April 28, 2012

White Paper: Integrating FireMonkey Into Your Existing VCL, C# and C++ Applications

If you're a Windows software developer using Visual Studio or a programmer who has been using VCL in Delphi and C++Builder and you're interested in incorporating functionality from the new FireMonkey application platform into your applications, there's a great new white paper available.

Integrating FireMonkey Into Your Existing VCL, C# and C++ Applications
by Stephen Ball

Download the white paper Integrating FireMonkey Into Your Existing VCL, C# and C++ Applications

FireMonkey is the first native CPU and GPU powered platform for rich business applications.

In this paper, we will look at what is required to create a shared library with FireMonkey in RAD Studio that can be used across multiple platforms, specifically with Windows and Mac OS X. We will look at using the new library in Delphi FireMonkey and VCL applications and also with C#.

We will cover using the shared library for containing business logic that is shared across applications using examples. The first will be a simple library with no visual elements. The second will use FireMonkey forms within the library and illustrate the differences this causes due to GDI+. Finally, we also look at what is required to call the second example from a C# application.

The techniques used in this paper are relevant and applicable for developers using C++Builder to write visual (using FireMonkey) and non-visual code.

April 25, 2012

AppWave for Delphi and other commercial apps

In my previous blog post, I mentioned the new AppWave Store and why I like it. One of the questions that came up was what about AppWave for Delphi, RAD Studio, C++Builder or other commercial software beyond the free apps in the store? Here's the answer.

How to use AppWave for Embarcadero tools, other commercial apps, and your own company apps
You can get all the benefits of AppWave for the Embarcadero tools that you use and for other commercial apps that you may be using with what I call the "AppWave enterprise server". That's not the official name of it but that's how I think of it. You install the server software within your company and you can manage the licenses and software distribution for:

  • Embarcadero tools you might be using including Delphi, C++Builder, InterBase, ER/Studio, and DB PowerStudio
  • Other commercial apps from Adobe, Microsoft, Red Gate, Quest and others
  • Your company's own internal software applications and intranet links

Your first step is to download and install the AppWave server. It's free and it's easy to set up. Then you get all of the free apps that are available in the store plus the ability to manage commercial/paid software.

How to get Embarcadero developer and database tools for your company's AppWave server
You have two choices here depending on if you just want certain products a la carte or if you want licenses for everything for the most flexibility. You can:

  1. Buy AppWave enabled individual Embarcadero product licenses. When you go to purchase a tool like Delphi, you have two choices. You can purchase named user ESD licenses where you get a software download and serial number, or you can purchase AppWave licenses where the licenses and software management are done through AppWave. With AppWave you can also choose named user or concurrent user options. The AppWave licenses aren't available through the Embarcadero online store so you should contact an Embarcadero sales rep or partner to purchase them
  2. Buy Embarcadero All-Access licenses. With All-Access you purchase licenses that are good for a wide range of Embarcadero developer and database tools (similar to MSDN in the Microsoft world).  This is the best way to make sure everyone has access to whatever tools they need, whenever they need them. New user All-Access licenses are available via the Embarcadero online store but if you already own any Embarcadero tools, you're better off contacting sales or a partner to get the upgrade price on All-Access

How to make other commercial apps available via your company's AppWave server
AppWave offers support for many of the commercial applications that your company may already be using from companies like Adobe, Red Gate, and Microsoft. The cool thing about using AppWave to manage those apps is you don't have to purchase new licenses for your other software to use it with AppWave.

AppWave works with the software you already have and the licenses you have already purchased. You just pay a small fee to manage those licenses and distribute the software via AppWave so your users can have the easy AppWave experience and you can better track and manage the licenses that you own.

You can see the list of supported commercial apps here. And you can contact and Embarcadero rep to get pricing on making those apps available to your users via AppWave.

Making your company's internal apps more easily available to your staff with AppWave
You can also make your company's internal applications available via AppWave with something called AppWave Studio. This is the same technology used to create all of the apps in the AppWave Store. When you create AppWave app versions of your internal apps, your staff gets easy access to them via the AppWave browser so they can always find and use the latest version without any install hassles.

There are also other administrator functions that help manage the licenses, manage what software is available to users, and see reports on usage.

So as you can see, AppWave is a lot more than just a store full of free apps. You can discover more of the things you can do with AppWave on the AppWave web site.

Here's the AppWave browser on my computer, showing some of the 
Embarcadero tools available via my Embarcadero All-Access license

April 24, 2012

The Embarcadero AppWave Store is here with hundreds of free apps

Today Embarcadero is announcing the new AppWave Store with more than 800 popular free software apps.

You can get to the new AppWave Store in two ways:
http://www.appwavestore.com or http://www.windowsapps.com.

There's more information about the store and some background in these two press releases.

Why do I like the AppWave store?

Well for some people, I'm sure the reason is that it makes it easy to download and play Angry Birds in Space. But I really like it for some other reasons.

1) Installing apps on my computer is as easy as installing apps on my iPad my Android phone 
I really like the install experience for applications that I get through the AppWave store. Instead of having to go through a multi-step download process and clicking through five screens in an install wizard, I just click the icon in the AppWave store and the app gets installed on my computer. Of course the first time you also have to install the free AppWave Broswer, but that's just a one time thing.

