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January 7, 2013

Delphi Price Compared

From time to time I see comments and concerns about Delphi price. How does it compare with other offerings? It is very hard to make a fair comparison, so I'm "merely" listing prices, without too many comments.

From time to time I see comments and concerns about Delphi price. Embarcadero actually rounded up the price of the Professional version starting january 1st. For example, commenting on Tim Del Chiaro blog post with the new prices (where you can see the current prices), someone mentioned, "you cannot ask for 3,500 USD for an IDE in 2012". This someone was probably a little biased: In fact Delphi Architect includes Delphi and a version of ER/Studio, which costs almost as much as the entire bundle. 

My point is different, is Delphi more expensive than "comparable" offerings ? Of course, there are open source development environments (like Eclipse) which are free and make the comparison unfair. In most cases (and certainly in case of Eclipse) they were originally build by a company who focused on a different business (consulting for IBM, pushing the platform for Sun, spreading Android development for Google). How can we compare those projects with an IDE build and sold by a company which is into that specific business (development tools) and not a different ones (like operating systems). Honestly, this isn't easy, so I'm not trying to offer a complete comparison. I don't think one is possible or could be fair and honest.

What I'm going to contribute, in this blog post, are some actual prices of other tools I found on other vendors web sites. I'll skip our "Delphi Starter" offer and any similar entry level solutions (in which I know we could do better), and focus on professional or business development. For example, it is true that Microsoft provides "Express" versions of the tools for newcomers and non-professional users, but Visual Studio is not free .

Visual Studio Professional 2012 costs 636.00 Euros in Italy, 553.50 Euros (with a current discount) in Germany, and only 499 USD in US. (As a side note for European, notice the conversion rate!). It is true that most developer buy Visual Studio through a MSDN subscription, as on http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/hh442902.aspx. Here we can see that for a new licence we have to pay 1,263.65 Euro (and a yearly renewal of 855.41 Euro) -- might be a bit cheaper in USD. If you don't renew, you cannot keep the license and have to stop using the software.

 

As a comparion, skipping the starter edition, Delphi Professional costs 999.00 USD (for a new license) with a yearly maintenance of 300 USD, while Delphi Enterprise is at 1,999.00 USD (only for new users) and a maintenance price of 600 USD / year (which is certainly an interesting price tag within easy reach for most developers, lower than the yearly MSDN renewal and with a perpetual license if you stop renewing). Same prices in Euros (I know, I know, not the exchange rate).

 

Regarding high-end versions , the top edition of Visual Studio via MSDN, called "Visual Studio Ultimate 2012" sells for 14,237.91 Euros (with a renewal at 4,548.98 Euros / year). Given its scope and the tools in contains, it seems appropriate... but it is certainly an expensive IDE. There are other expensive tools out there, like EiffelStudio which starts at over 7,000 USD (but has dual license for open source projects). One of the strengths of Delphi is database development, and the alternatives are 4GL or database applications development tools, many of which are still popular and run by independent companies. However, in this category, it seems that no price is close to Delphi, but they are all significantly higher than Delphi Enterprise.

At the lower price end, let's consider instead what some of the new companies focused on development tools are offering these days. I picked a couple of popular ones. For example to get a full development environment and license for Sencha and Ext-JS , you need almost a thousand dollars. As of today on their web site, Sencha Architect costs 399 USD, a commercial license for Sencha Ext JS costs 595 USD (with support), and Sencha Complete is listed at 995 USD. This is what they are expecting from a professional developer.

On the mobile space many are talking about  Xamarin . If you look at https://store.xamarin.com, you'll find out that an individual or small company (with less than 5 developers) will pay 399.00 USD each license, while a bigger company is going to pay 999.00 USD for each licence. This is for each platform: if you want to target both iOS and Android, you end up paying almost twice as much (there is a 10% discount on the total). And Mac development support has the some cost as well, to be added to the total.

Again, how does Delphi price compare with other professional development tools? I think it is in the middle of the pack . Considering what it offers (IDE plus native language plus native libraries and now support for multiple operating systems) and that Embarcadero has no alternative sources of revenues, I think the price is more than fair. I know some of you will disagree, but can you please refer to "comparable" offers that are much better? Any independent vendor (possibly not loosing money) offering a great deal? Suggesting to make Delphi open source is not a viable business solution, you know...

As an aside, would you consider a yearly subscription (like MSDN) compared to a perpetual license? Or would you prefer the current combination of license plus maintenance? Or some other model (and if you can reference to specific vendors, that will help)?





 

61 Comments

Delphi Price Compared 

AFAIK all the other IDEs you cited also include support 
and maintenance releases for several versions of the 
IDE, not just the current one, and bugs are fixed in 
current versions as well.

Being forced to migrate to a new version (which bears 
its own internal costs) to get fixes, which also means 
being faced with brand new bugs, raises the TCO for 
Delphi, which lowers the value compared to the 
alternatives you cited.
Comment by Eric [http://delphitools.info/] on January 10, 15:11

Delphi Price Compared 

Oooh, these comments ought to be fun to watch.

Good post, Marco.  Facts are funny things, eh?  ;-)
Comment by Nick Hodges [http://www.nickhodges.com] on January 10, 15:17

Delphi Price Compared 

 The problem with Delphi pricing is Borland bumped it up to corporate 
level. Corporates on the whole tend to be conservative and stick with 
what they consider safe and mainstream, i.e. Visual Studio.

The current pricing is now firmly in "business case" territory. I would say 
if it were priced more reasonably, you are likely to sell more!

As for the subscription model, I think that would work, in fact that is 
what I do at the moment!
Comment by Dave Craggs [http://www.officecraft.net] on January 10, 16:45

Delphi Price Compared 

For subscription options, the devil is in the details.

Any subscription that prevents me from using the
software after the subscription expires is out of the
question.  No one suggested that, but I'm just saying...

The current SA is great, especially over time, but had
one barrier to entry.  When you get the subscription,
you had to purchase the upgrade as well as the SA
subscription price up front, paying just the SA
renewal price in subsequent years.  Is this still the
case?
Comment by Bruce McGee on January 10, 16:47

Delphi Price Compared 

 I'd really like to see more frequent updates (e.g. 
monthly). Get that sorted and the whole annual upgrade 
cycle goes away, new features are added as soon as they 
are finished and bugs get fixed quickly.

Then you can more easily justify a subscription model.

And the other thing that would be needed for that 
approach is the ability to 'slip-stream' an upgrade 
rather than the current uninstall/reinstall of recent 
updates which currently wastes hours for each update.
Comment by Mike Sutton [http://monkestyler.com] on January 10, 17:07

Delphi Price Compared 

Nice comparison Marco. My problem is not so much price 
as it is the license change over the years. I've owned 
every version Borland/Inprise/CodeGear/Embarcadero 
have produced since the original Turbo Pascal. Back 
then it was developer friendly in both price and 
license. Treat it like a book, put it on as many 
machines as you need as long as you only use one at a 
time. Now I'm paying upwards of $2000 USD per year for 
Gold All-Access and can only use it on one machine. If 
that machine crashes or I get a new machine it takes a 
couple of tries with support to get it reinstalled. 
This is what I would like to see changed. Your going 
to lose revenue as those that want to use it outside 
of license are already doing it. Make it easier on 
those of that have been supporters since day 1.

