Embarcadero tool gains multi-device development abilities
December 10, 2012 —
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The old Borland development tool C++Builder today gets a new architecture called native multi-device development, along with a new name: C++Builder XE3.
The product is the result of work that began in 2008, when Embarcadero purchased the CodeGear tool division of Borland, according to Michael Swindell, senior vice president of marketing and product management at Embarcadero. It was then that the company saw the potential of delivering applications on multiple devices, and the need to empower developers to do that efficiently and cost-effectively.
“Over the years, Windows has dominated the client landscape. All the way back in 1999, it was Windows 98 everywhere; you wouldn’t see anything else,” Swindell explained. “Five years ago, it was Windows XP, but we also started seeing a lot of Web applications being driven by Java servers and Web servers. When it comes to client devices, though, pretty much Windows PCs were it. And that really follows what our products always have been about, going back to Borland and even until as recently as last year—pretty much a Windows focus.
“But there’s been a change in the client landscape. We say it’s the client revolution, but it’s really the dominance of Windows as a single-client environment is changing very quickly,” he continued. “It’s something we really haven’t seen in the modern computing era. I was in a meeting [recently] over in Brisbane, and there were three companies in the meeting, and we’re all working on the same document, the same data. There were two Lenovo Windows PCs, two MacBook Pros, two iPads, and one was docked with a physical keyboard dock, and a Motorola Xoom. And that was the client mix in the room. And there was not even a mention of it in the room. That is the world that we’re in now. It has a significant impact on enterprises, and a significant impact on software developers. ISVs, or anybody building applications, can’t ignore that client devices are very diverse.”
What C++Builder XE3 does, according to Swindell, is enable developers to target multiple devices from a single C++ codebase. This is accomplished by the tool’s C++ compiler, which generates a native Intel application—not a wrapper application, he emphasized—that can be deployed to any device, and gives users the experience they expect from the device. (The tool also lets Objective-C programmers work with the Apple-supported Clang 3.1 compiler.)