Embarcadero expands channel opportunities with RAD Studio XE7

Enterprise Mobility Services, a new back-end turnkey middleware service that hosts loadable custom API and data access modules to provide secure access from mobile and desktop apps to enterprise databases, will provide partners with new revenue from end-users.

Embarcadero MD_Designer

The FireUI Multi-Device Designer interface in Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7


San Francisco-based Embarcadero Technologies, which makes software solutions for application and database development, has released its Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7, which builds connected apps for Windows, Android, iOS, OS X, gadgets, and wearables. The XE7 release also provides a significant new revenue opportunity for channel partners by allowing them to tap into the end user revenue for the first time through Enterprise Mobility Services licensing.

Embarcadero consists of two divisions. One side, which was buttressed earlier this year by the announcement that Embarcadero entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the ERwin solution from CA Technologies, focuses on database management and architecture tools. The other side where RAD Studio fits, consists of application development tools like RAD Studio, Delphi and C++ Builder, and are aimed at developers who write code.

RAD Studio, which was acquired from Borland in 2008, has a long history of serving Windows-focused developers, and is focused on helping developers extend Windows apps to mobile devices by building with a common source code base.

“We use native code compiled languages like C++ to get the best performance possible,” said J.T. Thomas, director of developer products at Embarcadero.

“With the rise of Apple and Android, most Windows developers are challenged with supporting all three platforms,” Thomas said. “They have a real challenge on their hands and that’s what we work on to solve – providing a framework for common API across all three platforms.”

Thomas said that while the last two RAD Studio releases added more support for mobile, RAD Studio XE7 supports the next step in that evolution, adding interaction with gadgets and wearables. The key development here is the addition of support for Bluetooth, which powers many of these gadgets and devices.

“In our last release, we introduced App Tethering, which adds code to an existing application so it can be discovered and interact with other apps, and with XE7, we bring Bluetooth to the table,” Thomas said. Hundreds of gadgets and wearables are now able to connect through Bluetooth with existing Windows and mobile apps.

“We didn’t include Bluetooth with XE6 because it was hard,” Thomas said. “We waited to make sure we could make it work, while also making it easy to use for the developer.”

XE7 also adds FireUI Multi-Device Designer, which Embarcadero developed to build a shared user interface that is optimized for specific devices and form factors.

“FireUi is a collection of technologies that lets developers build a common user interface and then optimize only the small interfaces they need for each specific device,” Thomas said. “Developers now can manage 90% of their code that is common between these interfaces, and just fine-tune pieces for a particular device.” This will help them get connected apps to market faster by developing for multiple platforms and device form factors simultaneously.

Another major addition with this release is Enterprise Mobility Services (EMS), a new back-end turnkey middleware service that hosts loadable custom API and data access modules to provide secure access from mobile and desktop apps to enterprise databases.

“This provides enterprises with built in security, which gives access to user authentication and authorization and to an embedded data store that’s encrypted, and also provides analytics,” Thomas said.

EMS is based on open and standard technologies, including REST HTTP calls and JSON data formats, and provides major SQL database drivers along with a built-in encrypted, embedded, and server-side SQL data store.

EMS also provides partners with a new revenue opportunity. While Embarcadero’s developer licenses are sold through perpetual licenses, with a cost for upgrades, when EMS is actually deployed, there is a license fee for the number of users.

“EMS offers a whole new opportunity to sell licenses for back end services,” Thomas said. “Not only is it a new revenue source, but it is also based on capacity since it is based on end users. Resellers can find enterprises struggling with this challenge, solve it, and monetize it on an annual basis through a capacity user licensing model.”

Other RAD Studio XE7 enhancements include: a new Parallel Computing Library which lets developers significantly boost multi-threaded app performance on multi-core systems; Object Pascal Language enhancements; RTL enhancements; database and FireDAC enhancements; new PAServer manager; and FireMonkey enhancements.

RAD Studio XE7 is available now.