Congrats on the new position but DDD will not be the 
same without you up there with Cary.

Jay 
Comment by Jay Falck on January 10, 17:15

Delphi Price Compared 

 I think Delphi pricing is quite fair.
Comment by ObjectMethodology.com [http://www.objectmethodology.com] on January 10, 17:52

Delphi Price Compared 

 good post marco! 

While its great to compare the prices of dev idees, I think its greater 
to see growth in no of new licenses sold. What will be interesting to 
see is the strategy for mass adoption of the product. That way emb 
will be able to lower the price while increasing its profits.
Comment by Nirav Kaku [http://indug.co.in/blog] on January 10, 18:04

Delphi Price Compared 

On the other hand, one can get Visual Studio Express
for free, and build commercial products with it.

Also, consider that not everybody needs or wants the
enterprise edition of Delphi.  I do no database work
with Delphi's db components.  None.  I'm hardly a
hobbyist - I do some heavy duty graphics coding.  I
just don't need the database components, nor 75% of
whats shipped with Delphi.  Delphi has dismal support
for graphics api's, so most of what I use is 3rd party
or home developed.  So why would I want to pay for
features and functionality I just don't want?  My only
other option would be a hobbyist version with a
crippled license.  

So, when you say Delphi is not too expensive, what you
really need to be saying is its not too expensive for
*your* particular set of needs.  For mine, Delphi is
overpriced.

If Embarcadero was progressive in their thinking,
they'd have an inexpensive base IDE and sell component
sets ala carte.  That would make the IDE more
accessible to people, and shift the cost of the
various components (databases, touch, etc) onto the
people who actually use them, so others don't
subsidize them. It'd also let them break the necessity
of yearly releases (and improve quality), as such a
system would provide a year-round revenue stream.
Comment by JerseyGuy on January 10, 18:27

To MSDN or not to MSDN 

The comparison to Visual Studio with MSDN really isn't fair, though.

You are inflating the "Visual Studio" price by including MSDN, but neglect to point 
out that (a) Visual Studio does not require MSDN; MSDN adds additional value, 
such as access to Windows versions, Office, and other Microsoft products and that 
(b) MSDN provides equal value to and is just as necessary (or unnecessary) as part 
of a Delphi developers tool chest as it is to that of a VS developer.

In other word: if your argument is "a Windows developer also needs MSDN", then 
that cost applies to Delphi developers too. If on the other hand you are arguing 
that a a Delphi developer does not need MSDN, then you cannot count MSDN as 
part of the cost for a Visual Studio seat.

However you look at it, Visual Studio Professional is $499 US, Delphi Professional 
is $999 US. If anything, if you add MSDN to the mix, the relative price of Visual 
Studio+MSDN compared to Delphi+MSDN actually goes down.

Of course you cherry-picked your "independent" tool vendors, as well. JetBrains 
IntelliJ, for example, sells for $499 (and has a free community edition).
Comment by marc on January 10, 18:36

Delphi Price Compared 

 Yes, I agree with Nick.. Comments are going to be fun.
Anyway, I beleive that there should be a free version for students.
I know there is an academic license, but its too steep for many 
Danish students and schools.
The Pro, Enterprise, Architect, Ultimate prices... Well, its a lot of 
money, but its my toolbox.. I run a Company using the tools.
It pays of very nicely. The work and effort that EMBT put into the 
product is huge, so naturally it will have to cost.
As far as I'm concerned the price is fair.
I dont get the whole architect / ultimate version though.. 
The academic pricing I'll discuss with you next time we meet.
Keep up the good work, maintanence plan works fine with me.
Regards
Comment by Jens Fudge on January 10, 19:06

Delphi Price Compared 

I think there should be special prices based on company 
number of employees or company size. In my country, 
Delphi is used by lots of freelancers or "single guy  
companies". For those, actual Delphi prices may be a bit 
expensive and lowering it would be good.

Also, major problem now is that when you get a new 
Delphi version, you need to upgrade all third party 
components to get compatibility, usually meaning lots of 
money being spent. I consider almost impossible to 
upgrade to every new version now, with the actual yearly 
releases schedule :(
Comment by Carlos [] on January 10, 19:10

Delphi Price Compared 

Free is here to attract people. Freemium (VS) is about
subsidizing too.

One thought. Shipping more at the same price is not
the same as shipping the same at a lower price but
adopted to changes in the environment (maintenance
contract) SA combines both.

In the end the discussion is about innovation.
Innovation according to Schumpeter is the entrepreneur
that invents something new, appears on the market
quick in order to grow a monopoly. The term nowadays -
breaking the existing and shipping something more
punky with more features, additional content ...
(planned obsolescence - big vendor's game in order to
feed their Eco-systems similar to breaking parts of
the car in order to keep the service infrastructure
alive).

What innovation are you willing to pay for. Indeed in
the early days of Delphi (Windows), early days of the
PC (Turbo Pascal) there was a clear focus on the
traditional innovation. Since most of us are humans
you will find many people expecting these 3 kinds of
innovation
a) traditional maintenance contract (those who stay on
D7 for example but would like to have Unicode and 64
bit) back ported at USD 100 a year.
b) those who want EMB to act as a startup and ship the
hot stuff soon - in this case you don't get something
that works. Just normal. In the 90s something similar
was calls MS ships crap. Today things are more stable
when they appear on the market because those thing
survive the hard times of the early days 
c) those who want to have both combined but stable
maybe little later (late adopter)

It's no surprise that you will find all of those
demands after 18 years. The issue is combining a) and
b) into one SKU, if there is an issue.

In the context of Delphi more b) than c) is covered by
Oxygene. That's why I said, the Delphi some people
expect they will find at RO. Sometimes also at RO you
have those who are happy with the have c), sometimes
they don't see the value in b). Some who maybe think,
'RO please stop boot-strapping' (said little
empurpled/bloomy)

One thing I can say for sure. IDLE has shown one
thing. Give a developer something simple and they love
it. Today we talk about the content created only. In
general no one is interested in a developer's
convenience a lot less willing to pay for.

VS is expensive indeed. Both VS and Delphi are
expensive. Many people still use VS 2008. The higher
priced SKUs offered by MS pay only if you expect a
huge business on the MS stack especially Azure. I
doubt this approach is beneficial, the investment in
proprietary infrastructure tools never turned out to
be a good investment on a long term. The way into the
big vendor cycle - replace a commercial solution with
another. If you prefer commercial stay with old if the
path is a viable one or go open source. Per seat/per
year 400 to 800 EUR is a maximum I think.

