Today Embarcadero Technologies released Delphi 2010 (along with C++Builder 2010, Delphi Prism 2010, and RAD Studio 2010). You can see the formal announcement in the Delphi 2010 press release. The product is already available!
Beside the videos on the www.embarcadero.com/rad-studio-2010 site, you can get detailed information including the Data Sheet (PDF), the Delphi Frequently Asked Questions, the Features Matrix, a What's New in 2010, and Licensing on the updated product home page at www.embarcadero.com/delphi.
Officially, the four new/improved areas of the product are:
- Touch and gesture support
- Extended database connectivity
- Improved developer productivity
- Language and compiler enhancements
Notice that a 30-days trial version is available at downloads.embarcadero.com/free/delphi. Notice also that prices are very similar to those of Delphi 2009 and taht Embarcadero has extended the BOGO offer (Buy One, Get One free).
What's my personal take on the new features of the product? There are a few I like a lot:
- New IDE features are extensible, as you can create your own extra IDE Insight entries, performing just about any action you like, and you can provide custom debugger views.
- The Extended RTTI and Attributes make dynamic applications much more powerful, as you have already started to see in a few blog posts.
- There is a lot of support for Windows 7 features. I'm playing with Direct2D more than with gestures. Also there is a new dynamic invocation mechanism for library functions making it much easier to have a single executable supporting multiple versions of Windows. Rather than manually loading DLLs and calling GetProcAddress you simply mark exported functions as dynamic.
- On the database site, my vote for best features goes to the dbExpress driver for Firebird. Also the new driver for SQL Server, which uses the client library rather than the OLEDB layer, is interesting.
- HTTP extensions for DataSnap are very cool, while I still have mixed feelings for the REST support. I'll be able to judge after working more on it.
- And many, many, and many other features that have been long awaited and cannot be considered as minor.
What about a new book on the product? A "Delphi 2010 Handbook" is coming, albeit not very soon. At this point, it is looking like a 250 page book, with lots of in-depth coverage of new features. I might also create a "book compilation", including the three handbooks on Delphi 2007, Delphi 2009, and Delphi 2010.