Embarcadero has released RAD Studio XE3, a major upgrade to its suite of tools for Windows, cross-platform and web development.
New in this version:
- Windows 8 compatibility
- Metropolis framework for desktop apps that have the look and feel of Windows 8 “Modern UI” (formerly Metro) apps. Live Tile support is included via a proxy Windows Runtime app.
- Prism XE3 for .NET development, including support for the Windows Runtime in Windows 8, using a Delphi-like language.
- Version 2 of the FireMonkey cross-platform framework, with improved touch support, a new grid control
- Easier data binding in both FireMonkey and the Windows-only VCL (Visual Component Library) framework
- New HTML5 Builder tool which replaces RadPHP. The new tool supports cross-platform mobile development by integrating PhoneGap, which lets you wrap HTML apps as native mobile apps.
Mac OSX support is included but iOS support has been removed, pending release of a forthcoming Mobile Studio product.
64-bit C++Builder is not in this release. 64-bit Delphi was introduced in the previous XE2 release.
Embarcadero has backed down from a proposed change to the license for the Professional edition which prohibited connection to remote databases. This restriction now only applies to the dbExpress database framework.
More when I have installed the actual release. The most eye-catching feature is Metropolis, though whether there is really a demand for a fake Modern UI framework is an open question. There are also concerns about deployment, which will not work on Windows RT (the ARM version) and may involve some hacks on x86, since it cannot go through the Windows Store.
Last year’s RAD Studio XE2 was an amazing release in terms of announced features, but plagued by quality issues which left some developers disappointed.