If Delphi is a tool that should be sold to someone who
can afford Eiffel ... then most of us will drop out at
the end.
Comment by Michael on January 10, 20:15

Delphi Price Compared 

 Where did you find that you have to stop using Visual 
Studio if you don't renew the MSDN subscription?

As I have understood it you buy VS with MSDN as a 
separate item.
And after the subscription expires you don't have access 
to the MSDN download site but you are still entitled to 
use VS for as long as you wish.

For comparison the prices here in Sweden are:
VS2012 Professional with MSDN  11,999 SEK

RAD Studio XE3 Professional  12,310 SEK

(both excluding VAT)
Comment by PeterS on January 10, 20:26

Delphi Price Compared 

 I'm with Eric on these point
the "lifetime" of a Delphi Version is to short
i have not a problem with SA i have a problem with no bug fixes on a 
"older" Version like now XE2.
for me it is now more or less a show stopper
Comment by Fritz on January 10, 20:39

Delphi Price Compared 

I keep saying that embarcadero can change its
bussiness stradegy, you say "embarcadero is developers
tool company" and "for US 999 embarcadero offers a lot
of stuff", ok, your right but what i see is a lot of
stuf not a lot of valueable stuff. I think that this
"supere bundle price" what i call a fake "ganga"
becouse theres a lot of things that are not working
just fine and exists better solutions. example.-
ribbon controls, iOS later no iOS, dbexpress, ibx not
for firebird, datasnap, etc. 

what if embarcadero IDE tools splits its component
tools division, then i can choose from my best suited
components, and of course you can still sell bundles ,
but with customer feedback.

i love delphi, and i like it a lot, but sincerely i
hate delphi costs, not for the money but for the value
i receive in exchange.

one last thing, the prices include a percentage of
pirate losses and is not fair, piracy can be
controlled with lower prices.

My best wishes for you and your team Marco.

Felipe
Comment by Felipe Piña on January 10, 20:41

Delphi Price Compared 

Good, fair arguments here.  I personally would never 
consider an expiring subscription model for software 
development.  A lot of times, developers end up 
supporting legacy code and can't upgrade, so having to 
pay an annual license fee until that code no longer 
needs to be maintained just seems wrong. So, kudos for 
Delphi's perpetual license!

A lot of people complain that they don't like to have 
to pay for upgrades just to get bugs fixed.  
Development tools are written by humans that make 
mistakes just like the programmers who use them to 
create software for others. Major breaking bugs are 
often discovered and fixed within a few months of a 
product release but continuing to fix everything for 
free that people label as a "bug" is cost prohibitive 
if the software vendor is to stay in business.  I have 
found that most versions of Delphi can be used for 
many years--I still use Delphi 5, 2007, and 2010 on a 
regular basis.  Sure, each version has quirks that are 
often fixed in a newer version, but it doesn't render 
the product completely unusable.

Delphi's pricing is a little higher than I'd like to 
see, but like this blog points out, it's in the middle 
of the pack, has a really good spread of features and 
platforms supported, and is a solid tool that makes me 
money.
Comment by David Cornelius [http://corneliusconcepts.com] on January 10, 21:14

Delphi Price Compared 

Marco, the MSDN price is for TWO years of full
releases of everything included in the subscription...

Have you heard about JetBrains IDEs ? 

RubyMine, for instance, costs between 28€ to 142€ per
year for an organization (same price for all
specialized IntelliJ IDEA versions, like WebStorm,
PhpStorm or PyCharm) and it is by far the best Ruby
IDE ever : integrating databases connectivity and most
interesting parts of then whole Ruby/Rails OpenSource
ecosystem)
Comment by Pierre Yager [http://levosgien.net] on January 10, 21:26

Delphi Price Compared 

 The price is probably about right but there needs to 
be a reasonable maintenance support and any upgrades 
released with a 12 month period should be included. 
I.e. I brought XE2 not long before the XE3 release 
and XE2 for all intents and purposes been abandoned - 
if this is the case then upgrades to any new version 
in a 12 month period should be included!
Comment by Paul on January 10, 22:09

Delphi Price Compared 

> How can we compare those projects with an IDE build 
and sold by a company which is into that specific 
business (development tools)

Um, just like that? Fair price is established from 
how much the product is worth, not how much it costs 
to whoever sells it. Overpriced product won't become 
less overpriced just because life is tough on its 
makers.

Valid argument would be "But Delphi's a niche market. 
If you like the language you have to support us". And 
yeah. You know, I love Delphi and I'd like to support 
it. Even by paying much more than other modern 
languages cost (i.e. $0, because almost every popular 
programming tool nowadays is free or in some way 
free). But take XE3, for instance - I have two 
options. $200 for Starter which can display 
Embarcaderro Logo and that's about it, or $1000 for a 
normal set.

I can buy a certain operating system for that price! 
Ultimate version! In fact, three copies.

Talk about comparing to a company's flagship product.

Fair price would be to distribute Starter for free 
(because it's worth purely to attract interest), and 
for Professional to cost about $200. I would buy a 
new version every year alright.
Comment by on January 10, 22:16

It's the price/feature ratio that matters, not price alone. 

The problem with Delphi (and the whole RAD studio...) 
it's not the price. It's the price/feature ratio - 
and what else you have to buy. If you're a 
professional Windows developer, you need some MSDN 
subscription even if you use Delphi - because buying 
all that Windows versions to test everything 
separately will cost you much more. You may also need 
database servers, and other software to integrate 
with.
If you need to develop Windows drivers as well, 
you'll need to buy VC++ anyway at least, because no 
version of Delphi or BC++ will allow you to write 
them.
What Embarcadero needs is to make the price/feature 
ratio decrease. I do not mind to spend "a lot" for a 
professional development tools as long as it is 
really a professional one (right features, few bugs, 
and those arising fixed ASAP), and I prefer that that 
spending less for so-so one. The former will repay 
itself faster than the latter.
I'd pay a yearly subscription, if it means real 
lifecycle support. And "lifecycle" has to be longer 
than six months. Larger applications are not develop 
in three months, and I do not really care if a new 
version is available each year if the cost of porting 
actual code is simply too high and the tool quality 
is not enough to risk it.
Comment by Luigi D. Sandon on January 10, 22:24

Delphi Price Compared 

For me, the delphi price is at the right price, but 
the delphi pricing scheme is not quite right. Delphi 
is a different language platform and must compete with 
other modern language that is more popular due to it's 
price that is mostly zero, plus having a good 
community support, loads of resource, and still have a 
good maintenance support. 
While for delphi with current pricing scheme, the 
delphi developer, don't have a good community support 
(not so popular because of it's price that make the 
community is not so big), relatively small resource 
(only resource made by embarcadero or by some 
contributor that you can count with your finger, again 
of course it caused by the pricing), and you can judge 
yourself about the maintenance support (limited 
reinstall, that need to contact support to get more, 
need to buy new license to get bug fixed,etc)
I Suggest the one like JerseyGuy suggest, sell a basic 
IDE package with reasonable price and then sell the 
component pack just like android play store or other, 
that way making delphi more accessible by hobbyist and 
will generate more new blood (this is the most 
important step, need to build new blood in order to 
make delphi is the biggest commercial product)
I'd say it is much better to be the best high priced 
commercial development tool with the biggest 
community. I think that is the goal for delphi.

