Embarcadero pre-announces AppMethod cross-platform development tool: Delphi repackaged?

Embarcadero is spilling the beans on a new development tool called AppMethod, which has its own site here and a little more information on TechCrunch. A fuller reveal is promised at SXSW, which kicks off on March 7 in Austin, Texas.

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But what is AppMethod? The IDE looks very like Delphi, the languages are Object Pascal (like Dephi) or C++ (like C++ Builder), and target platforms include Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. It would be extraordinary if the GUI framework were not some variant of FireMonkey, the cross-platform and mobile framework in Delphi.

Just Delphi (and C++ Builder, which is Delphi for C++) repackaged then? In a comment Embarcadero developer evangelist David Intersimone says that is “way off base” though the only firm fact he offers is that AppMethod is less capable than Delphi for Windows, which presumably means that Delphi’s VCL (Visual Component Library) framework for Windows applications is not included.

Lack of a feature is not a compelling reason to buy AppMethod rather than Delphi so Object Pascal enthusiasts must hope there is more good stuff to be revealed.

I looked out for the Embarcadero stand at Mobile World Congress (MWC), which was a small affair tucked away in the corner of one of the vast halls.

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The stand was hardly bustling and was overshadowed by a larger stand next to it for another app building tool, AppMachine. While I would not read much into the size of a stand at MWC, that accords with my general sense that while the recently added cross-platform and mobile capabilities in Delphi have won some take-up, it is a small player overall. Embarcadero may feel that a new name and a bit of distance between FireMonkey/Delphi and the original Windows-only tool will help to attract new developers.

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3 comments to Embarcadero pre-announces AppMethod cross-platform development tool: Delphi repackaged?

  • Quite interesting and I think there is perhaps a gap for a cross platform tool which is UI focused. There are plenty of cross platform tools that are game centric which have poor UI support; moai, corona sdk, gideros, monkey, cocos2d, etc. etc.

    I guess it will come down to price, using HTML5 APIs + phonegap gives you UI controls and most native phone functions for free.

    Still as a long time Delphi dev I will watch with interest…

    Gary

  • Alexandre Jacquot

    I think also that the business model is very interesting for the customers (it is a monthly fee). I am using Delphi (and a little bit c++builder) at work and can be really productive with this development tools. Nevertheless most of the stuff I am dealing with, are Windows based, and I use a lot COM technology so Appmethod is not really for me.

    If I was a student, I would rather go to a starter edition of c++ builder or Delphi (Delphi is much easier to use but sometime you need C++). It is does not cost a lot on the long run but you can already do a lot with it. They have a good windows support. Delphi and c++ are very good general purpose programming language, like Java. It means that you can (almost) do every thing that he platform offer and not a subset like pure scripting language like Python (which is extremely simple to learn and for special task extremely powerful as well). In fact Delphi are much more like Java but it does not play in the sand box. The advantage to not play in the sand box, is that you can used shared library for example very easily with c++ builder and to some extend with Delphi. Java native interface is rather difficult to learn (for that you will need a good old book!).

    I am still experimenting with Firemonkey framework for the UI and I have to say that it is much more powerful than the previous visual component library (VCL) Since Xe4 Firemonkey is quite usable for production as well. For young programmer I think it is much easier than QT, swing Awt (…) and much more powerful than the VCL which is not usable for mobile application.

    For server side application Java is actually a better option than Delphi is, probably better than c# on linux server as well. But things are changing quickly. In the Delphi/c++ builderroadmap 2014, it is announced that there will be soon support for linux server (datasnap for linux server). If there were a good linux server-side support, then I would definitely learn Delphi again if I was a young programmer. Until now Embarcadero did deliver so I am very confident indeed.

  • So pricing is announced, $299 per dev per year seems a little steep but then I guess compares with xamarin. Have to say longer term if you’re a previous delphi dev and can get upgrade pricing then you can get delphi xe5 pro + mobile pack for about £600.

    Can’t help but feeling that embecadero just do not do enough to entice people to use their tools and many delphi devs found better cheaper alternatives some time ago.