Embarcadero’s RAD Studio XE3 confronts cross-platform development
September 7, 2012 —
Over the past 10 years, platforms have spread out across the horizon, creating a situation similar to the 1980s. To confront this tide of platform proliferation, Embarcadero Technologies on Tuesday released RAD Studio XE3, which includes support for every major platform on every major screen type.
That means developers using RAD Studio XE3 can deploy their applications onto mobile devices, Mac laptops with Retina Displays, Windows 8, Android, iOS, and other platforms, all from the same codebase.
John Thomas, director of product management at Embarcadero, said that this new release of RAD Studio XE3 includes many of the classic Embarcadero tools—such as C++Builder and Delphi—and has been augmented with the new HTML5 Builder and a new version of FireMonkey, the company's cross-platform development framework.
“Basically, what we're building in both of these solutions is trying to address standard development challenges out there. Developers have to support so many operating systems now. It's no longer just a Windows world. The growth of Mac and the amazing growth of mobile mean any application developer has to support iOS and Android these days,” said Thomas.
The problem, he said, is that all of these platforms use their own specific development tools and environments. “If you want to go native, everyone has their own APIs and IDEs,” he said. “Mobile introduces a bunch of new challenges with form factor. How am I really going to be dealing with this? It is very costly to learn new APIs and languages.”
To that end, RAD Studio XE3 supports development in numerous languages, thanks to the inclusion of C++Builder, Delphi and HTML5 Builder. Embarcadero also includes its embeddable database, InterBase, with the package. “Because of the way we help developers in terms of developer methodologies and frameworks, we're really helping them multiply their productivity,” said Thomas. “You're replicating your development team without adding more developers because they can do more in less time.”
In addition to all of the tools writing code, he said that RAD Studio XE3 includes the new cross-platform application development FireMonkey FM2 framework. This framework includes hooks for many common assets available on the client-side hardware, such as video and audio, cameras, sensors, and even for screen readers.
FireMonkey FM2 also includes support for the newest displays from Apple, which are so high-resolution they require special care from developers. “Apple introduced new hardware: the Retina Display,” said Thomas. “Developers have to manage more assets and deal with building multiple binaries. FireMonkey knows what display it's on and will build the proper version. These applications are also Mac App Store-compatible.”
RAD Studio XE3 is available now. Prices range from US$1,399 to $4,299 for the professional versions, with the various pieces of the package available separately. C++Builder, Delphi and HTML5 Builder can also be purchased separately.
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