With the release of the upcoming mobile studio, i 
really hope that embarcadero really use the momentum, 
i think mobile studio (with a very good stable 
realease of course) will be a hit product with current 
mobile apps trend, but embarcadero must really doing a 
good marketing or else it will fail to get the best 
momentum

Iwan
Comment by Iwan CS on January 10, 23:26

Delphi Price Compared 

As we are doing R&D with a bunch of developers in R&D,
Delphi's price makes only up a tiny fraction of R&D
cost. Delphi price does not matter to us.

However, what does matter is that hobbiests,
individual developers and ppl in countries with lower
income are able to afford Delphi, because this grows
the Object Pascal marketspace, gives more sells to
component developers (which again grows the
marketspace). And the better the Object Pascal and
Delphi market space is, the better it also is for
enterprise customers.

And it's far more important that Delphi wins over the
competition in regards of quality, stability, features
and platforms supported. It is still losing grounds in
some of these areas over the competition.

In regards of Sencha:

What you are missing here is that Sencha has a price
tag for commercial non-GPL deployment. But you can
start with full source for FREE. That grows the market
heavily. And Sencha is providing paid-for forum
support by Sencha employees using a subscription
license. You get your problems and bugs fixed by
Sencha developers!

That's why we are happy to pay Sencha.

Such a model would work VERY WELL for Delphi too.
There are people who would shell out tons of money if
Embarcadero could be bought to listen to customer
demands. The distance between the Delphi R&D team and
its customers and component developers is bigger than
it ever has been before, and a lot of partners have
been sent away simply because they did not agree.
Embarcadero still has a producer->consumer kind of
approach.
Comment by Simon Kissel [http://www.crossfpc.com] on January 11, 00:09

How about Delphi Price in China 

Hi Mr. Marco,

Thank you for the post about Delphi price.
Could you explain the Delphi price in China?
see my post here:
 https://forums.embarcadero.com/thread.jspa?
messageID=423464

You know the disadvantage of high delphi price in 
China:
1. make it hard to try Delphi as project language in 
company
2. make it hard to hire programmer which is good at 
Delphi 
3. make it hard to learn Delphi for student or 
programmer of other langusages
4. make it hard to enlarge the delphi team since each 
seat is so expensive

Now we are choosing Java and Python, you know why?
Just because there are many open source project we 
could use for our work to save time.

The Delphi value sometimes depends on the whole Delphi 
community : delphi programmers and open source 
projects.

We all hope to see Delphi's good feature and earn much 
money itself. But you have to think about the people's 
alternative chooses.

warm regards,
Bear

Comment by Bear on January 11, 01:21

Delphi Price Compared 

 I blogged about this subject matter in 2010 
(http://www.tpersistent.com/?p=180) and little has changed.  If you use 
Delphi for Client Server development, other than providing 64 bit 
binaries not a lot has changed functionally since D2, except for the price 
which is now $999 for a new XE3 license.  That's quite an increase!

I agree with other commentors that customer's perceptions of price and 
value for the money depend on what they use the product for, and that is 
why EMBT risks losing many customers by increasing the price and not 
moving to an a la carte pricing model.  If EMBT wants to know what their 
customers really want, they need to offer a la carte options and bug 
bounties.  People's priorities really become apparent when they have to 
back them up with cash.
Comment by Larry Hengen [http://www.tpersistent.com] on January 11, 03:08

Delphi Price Compared 

The biggest problem that I see is that it is priced
out of the small business (single developer) budget. 
I cannot see how I can expect it to pay for itself in
a short enough period of time.  Additionally, the
upgrade path from an older edition is near
non-existent.  How can I justify moving from Delphi 5
or 7 when I still use and love those versions dearly?
 How will the new version pay for itself?
Comment by Tom on January 11, 04:02

Delphi Price Compared 

I agree with those who mention the current lifecyle 
of current version of Delphi is too short. I barely 
get retooled to use XE2 and then XE3 is released... 
and it's been that way for many versions now.  

I'm with those who say keep up with monthly fixes or 
new add-ons that don't require complete re-
installation. The re-installtion of Delphi is not too 
bad... it's the (highly used) third-party stuff that 
takes long time.

Also, like others said... focus on making some of the 
current stuff great, not just adequate, or worse... 
flawed.

Otherwise I love Delphi and really want to use & 
support it many years into the future.

I think SA is the way to go.

I'd pay almost any price is the value AND QUALITY 
matched.
Comment by Rick on January 11, 05:24

Delphi Price Compared 

Why not compare Delphi price with the price of a "similar" product (e.g. 
Real Studio)?
 
Comment by AndreFM on January 11, 06:59

Delphi Price Compared 

How about comparing what I get for the price and not 
just the price itself? Everything else is just like 
comparing apples to oranges.

When I invest hundreds or thousands of euros into VS I 
get a rock solid product with an outstanding 
documentation. When I invest into the latest Delphi 
version I get new broken and unusable features and a 
documentation that tells me "Embarcadero Technologies 
does not currently have any additional information. 
Please help us document this topic by using the 
Discussion page!"
Comment by Stefan Glienke [http://delphisorcery.blogspot.com] on January 11, 07:33

Delphi Price Compared 

I fully agree with Eric here - the TCO is much more
important than a one-time fee.

The component eco system that Carlos mentioned surely
makes Delphi updates expensive, rasinig the TCO.
That's not Emba's fault, but simply the situtation
we're in with Delphi.

But next to external costs (that do not really affect
me, I'm mostly using open source third party code
now), the support mentioned by Eric is the key to me.
I sometimes check out new Delphi versions and see that
old bugs reported many versions ago still persist.
With no other compiler I've used over the years I had
to patch RTL and VCL myself to fix things because not
even buying new versions at a high price would bring
me a fix! Well, granted, when I test a trial and
decide against it, they offer me to buy SA to have
them fix it - when I didn't even buy the product yet.
I know a lot of companies who won't care about bugs,
but BoCoEmba is the only one that actually requests
money to fix issues even before the purchase of the
software ;)

Mell, there's one other compiler and IDE where I was
and am fixing things myself, so I was not quite true
above. Freepascal + Lazarus. A true 64 bit compiler
years earlier than Delphi, a iOS compiler that was
even used by Delphi, many other platforms. And an IDE
that is superior to Delphi. Yes, it might be lacking
one or two "modern" features compared to Delphi
Enterprise, but at the daily front, it's better now
than Delphi Pro, has better refactoring, a better text
editor... 