2) It keeps my computer clean
I always have issues with my computers over time as I install and uninstall a lot of software. When I bought my netbook computer last year, I decided that I was only going to have a web browser on it and very minimal other software that I absolutely needed. It's always a struggle to keep myself from installing different software that I come across because I have my rule to keep that computer clean. With AppWave, I don't have to worry. The apps I choose to install are all managed by AppWave and don't add files all over my computer and registry. I feel confident that installing additional apps via the AppWave Store won't affect the performance of my computer.

3) It's convenient
The other day when I was trying to map the new RAD Studio $99 Promo SKUs in Code Central for registered user downloads, I was having a problem with a web dialog not appearing correctly in Google Chrome. I tried again with Internet Explorer but the dialog still wasn't displaying correctly. At that point I thought maybe Firefox would work. I don't have Firefox on my computer and I could have searched for the download on the web and installed it but instead I just went to the AppWave Store, clicked the Firefox icon, and in maybe one or two minutes it was completely installed an running. I really like how easy and convenient it is to find and install via AppWave.

Check out the AppWave Store and let me know if you agree.

April 23, 2012

FireMonkey e-Learning Series Starts May 3 - Register Now!

We're going to have a new tutorial series on FireMonkey, focusing on starting FireMonkey development for new users and those who are familiar with VCL but new to FireMonkey. If you're interested, you can register at: http://embt.co/FireMonkeyGettingStarted.

Getting Started with FireMonkey e-Learning Series

New lessons each Thursday
May 3 - June 28, 2012
Delphi language version at 10:00AM PDT / 1:00PM EDT / 17:00 UTC
C++ language version at 11:00AM PDT / 2:00PM EDT / 18:00 UTC

If you’re new to FireMonkey or want to brush up on your skills, you’re invited to join Embarcadero’s David Intersimone for a new training series on Windows and Mac development with FireMonkey. Each week you can participate in a new 30 minute lesson followed by a 15 minute Q&A session where you can get answers to your questions about programming with FireMonkey.

When you register, you will receive notifications of upcoming lessons plus access to recorded versions of earlier lessons that you can view at any time.

Schedule of Lessons:
• May 3: Lesson 1 – Introduction to FireMonkey and Development Environment Setup
• May 10: Lesson 2 – Creating your First FireMonkey Desktop Application
• May 17: Lesson 3 – The Integrated Development Environment
• May 24: Lesson 4 – Programming Language Basics
• May 31: Lesson 5 – Designing a FireMonkey HD User Interface
• June 7: Lesson 6 – Connecting to Data
• June 14: Lesson 7 – Creating a FireMonkey 3D Application
• June 21: Lesson 8 – Using FireMonkey image and Animation Effects
• June 28: Lesson 9 – Building Multi-Client, Multi-Platform, Multi-Tier applications

You can also recommend this to anyone you know who might be interested in getting started with FireMonkey. They can register for the e-Learning series and download a RAD Studio trial to follow along.

April 19, 2012

Help Update 5 for Delphi XE2 and C++Builder XE2 is now available

Documentation update #5 for Delphi XE2 and C++Builder XE2 is now available.

Download Delphi and C++Builder XE2 Help Update 5 >

(Available to registered users of Delphi XE2, C++Builder XE2, RAD Studio XE2 and Embarcadero All-Access)

Help Update 5 contains the following major additions:

  • Over 1,200 pages of new content have been added to the Libraries wiki. Most of the new content is for the FireMonkey Application Platform (that is, the FMX unit scope).
  • The new FireMonkey Quick Start Guide has been added to the docwiki:
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Introduction
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Set Up Your Development Environment
      • Installing Paserver
      • Installing FireMonkey-iOS Tools on Mac
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Tutorials - My First FireMonkey Application
      • Creating Your First FireMonkey Application for Desktop Platforms (Delphi)
      • Creating Your First FireMonkey Application for Desktop Platforms (C++)
      • Creating a FireMonkey iOS Application
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - The Integrated Development Environment (IDE)
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Delphi and C++ Programming Languages
      • Customizing the Design of a FireMonkey Application
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Connecting to Data
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Creating a 3D Application
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - Using Image and Animation Effects
      • Using FireMonkey Image Effects
      • Using FireMonkey Animation Effects
    • FireMonkey Quick Start Guide - How to Find Additional Information
General bug fixing also continues throughout the help

Learn more about Help Update 5 for Delphi XE2, C++Builder XE2 and RAD Studio XE2 in the Help Update 5 readme.

April 13, 2012

Get RAD Studio XE2 for $99 Special

Embarcadero has a new special offer where you can get RAD Studio XE2 at a big discount if you buy or own Delphi XE2 or C++Builder XE2.

Learn more about the offer here:
Get RAD Studio XE2 for $99* if you buy or own Delphi XE2 or C++Builder XE2

If you already have Delphi  XE2 or C++Builder XE2, this is a great opportunity to add an additional programming language option (C++ or Delphi) for Windows and Mac development with FireMonkey, plus Embarcadero Prism for .NET and RadPHP for web and mobile development at a great price.

