also be used for non-standard characters, like foreign languages that use symbols.

For Windows 7 developers, the suite supports the Windows 7 API for native touch and multi-touch applications, allowing developers to utilize Windows 7’s Natural Input Libraries and Direct2D graphics.

A quick start on middleware apps

Also new in this release is improved support for multi-tiered infrastructure. Originally introduced as Midas in Delphi 3, then renamed Datasnap, the multi-tier structure makes it simple to immediately begin building middleware apps with the business logic exposed to other services or to a server or client front end.

All three tools have a new class browser that allows for drilling through the code to watch what’s happening as code is executed. It’s possible to examine fields and properties while the app is being executed and to generate state diagrams of what these are in sequence.

The suite is priced at $2,799 for the Enterprise edition. The three tools within the suite also will be sold separately.

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