And when I don't fix bugs myself, I just report them,
and the reports are appreciated and cared about! 

Last year, I wrote my first non-trivial
from-the-ground-app using Lazarus 1.0 (before that, I
only ported code), about a hundred hours of work,
including databases, and it was more pleasing and
productive than working with Delphi XE.

Well, I don't want to turn this into a FPC/Lazarus vs.
Delphi debate, but it's a competitor that is worth to
be noticed, and at it's current price of zero bucks
it's more than a Delphi Starter and in my eyes equal
to Delphi Pro (plus the better support further lowers
the TCO after the acquisition).
Comment by CCRDude [http://www.ccrdude.net] on January 11, 07:59

Delphi Price Compared 

I agree with a number of the comments that you 
essentially aren't comparing like for like (as you 
recognize yourself). I won't cover that same ground...

There are points that need to be adressed about 
growing the user base for non professional 
developers, but as a professional developer I don't 
actually care about the price too much.... Why ? If 
the tool is of good enough quality it will justify 
its price through the revenue it is able to generate 
for the developer using it. I fear Delphi has been 
falling down in that area for a long time now. 

The word is "Quality" and there are so many constant 
little bugs and annoyances that make me not care 
about the latest "features" - which we in turn "know" 
won't be anything like stable for X versions. Bugs 
such as version numbering shot to pieces, midas 
issues effectivly preventing 64 bit client side 
developement. That last one - yes you have 64 bit 
compiler (which we rely on), but it's of no use on 
the client side for Midas work!

So, focus on the quality and a lot of professional 
developers will stop looking at the price tag. 
Get "Quality central" sorted out and make developers 
feel like their issues are being addressed. Do NOT 
just address the low hanging fruit so you can 
say "hey, we fixed X thousand bugs" during the next 
product launch. Not to mention short lifecycles and 
not fixing anything that is not in the current 
version....

Comment by Paul on January 11, 09:28

Delphi Price Compared 

I vote for the "lower price fewer components" edition, 
no interbase - dbx - datasnap - etc ...
A little startup/junior freelance can start using it 
with freeware additions (JVCL, Zeos, Firebird, etc..) 
and later can upgrade to a more expensive version and/or 
buy additional libraries/components (which will increase 
the market for Delphi components and indirectly also 
Embarcadero revenue).
The best would be a free edition with the limitation 
that can be used only to build freeware 
programs/components.
This will attract a lot of students and heavily needed 
new fresh blood!  I know it's just a dream but hope is 
always the last to die :)
Comment by Alesf76 [] on January 11, 10:14

It's not the price - it's the speed of development and maintenance 

Embarcadero always announces features that they never
develope and/or come much too late. 
Let's see the mobile pack. It was announced to come in
Octobre 2012. Now - in January - it's still a beta.
Nobody can tell me which iOS version will be supported
and how long I have to wait for complete support to
the next iOS version. Will I get a free update for iOS 7?

Nobody can tell me when support for Android is going
to be shipped. And what's about the supported
API-levels? The mobile market changes itself in high
speed. That's why developers need to be ensured to get
access to the newest technologies. 

What's about Win-RT? In XE3 I'm able to build
Win-RT-"like" applications, that cannot be run on ARM
based devices. It's quite useless. 

What's about WindowsPhone 8? Maybe I can develope
Delphi based apps in future. Maybe 2014? 2015? Or
maybe never?

More and more applications are going to be ported to
mobile devices so the significance of desktops becomes
smaller and smaller.

So for me - as a long time Delphi developer - I have
to change my favorite language for developing GUIs for
the enduser market and most business applications.
That's why I decided to port my main applications to
C#. With Xamarin I get fast support for native app
development for Android and iOS and Mac OS. I can use
the same code classes for Windows Phone 8 apps,
Windows RT, Windows Forms and ASP.NET for browser
based applications. Xamarin isn't much cheaper, but I
get support for new Android API-levels a few days
after Google releases the SDK. 

I'm a bit sad about my decision to leave Delphi but I
don't see a chance in adopting new technologies with
my applications developed in Delphi.

Best Regards
Wosi
Comment by Wosi on January 11, 10:38

Delphi Price Compared 

VS Professional costs USD499, and it actually works as
advertised, and it updates gracefully and (via Windows
Update) automatically, and doesn't ask you to pay for
bug fixes or patches, and out of the box it allows to
do a heck of a lot more than our dear Delphi (ASP.Net
anyone?).

It's not about the price: it's about what you get for
what you pay.

Regards,

Arturo.
Comment by Arturo Martinez [] on January 11, 11:33

Delphi Price Compared 

 It is not all about money, it is also about the 
product quality and what you get for your money. New 
features mean nothing if they are too buggy to be 
used. 

And the Delphi Pro price is double comparing to VS and
like others have mentioned comparing MSDN 
subscription price makes no sense. Other higher SKU 
are targeting Enterprise levels and cannot be easily 
compared. Lower entry level prices are essential for 
gathering more popularity.

As far as USD Euro exchange rate, there is no excuse 
for such pricing. Just because there are other 
companies that do similar thing it doesn't make it 
more right. Look at Rem Objects, they sell their 
product for the same price in the whole world 
(without taxes). This sends the message that they 
care about their customers from the day one.
Comment by Dalija Prasnikar on January 11, 13:31

Delphi Price Compared 

"More than fair" price? In which Bizarro world? I
could have upgraded to D2009, 2010, XE, XE2, XE3 at
about $A600 per upgrade - total $A3,000. 
Or I could have (apparently) had a maintenance
agreement and (apparently) had those 5 upgrades for
$A1,500. I don't really know what that agreement
entails - first I've heard of it at Pro level. 
OR I could have, according to the email from
Embarcadero, invoked "Upgrade pricing from any
version" and upgraded even from D1 to XE3 for a single
payment of $A600.

Now - that's really a bonus for those who have
faithfully upgraded release to release. Very fair -
especially when the main reason for upgrading is to
obtain the latest fixes which aren't available for
prior releases.

Fact is that XE3 doesn't have any "must haves" over
XE2. The XE3 presentation was about FM and
cross-platform, not about Delphi. There's no added
value to justify the expense, hence slow uptake.

There is more than a suspicion of attempted
sleight-of-hand over the licensing issue. Frankly, I'm
happy to keep to the old Borland "No nonsense"
agreement - "Like a book" - without the lawyers'
shades of meaning becoming involved.

From your calculations, you've omitted the cost of
third-part libraries. Not necessary? Well, actually
they are - because the out-of-the box components don't
work properly, as has been reported by the user
community and largely ignored for nearly two decades
so that now there's a culture of not bothering to
waste time reporting problems. Embarcadero's honeymoon
period has long since passed. Time to consider quite
what your customer's viewpoint of you is if you
continue to bury your heads in the sand.