If you don't have XE2 yet, this offer is the best deal for getting RAD Studio, when you buy the combination of Delphi or C++Builder plus the corresponding RAD Studio special upgrade.

*$99 US or similarly discounted international price (€99, £69, $129 Australia, ¥15000 JPY )

April 9, 2012

Free Delphi Developer Days evening events in Chicago and DC

If you're in the Chicago or Baltimore/DC areas, you're invited to one of our free evening events being held after Delphi Developer Days in those cities.

2012 U.S. Delphi Developer Days - Special Evening Events

Washington DC/Baltimore
April 16, 2012 @ 6:30-8:30 PM
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, BWI Airport West

April 19, 2012 @ 6:30-8:30 PM
Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Arlington Heights (O'Hare Airport)

You are invited to attend a FREE evening event open to the community! Join Embarcadero for this free evening event with pizza and drinks and learn about RAD Studio XE2. You can attend the evening event even if you aren’t attending Delphi Developer Days.

Register for one of the free evening events

About Delphi Developer Days

Delphi experts Marco Cantù and Cary Jensen present their annual Delphi Developer Days tour. This six-city tour visits four cities in Europe and the UK, and two cities in the US.

Delphi Developer Days are two-day live Delphi events that provide you with the latest information on Delphi as well as practical techniques to help you improve your Delphi development skills. Each event includes both joint sessions, presented by Marco and Cary together, as well as simultaneous tracks, where Cary and Marco break out into separate rooms to present individual sessions. There is also an Embarcadero Technologies Keynote, and an additional guest speaker presentation by Jim McKeeth, RemObjects Software, in Washington DC/Baltimore and Ray Konopka, Raize Software, in Chicago.

April 4, 2012

Don't forget your free products and offers

Redeem your BOGO free tool now - If you purchased a qualifying Delphi, C++Builder, RadPHP or RAD Studio XE2 product between January 16 and March 31, 2012, don't forget to  get your free additional product with the BOGO offer. Go to http://www.embarcadero.com/bogo-redeem to get your free tool.

Install and register your upgrade now if you upgraded from v2007 or earlier - If you purchased Delphi, C++Builder or RAD Studio XE2 as an upgrade from version 2007 or earlier under the special upgrade program for older version users, be sure to install and register your new XE2 product by April 13th. Upgrades are now only available for purchase by 2009 and later users so if you purchased under the earlier rules, you must install and register your upgrade by that deadline to avoid the new restrictions.

Free items for XE2 registered users
As a Delphi XE2 registered user, you’re eligible for some great, free benefits including an opportunity to take the Delphi Developer Certification test, free additional software, and free earlier versions of Delphi.

1. Free Delphi Developer Certification Test for XE2 registered users
As a Delphi XE2 registered user, you can take the Delphi Developer Certification Test free of charge. Become a Certified Delphi Developer to distinguish yourself and demonstrate to an employer or a potential customer that you have what it takes to get the job done. Visit the certification web page to download a free study guide and get a promo code to take the test for free.

Get your free Delphi Developer Certification Test code
More on the Delphi Developer Certification program

2. Free FastCube Embarcadero Edition for XE2 registered users
FastCube is a tool for effective data analysis. FastCube enables you to analyze data and to build summary tables (data cutoffs) as well as to create various reports and graphs easily and instantly. It's a handy tool for efficient analytical data arrays handling.

Get your free FastCube Embarcadero Edition download

3. Free Delphi Earlier Versions for XE2 registered users
Need an earlier version of Delphi? Your XE2 purchase gives you free access to earlier versions Delphi XE, 2010, 2009, 2007 and 7.

Get your free Delphi earlier version downloads

4. Free InterBase Developer Edition for XE2 registered users
InterBase XE offers database application developers a high performance, scalable database technology essential to run business critical applications. Download your free, non-expiring edition for development purposes. There's a free serial number included in the Delphi XE2 readme file but you also get a serial number emailed automatically when you download.

Get your free InterBase Developer Edition download
Note that there are choices for Japanese and English, and 32-bit and 64-bit so be sure to select the correct downloads that you need.

April 2, 2012

Australian Tax Office can use FireMonkey to deliver Windows and Mac versions of their e-tax application

Here's a nice example of a Delphi customer having the opportunity to reach more users by creating both Windows and Mac versions of their application with Delphi XE2 and FireMonkey.

ATO considers e-tax for Mac OS X
The ATO's e-tax application currently only supports Microsoft Windows, leaving Linux and OS X users out in the cold. The ATO's official advice has been that it does not support those platforms, even though more users are using e-tax than ever. Those wanting to run the application on their systems could run it using virtualisation or emulation software, with any necessary purchase of software for that purpose being tax deductible.

 However, change was in the wind when a new version of the the Delphi platform, which e-tax is developed on, was released in September last year. This version, Delphi XE2, continues to support the development of applications for Windows, but it also provides support for OS X and iOS.

Read the full article at ZDNet Australia
Learn more about Delphi XE2 and FireMonkey