Beyond RAD Studio Pro: Why Developers Choose Enterprise and Architect

by Sep 18, 2018

RAD Studio, Delphi, and C++Builder come in 3 different editions: Professional, Enterprise and Architect. Until recently we also sold some of the Enterprise features as addons for the Professional version, but that has recently been discontinued. At the same time, we’ve also added additional capabilities to these editions.

This is why I felt it is worth taking a moment to recap what’s the focus of each edition, who they are aimed to, and what they offer in terms of features.

Professional Edition: Client Side Focus

The Profession version of RAD studio or of the single language products (Delphi and C++Builder) is the entry level product, focused on building great native client applications for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Including both the Windows-focused VCL and the multi-device FireMonkey UI libraries, the goal of professional edition is building great applications on all platforms — which is new as Professional edition didn’t include mobile support until earlier this year. 

As an addition to the RTL and UI support, the Professional edition also includes a feature-limited version of FireDAC, our universal database access library. In Professional FireDAC is limited to access in-memory tables (MemTable) and their local storage, embedded databases (like IBLite and SQLite) and local non-enterprise databases (like InterBase and MySQL running on the same computer of the client application).

As you can see, we could have called the Professional edition something like the “Client Developer Edition”, as that is the focus. By contrast, what is now called Enterprise edition was originally the “Client/Server Edition”, but that would be a misnomer today given the focus on multi-tier development.

Enterprise Edition: Client/Server and Multi-Tier

We see more enterprise-systems developers choosing the Enterprise edition because of this offers the full power FireDAC and the complete version of this library. The FireDAC support in the Enterprise edition, in fact, includes the drivers for all other enterprise grade databases (like Oracle and SQL Server, among many others), access to any remote database, and MongoDB native access. In other words, the Enterprise edition includes all FireDAC drivers and even their complete source code.

Another focus area for the Enterprise edition is multi-tier development, with full support for the “legacy” DataSnap architecture (with its DCOM, TCP/IP, and HTTP layers) and for the new modern, HTTP and JSON-based, RAD Server technology. Not only does Enterprise have complete support for RAD Server, but it also comes with a license to deploy the RAD Server engine on one server installation (single-site deployment license).

The Enterprise edition of RAD Studio also includes much more complete support for other less prominent but still relevant features:

  • UML support includes Sequence and Collaboration diagrams and many more features compared to the Professional edition
  • Unlimited Audits and metrics (The Professional edition has a cap on the returned list size)
  • Complete database support for the legacy dbExpress database access library and drivers for all enterprise-grade databases. 
  • Additional XML-related features including XML Transformation Tools and Native Object Pascal and C++ XML bindings.
  • IntraWeb standard edition (a third party web development tool bundled with RAD Studio) with unlimited concurrent sessions.

In summary the focus of the Enterprise edition is building larger architectures, with enterprise grade databases access and multi tier support… along with other features aimed to larger organizations. But even a small shop and an individual developer can benefit from such features: Have you considered how could the added Enterprise capabilities benefit your development projects?

Architect Edition: Bundling Additional Tools for Developers

In terms of core product, the Architect edition is identical to the Enterprise one. In fact when you install RAD Studio Architect you are in fact installing RAD Studio Enterprise. So what additional value are you getting for the higher price point?

The Architect edition is a bundle of additional licences and software products:

  • The RAD Server multi-site licences, meaning you can deploy your RAD Server solutions on unlimited servers and locations (this is a recent addition, as of August 2018)
  • DB PowerStudio Developer Edition, including Rapid SQL, DB Optimizer and DB Change Manager
  • ER/Studio Developer Edition, a database modeling and design tool for better understanding database structures

Notice that as announced in the recent September Embarcadero General Manager Update the content of the Architect bundle is going to change, given these days Idera, Inc (Embarcadero’s parent company) has several new software products in its portfolio which are interesting for developers. If you purchase the current Architect edition, you will be current on Update Subscription and once 10.3 is released. In this case you will have access to the new tools released with 10.3, the following are currently planned*:

*Note: Content of future bundles is not committed until released.