The Turbo legacy has been squandered and Embarcadero
is now left with a dwindling number of hard-core
adherents. It's hard enough for Delphi's loyal
supporters to have the product's technical superiority
accepted by Luddite "IT Managers" who have only ever
heard of - and therefore want - Microsoft. We don't
need to have to battle Embarcadero and unnecessary
legal issues into the bargain.

I'll end on a positive note though. I understand
you're worried about revenues. How about offering a
subscription service to a monthly technical
newsletter. Tips and techniques every month - and dig
into the archive of requests and publish some new VCL
components. Say half a dozen each month - and not six
minor variations on a theme, either. Charge a low
subscription - $10 to $15 per month. Sure - the
information would be republished for free by others in
a millisecond, but if it's priced low enough, the
convenience of having an Embarcadero-backed module
customised for YOUR release of Delphi delivered
directly to your mailbox will outweigh the price and
having to search for it.


Comment by Peter Wright on January 11, 13:56

Delphi Price Compared 

I won't try to reply or provide further information, might blog again. I did 
delete one comment, which had lots of FUD and signature (nto even a 
fake one). I did post critical comments, no trouble. I think a clear 
message is quality is an issue over price. Good point.

Two things I want to say: I disagree you need MSDN as a Delphi 
developers. There are cheaper ways to get Windows licences for Delphi 
developers (like MAPS).

Second references to the fact Delphi original price was much lower are 
off the point. Delphi 2 Client/Server New User had a list pice of 1.999,95 
USD. Add the average inflation rate for 15 years, and you get a price that 
is significantly higher than today. Certainly, similar tools were more 
expensive back than, but the idea that Borland and Embarcadero 
increased the price over time is unfounded. 

If you want to check for yourself, follow this link to Delphi price in 1996:
http://web.archive.org/web/19961221140242/http://www.borland.com
/wheretobuy/pricelist.html

Anything is debatable, but first we need to debunk myths.

-Marco
Comment by Marco Cantu [http://www.marcocantu.com] on January 11, 14:50

Delphi Price Compared 

I think problem is:
- no bug fixes for more than about 3months
- EUR vs USD /30%+ for EURO users/
- no new Delphi programmers (so must say: low cost
students)
- when I bought license I must pay for next version
immediately (if I want SA). So intial price is
increased by SA for first year.
- new version each year
- firemonkey for desktop

My "solution":
- free version for non commercial use (Professional style)
- free version for schools
- one version per 2-3 years
- really bug fixing and new versions (XE 3.1, 3.2,
3.3....)
- SA invoicing after first year
Comment by PS on January 11, 15:01

Delphi Price Compared 

Interesting blog post and comments.

I think it would be good to see a free "entry level" 
edition of Delphi, similar to Turbo Delphi from five 
years ago and to Microsoft's "Express Editions"

Good point about Delphi being cheaper if you account for 
inflation.

Also - I agree with PS that rather then releasing a 
version every year instead release a new version every 
year with bug fixes between those times. "Quality over 
quantity" is most appropriate phrase to describe the 
reason for this.
Comment by Simon [] on January 11, 15:47

Action Pack Subscription is too limited for many development tasks. 

Microsoft Action Packs Subscription may work for
single developers/very small groups, but are not
usable in larger groups with complex test systems. We
do support any MS supported OS, thereby we have to
test on each one, and APS gives you the latest one only.
MAPS gives you only a subset of the software available
in MSDN, and with more restrictions and requirements.
MSDN is more expensive but is designed for the needs
of development teams, while APS is not. For example
MSDN license says "The licensed user can install and
use the software on any number of devices." APS will
give you one license only for server operating
systems. In a virtualized environment that means that
if a team has MSDN subscriptions (one for each
member), you can setup different separated tests
environments, while with APS you can't and everybody
must use that single installation, and you can't buy
multiple APS subscription. Often you buy one APS (for
the servers not covered in your MSDN level, if you
don't need many of them, i.e. Exchange), and then
multiple MSDN subscriptions for developers.
Embarcadero looks to think too much with the "lone
developer/SMB" mindset only, but the days of Turbo
Pascal are gone, sometimes Delphi is used in much
larger projects than Embarcadero thinks - where if you
choose an "all Microsoft" stack you may save money.
Thereby Embarcadero has to show compelling reason to
spend more to achieve the same results.
Comment by on January 11, 16:11

Delphi Price Compared 

 Marco,
You failed to mention Lazarus, which is now pretty 
good.
Why should I pay 1000 dollars to update my Delphi XE 
pro license when I can do just about everything I was 
doing in Delphi in Lazarus, not to mention full cross 
platform support without learning a new "FireMonkey" 
framework.

Sorry, with the advent of Lazarus 1.0 there is simply 
not any need to use Delphi at it's current pricing 
level.

Make the pricing at least fair and support Linux and 
other Unix operating systems and I might consider 
going back, but as it stands now not going to happen.

I have been using Delphi since version 2.0 back in 96 
and it's just this last year I got fed up.

Hope that tells you something.....

Comment by Snorkel [http://www.lightningadmin.com] on January 11, 21:27

Delphi Price Compared 

 @Simon "I think it would be good to see a free "entry 
level"edition of Delphi, similar to Turbo Delphi from 
five years ago and to Microsoft's "Express Editions"

You could simply use Lazarus in that space and simply 
move to Delphi if there every became a need, it's 
unlikely that you would ever need to do that once you 
became accustomed to the Lazarus IDE and Free Pascal.


Comment by snorkel [http://www.lightningadmin.com] on January 11, 21:32

Delphi Price Compared 

If Embarcader want to price its product in the same 
range as the "big players". Why not get money worth 
by being the company/product with the very best 
support handling.

Currently when I speak to collegues and friends using 
Delphi the way support is handled is more at the 
level where no one expect a bug reports to be solved 
within a 5-year period if ever.

And on the subject. Why not make a deal with a 
technical writer or two about sharing the cost and 
profit in writing boooks for Delphi (yes I have 
bought both the ClientDataSet book and te XE 
Foundation book)...
Comment by Hopeful on January 11, 22:49

Delphi Price Compared 

Still use delphi 7 and 2010 for legacy and current 
apps.....but we moved on to Microsoft products for 
future development. Its a shame that EMB had to 
charge so much (for buggy versions to boot)

I hear good things about XE3, but we are not buying 
it.

