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Saturday
Oct032015

Developer Tools

I have used Embarcadero's RAD Studio and Delphi (formally Borland) for years now. In July, 2015 Embarcadero's sales team sold me an upgrade to the full RAD Studio Professional. Since I'm an indie developer the cost was high but I was pleased with the product. However, I made the mistake of not getting software maintenance. I have always enjoyed it's IDE and recently the company has moved to multi-platform development (Windows 10, OS X, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone). In April 2015 Embarcadero released XE8 which introduced a ton of new features such as multi-device previews, 64 bit iOS App support (Pascal and C++) which is great because Apple is not requiring all developers to submit 64-bit apps now. Creating an iOS App is actually not too difficult but it is not so easy even with it's most up-to-date version (10 Seattle), more on that later. Another cool feature is to migrate IDE settings from previous versions of the XE series. Embarcadero acquired Castalia which has been a great tool to refactor Dephi code. App Tethering is a cool new feature that allows app interactivity on your computer and share data between them. This works well over IP for all platforms that XE8 supports. Bluetooth App Tethering is supported with Windows, OS X, and Android (not iOS). 

As of Auguest 31st, 2015 (only 4 months after XE8) Embarcadero released a major new version that included a ton of new features (full review coming). Since I did not have software maintenance I could not get all of the new bells and whistles. That does not bother me as much since XE8 works fine with iOS 8.x and 9.x. The only thing I do not like about the company is it's reliance on software maintenance (which they never discount). Embarcadero will not even allow XE8 customers to Other vendors such as Microsoft will allow you to at least get service packs (bug fixes and features) for free until the next major release. In mid-September Embarcadero had a special Saturday developer event. I really enjoyed the presentations, it is great that a developer tools vendor offers Saturday sessions (a rarity). I asked sales if they had any special discounts since I just upgraded to XE8 a couple of months prior. The best they could do was 10% (the discount that they gave everyone). Most companies will give you a substantial discount within 90 days from the date of purchase when a major product is released. Embarcadero's sales response was "get Software Maintenance next time"! 

Don't get me wrong Embarcadero (formally Borland) makes awesome tools. They just don't have great customer service.

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