No more Delphi for .NET: Prism removed from RAD Studio XE4

Embarcadero is removing Prism from the next version of RAD Studio, XE4, expected later this month.

Prism is actually a third-party product, based on RemObjects Oxygene. Prism and Oxygene let you code in Delphi and compile to .NET or Mono.

Marc Hoffman from RemObjects explains the change here:

Starting with the upcoming release of XE4, Embarcadero Prism will no longer be part of the RAD Studio SKU, and there will be no “XE4″ branded edition of Prism.

But worry not. As you all know, Prism has been nothing more than a re-branded version of our Oxygene for .NET product — and Oxygene will keep going on, stronger than ever.

In fact, Oxygene has long outgrown its Prism-branded edition, first when we introduced full native support for Java and Android to the language over 18 months ago, and of course with our upcoming support for truly native iOS and Mac apps, shipping next month.

The disappearance of Prism is the final chapter in the story of Delphi for .NET. Borland’s Delphi was first released in 1995, and combined a visual interface builder superficially similar to Visual Basic with a native code compiler, enabling full access to the Windows API  as well as better performance than Microsoft’s VB.

Delphi built up a strong following, but in 2002 when Microsoft brought out the .NET Framework Borland worried that Delphi would be left behind. In 2002 it brought out CSharpBuilder, an IDE for C# targeting the .NET Framework, and in 2003 Delphi 8 which also targeted .NET.

Other .NET versions followed, but whereas native code Delphi was a compelling alternative to runtime-based platforms like VB and .NET, the .NET versions of Delphi were less distinctive. Developers coding for .NET preferred Microsoft’s Visual Studio, while Delphi developers preferred to stick with native code.

When Embarcadero acquired the Delphi tools from Borland in 2008, it dropped .NET support from Delphi itself and replaced it with Prism.

I doubt that the disappearance of Prism will cause much consternation. Prism developers will simply switch to Oxygene instead.