Comment by Shane on January 11, 23:40

Delphi Price Compared 

Delphi is expensive because of lot of third party
software bundled with Delphi. I don't want
Installaware, Interbase, Collabnet, Codeguard, Corba,
AQtime, Codesite, FastReport, ......
Offer a "Delphi 17 Pure Edition", fix 2000 bugs,
ripoff .net from IDE, integrate a new Help system,
dropp the stupid name "XE"! All for $500. Then we will
have a new Delphi 7 saga.
Comment by Peter on January 12, 11:47

Delphi Price Compared 

Marco we are all in debt to you for your Mastering 
Delphi book series, conference participation and so many 
other things you do to make Delphi more valuable.
If you are going to begin with myth busting, please 
let's create a Q&A web page where everybody can 
participate to bring more facts and value. It will help 
community and the company to play on the common ground, 
not parallel universes as it looks like.
Comment by IL on January 12, 13:02

Delphi Price Compared 

Prior Delphi owners might have treated their customers
like cabbages, but it's not valid to blindly add the
general rate of inflation to a historical price.
Suppose we treat Delphi on the basis of a more
closely-related product? What would the price of my
modest $800 8-core 3.1GHz 8Gb with 3Tb HDD and dual
DVD burner have been in 1996? On that basis, you'd be
charging less than $4 for a Delphi upgrade, and I'll
have Architect please - for less than $20...

Governments around the world have a history of buying
votes by putting noisy minority groups on the public
payroll. Some are beginning to find out that
eventually there aren't enough taxpayers left to
provide the welfare payments.

So it is with Delphi. We're all aware that Embarcadero
has to pay its personnel and associated expenses and
is entitled to expect a return on its investment. That
revenue must come from the Delphi community and
therefore it is imperative to have that community grow.

How do you get the community to grow? By delivering
what the community has demanded (and paid for) for
decades. Prove Delphi's promise - MAKE it easy to use
and extend by using the showcase - the provided source
- to show how. Properly-commented code. Examples that
show how ONE thing is done - not attempt to make one
example cover fifteen different issues. 

As a maintenance programmer for 40 years, I'm sure
that fixing AND COMMENTING "old code" to suit today's
multi-CPU environment would lead to many "Eureka!"
moments - I've seen this pattern before - that might
explain this old bug - we could do that better this way...

And please realise that a bug report is a way to
ASSIST in creating a better and more reliable product
- not simply an event to be denied or mechanically met
with flak like "can't reproduce" or "Need an example"
or "That example's too complicated, please simplify."

Oh, dear - looks like we're back to the old
"Maintenance is more important than price" theme.
Maybe - just maybe mind you - there's a message there.
 
Comment by Peter Wright on January 13, 07:33

Delphi Price Compared 

Marco, don't worry about the price. Worry about the
quality. I'd pay double if the quality would be
better. I think it's terrible when the development of
the main product Delphi Win32/64 suffers. We need
modern language elements and VCL enhancements.
Comment by Paul on January 13, 08:34

Delphi Price Compared 

This price comparision sound a bit like what happen 
if you ask a goverment hotshot why his salary are so 
high. He usually get back to you with the answer that 
he have a fair if not too low salary compared to 
the "market". This then usually are based on CEO's 
that not quite is comparable in what they do (yes I 
know that there are CEO's that is overpayed too).

Look at the Rolls Royce in Java development. The 
Intellij IDEA pricelist looks something like:

Commercial License
 License includeing 1-year Upgrade €664
 Stand-alone license               €474 
Personla License
 For individual developers         €189
Academic License
 For students and teachers         €94
Classroom License
 For educational insttutions       free
Open Source Project License
 For opens source projects         free

It has IDE functionalities that is way beyond any 
competitor (Delphi included), and they have a support 
issue handling that really shine too.

Look at what is bundled in Delphi:

An at the time early implementation of webservice 
(RPC based), that haven't had a face lift in ages. 
Where is the modern WS based implementation? Where is 
the possibility to use SOAP attachments?

An form designer that you still can't press "undo" 
in. Hello!! It's the year 2013!

A source formatter that seems to be based on some 
public project, that can't format the new 
functionalities in the Delphi language.

A XML data binding that can't handle more complex XML 
stylesheets.

DataSnap implementation that has no documentation 
beyond a "hello world" level (this goes for alot of 
stuff in Delphi).

A JSON implementation that I hope is not intended to 
be used by itself (only as a part of DataSnap). It 
fills the JSON string with class information that 
makes the JSON strings larger than a XML document 
(when using the serialize/deserialize of objects). 
And of course it has no documentation either. I have 
switched to SuperObject instead (event if I'm not 
that fond of using "free" software).

And alot of other functionaltiy that is all well for 
a first edition of things. But is in real need of get 
a second and third edition to make the functionality 
more complete and modern.

People at Embarcadero. You have to have a solid and 
modern foundation in you product (in functionality 
and ALSO in documentation), before you start to do 
all new and "shiny" things.

Maybe a way to keep the price tag a bit lower is not 
to bundle it with all those lovely plugings (as 
mentioned by earlier speaker)? But then maybe the 
product would look less complete?

I sometimes look at the pictures you take Marco at 
Delphi seminars. Seems to consist mostly of men at 
40+ years of age. That should make Embarcadero 
seriously nervous when it comes to future incomes.

As an end note here. Don't get me wrong. I TOTALLY 
love Delphi as an environment to develop nice 
software in. It is really a fantastic piece of work! 
But that does not mean that it can't be improved to 
become even better.
Comment by PD on January 13, 09:22

Delphi Price Compared 

@Peter Wright - Nick mentioned in a thread that most
of the open tickets are similar to the one described.
A problem for the user that did not exist if you knew
how to. It's an opportunity to learn something from.
Comment by Michael on January 13, 19:22

Delphi Price Compared 

@Michael: Certainly - there are no doubt many duplicates.

Different people will describe and classify the same
problem in different ways and in different words, so
searching QC for the words that YOU would use to
describe the problem may not necessarily find a
similar report. The easy way to prevent duplicate
problems is to resolve them as they arise, not just
resentfully mark them as duplicates and wait until
they've gathered enough "votes."

Take Tbutton as an example. No matter where you set
button.font.color, it doesn't change the colour of the
text. Still not resolved after 18 years - and that's
just one aspect of one component (the other is face
colour.)

In 2013, you'd spend an hour trying this way and that
to get the component working. Then you'd Google it to
find a solution, and some solutions work and others
don't...

In 1995 when the issue first arose, Google didn't even
exist.

I tried to compile a 'hello world' program typed in
from the book supplied with Turbo-C (a 'book' is an
old form of documentation based on dead trees.) The
compiler responded that I'd used an 'old construct'
and refused to compile. I couldn't use Google to
resolve the problem - Google was still more than five
years away. The books I had were all full of 'old
constructs.' I've not written a C program since...

Same thing with Delphi. A new user will find a problem
like that, work on it, eventually find it's been a
known problem for two decades and give Delphi away as
a bad joke.

Worse still,someone who is looking for an excuse to
use you-know-who's software can demonstrate to their
boss that "Even the designers haven't been able to
resolve this bug in 18 years - do we really want to
use this for our systems?"

These are (some of) the costs to the Delphi community
- and Delphi's owners, but are really related to
maintenance, not directly to the price-label on the
package.
 
