July 25, 2007

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News

ECO is now a property of CapableObjects, a partner of CodeGear. Plus some more Delphi-related news...

ECO is now a property of CapableObjects, a partner of CodeGear. Whether you care about ECO or not, this is a relevant news, probably the most relevant I found for the Delphi community after getting back from my two weeks in France.


A few years back, a Swedish company called BoldSoft created the Bold framework implementing the Model Driven Architecture (MDA) in Delphi. They were later bought by Borland, created the ECO framework bringing their MDA architecture to .NET, and were part of the CodeGear spinoff. Now they are becoming a separate company, CapableObjects (their web site still doesn't say a lot). From what I understand, it was critical for the success of ECO to keep a focus on .NET (while Delphi is being refocused on native development) and to integrate with Visual Studio, something very hard to do under CodeGear's umbrella. In their words "The team formed an entirely independent and separate company in order to give the ECO technology a chance to expand and to become available to a broader base of users".

You can read the Developer's Network announcement and FAQ: "CapableObjects, formerly the Borland ECO development team, have entered into an agreement with CodeGear..." In the article you can see that Jan Norden will be CapableObjects' CTO. You can also read Nick's blog post. There is also a lot in this newsgroup thread, including a clarification by Swindell that "The [ECO] IP and technology are still CodeGear's"

I was never a huge fan of MDA in general and ECO in particular, but I see it has a specific role. With CodeGear moving away from ALM and a corporate development focus (at least for Delphi), I think this move makes a lot of sense for both parts, but I have the impression that the role of ECO in Delphi (something that never took off for most Delphi developers) will be less central from now on. In short, ECO will have more chances and Delphi will remain more focused. Thumb up!

Other News



CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

 It never took off because there was no worthwhile
documentation & Borland never bothered.ECO has matured
over the years & I expect ECO IV to be a great product
CapableObjects have signed up MDA Guru Peter Morris to
do the technical documentation.He has done great
things & I am sure ECO will be really integrated with
Delphi & N Data Store.
It will be great if CG can use ECO team's expertise to
bring out a ECO for Win 32 also.
I am also sure ECO will be lapped up by VS users
Comment by VT Venkatesh on July 25, 18:17

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

Delphi more focused on what? TObject? <g>

Just give VS another advantage - that's what it 
really needs <g>

Database access was one of the Delphi gems, stay 
behind VS (that soon will deliver LINQ, that will 
appeal to a lot of ex dBase/Clipper/FoxPro 
programmers) in this regards too and I really see a 
bright future.

It looks like VS is becoming the Switzerland of 
software, because everybody is moving his money 
there... much safer than the Iraq/Afghanistan of 
software CodeGear looks alike now.

Will they hire our President as "business strategy 
expert" next year?
Comment by Tired user on July 25, 19:10

Mixed feelings about delphi and capable objects 

You can infer a lot from Jonas's replies!! they plan
to have a separate installer, builder and bug fixes
and not sync with delphi releases. The first release
will coincide with high lander release. BDS works on
Delphi/VCL/ASP where as VS works C#/WINforms/ASP to
migrate to VS, CO would take some time.

It is a wonderful technology  for the Proof of Concept
and later Implementation. We had to rely on Alois
schmidt's book for ECOIII which hopefully will change. 

Now many are emulating like Dev. Express. A
productivity increase of 60-70% increase (takes care
of mundane plumbing).

The architect version is where one can see the full
blown ECOIV. Now with Ndatastore being interfaced with
it and out of box licensing for a limited number of
Users likely to be available on highlander it would be
very attractive.

What is bothering some of us is the commitment of CG
for ECO in terms of Promotion, strategy. currently it
looks as if it wants independence from CG. 
Comment by Shankar [www.mlc.org.in] on July 25, 21:33

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

I agree... never took off due to lack of proper
documentation... I had spent months playing (fighting)
with it... and the most important is... Delphi .NET
IDE (BDS 2006) is extremely buggy (at least for me)
when used with ECO and hence after my very first ECO
project all latter ones are developed in C#...
CodeGear is dropping WinForms and C# and hence I
assume most ECO users would drop Delphi and go to VS

P.S. Delphi is the best on Win32... but .NET? no thanks.
Comment by William on July 26, 04:16

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

Just for the record, ECO is not a property of
CapableObjects. ECO still belongs to CodeGear, but we
(CapableObjects) will take care of development and
Comment by Jonas Hogstrom [CapableObjects] [] on July 26, 20:02

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

"In short, ECO will have more chances and Delphi will 
remain more focused. Thumb up!"

That is very short-sighted. Taking away features can 
never be good. Yes, they can focus. ECO will still be 
there in the product. It sure gives away the wrong 
message though. All the clients I work for do not 
think about the immediate future. They want long-term 
solutions (5 years). Win32 is not the long-term 
solution in the eyes of my customers, especially in 
the server world. .NET is as MS sells it as that. 
Leave that out of this discussion if that is correct 
or not. :-) Delphi is weaker compared to VS in that 
area right now (as VS has no Win32 that is clear of 
course). And now ECO not playing a major role anymore 
as the unique distinguishing feature with regard to 
Visual Studio, well, I think it is more "bad" 
than "good" as no customer of mine sees any sense in 
using RAD Studio compared to VS anymore with ECO 
being announced for other IDEs as well. Even though 
they do not say which IDE in the public release, I 
think you will agree that VS is a pretty safe bet.

So, summed up: I am glad ECO will still be in 
Highlander, but my concern is that a lot of clients 
will buy VS as it has other features they want as 
well and ECO - which was exclusively Delphi - might 
be available as well. So, not good for RAD Studio.
Comment by Holger Flick [http://flickdotnet.de] on July 27, 13:07

CapableObjects and Other Delphi News 

I love ECO and think this is great news! The biggest 
problem I had with ECO was first you had to sell the 
idea of MDA THEN sell .NET too! The Delphi community 
was very slow and reluctant to embrace .NET. So in my 
mind that left a great framework with a very, very 
small customer base (given the percentage of BDS vs 
VS users, then the percentage of BDS users developing 
for .NET).

Allowing ECO to grow and attract a much larger user 
base will make it appealing to a large range of 
developers, gee, there might even be some work 
available for ECO developers! :)

It must have been so frustrating for the ECO team to 
see such a slow adoption of such a great framework. 
I'm currently doing Delphi Win32 and I miss ECO so 
much. I love the times when I need to do some 
maintenance work on my ECO app :)
Comment by Dick Walker on July 31, 07:47

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