Sometimes the tool used to build an application really does matter—even years after it is built.
Embarcadero Technologies this week released an upgrade to its rapid application development (RAD) environment that makes it possible to upgrade a C or C++ application running on Windows XP that was developed using the company’s Visual Component Library (VCL) to run not only on Windows 7 or Windows 8, but also on Apple iOS, MacOS and even Google Android systems.
As a company that can trace its lineage back to the founding of Borland International in 1983, Embarcadero has a long history of innovation. John Thomas, director of product management for Embarcadero, says that instead of completely replacing a Windows XP application, RAD Studio XE6 allows developers to recompile that application in a way that supports the native user interface of the target platform or allows them to create a new one. Thomas notes that this new capability can be applied to Windows XP applications built by millions of developers who have used Borland or Embarcadero tools based on VCL.
Even after Microsoft pulled support for Windows XP, one of the primary reasons that many IT organizations are still running Windows XP is because they have one or more applications that won’t run on any other platform. Thomas says Embarcadero is not only making it easier to upgrade those applications to run on newer versions of Windows, but it is giving customers the option to run them on non-Windows platforms as well.
In addition, RAD Studio XE6 makes it possible to connect those applications to multiple backend as-a-service providers using Kinvey and Parse integration components. It also gives developers the ability to embed purchasing and even advertising functions within their applications.
Thomas notes that RAD Studio XE6 is also the first development environment that enables C and C++ applications to build for Google Android, including wearable computing platforms such as Google Glass. As such, Thomas notes that RAD Studio XE6 is specifically designed to give organizations much-needed flexibility when it comes to the underlying platform even years, sometimes decades, after the initial applications were built.
Obviously, the RAD Studio 6 can’t upgrade every Windows XP application. But any Windows application that was developed using VCL has suddenly gotten a new lease on life.