Comment by Peter Wright on January 14, 01:58

Delphi Price Compared 

situation in Brazil:
until version XE2 I could update via web/download, now 
they intercept my IP and send me to the brazilian 
office, that charges the local equivalent of U$ 900 for 
an (international) U$ 500 upgrade - please note that 
those extra 80% are for brazilian taxes and local 
Embarcadero office costs alone, so I will not upgrade 
untill they change their policy again!
Comment by Carlos Leite on January 14, 03:11

slight tangent... 

Two suggestions:

1) I'd like to see Embt embrace a better "product upgrade" policy. 

Specifically, if you buy Developer edition of product A, then a couple of 
months later you decide to upgrade to "RAD Studio" edition, why not just 
charge the price difference?  Or upgrade to Enterprise or Architect just 
for the price difference?  The sales guys only offer 10% "discount" for an 
upgrade like this when you've already paid 40% of the cost of the license.

Ditto for extended support.  Why is it only available at the time you buy 
something?  Why not sell it at the same price any time, effective with the 
purchase date of the product being covered?  

In both cases, the Company gets the same revenues in the long-run, as 
opposed to losing money.

2) stop running promotions where there's one set of bonuses, and after it 
expires run another promotion with MORE bonuses -- unless you give 
previous buyers the new bonuses.  What it tells the market is that if you 
wait to buy, you'll get a better deal.  I've seen this pattern repeated over 
the past couple of years, and it puzzles the heck out of me.  


There's a principle of human behavior that says people will do whatever 
you incentivize them to do.  In both of these cases, you're incentivizing 
them to delay their purchases and possibly make smaller initial 
purchases.
Comment by David Schwartz on January 15, 06:20

Delphi Price Compared 

 @Peter Wright
It's an opportunity to learn from for EMB. Needed to
clarify.

When you don't close *all* the tickes and respond they
will never go away and the number will grow and grow.
The number of overall tickets open vs. the relevant
ones is declining. What hurts is the absolute number
of open tickets. One opportunity after the other is
missed. I have been in support and similar activities
for 20 years.

In the specific case you described using the TBitBtn
can make you happy.

Agreed. A beginner has no chance. You need to know too
much. No one responsible for IT purchase decisions
wants to hear about - having to know too much.
Comment by on January 15, 14:24

Delphi Price Compared 

The information that you cannot keep using the MSDN 
licenses is incorrect and dangerous misinformation. 

MSDN does offer perpetual licenses. From the Licensing 
Whitepaper[1]:

"MSDN subscriptions purchased through certain channels 
provide perpetual use rights that allow subscribers to 
continue using certain software products obtained 
through an active subscription after the subscription 
has expired."

Some exceptions are volume-licensed subscriptions.

[1]http://www.microsoft.com/en-
us/download/details.aspx?id=13350
Comment by Leonel on January 16, 16:15

Delphi Price Compared 

Yes, facts are funny indeed. Especially when "facts" 
are biased. He who pays the piano player decides what 
gets played, eh? Marketingese at its best.

Such as the fact that I pay 1400 EUR for _two_ years 
of MSDN subscription? Which is considerably lower 
than mentioned in the article above and, as a side-
note, carries a lot more value with all the OS 
versions that I anyway need (because how else to test 
the software I write?).

Or the already mentioned fact about the maintenance 
policy of existing Delphi releases. Check out the MS 
website to see when the last update packages were 
released for VS 2005 and 2008 and take note.

Or the one mentioned by JerseyGuy concerning the 
stuff that got stuffed it into the product suites 
over the years, which everyone pays for but not 
everyone needs. And no, exactly for its license-
imposed limitations and technical limitations Delphi 
Starter is _not_ an alternative in this case. I'm 
fully with him on his last paragraph.

And Stefan Glienke has a point, too. Don't you think?

Until recently it depended on the exact details of 
the MSDN program you went for (there are loads of 
good deals) - this changed within the last two or 
three years only - and whether you went for SA or not 
and it _still_ depends on your own jurisdiction 
whether the software cannot be used after the 
subscription runs out. You know, laws still preempt 
contracts, right? ;)

But talking about "until recently": until recently 
you still needed some other compiler and tools to 
maintain a 64bit version of plugins, hook DLLs and 
other things that strangely enough even the freelance 
Delphi developer may have needed despite his business 
mainly based on a 32bit application. So another case 
for why a Windows/Delphi developer would anyway need 
to have some level of MSDN subscription (_or_ VS 
license), even if just the "cheapo" one without dev 
tools.

Either way: to me it's not about the price itself. 
Whether 900 or 1000 EUR makes a difference, for sure, 
but not that much of a difference really. What does 
are: software maintenance of a purchased product, 
timely bug fixes, rock solid IDE and components 
without having to install third party tools 
(andy.jgknet.de), proper documentation. None of this 
is even close to ideal in the Delphi world - on the 
contrary: it has actually deteriorated over the years.
Comment by Oliver [] on January 31, 15:17

Delphi Price Compared 

Maybe the nowadays solution is to hire those 3000 
chinese ingeneers (3000 for the price of 30) and make 
them work on bugfixing ? ;)
Comment by Wchris on February 10, 18:49

Delphi Price Compared 

Quality is the thing that adds value. I upgraded my 
Delphi 7 to 2010 when Embarcadero "forced" me to do so. 
It was time when they said that you cannot upgrade after 
that point. Well I paid some 600 euros for D2010 and 
what did I got ? Buggy, unstable expensive piece of 
s*it. I continued developing with D7 although it wasn't 
supported by modern versions of Windows. I just couldn't 
use D2010 since it was so bad. Now I'm in same situation 
again. Emb is "forcing" me to upgrade to XE3. This time 
I'm just not sure if I'm willing to do it.
Comment by Janne Hämäläinen on February 24, 18:21

Delphi Price Compared 

I know I'm late to the party but I just want to
reiterate that I agree entirely with the majority:

For businesses at lease the problem isn't the price,
it is the quality. Old bugs must be fixed and new
features must be stable and rich. 

Anything else is just heading further down the road of
annoying your customers.
Comment by David Brennan on April 25, 05:04

Delphi Price Compared 

Whether its at the begining or the end of the range or
somewhere in the middle is irrelevant. Borland doomed
delphi when it jacked the price of the product to the
point it became unavailable for students, and now its
firmly in the "old guys language" category because
schools have been unable to teach it for going on a
good decade now. This is almost at the exact time dot
net swooped in and offered visual studio lite editions
that where actually pretty capable.

I mean even still. The starter pack is $200. About 2
weeks of not buying food for most students, so instead
its in the low-end for serious work prices. But hang
on , until they make $1000 money? Where embacardo's
marketing deparment stoned when they decided on $1000.
Theres a couple of zeros missing from that figure
buddy! And don't get me started on the slap in the
face that the "turbo delphi" thing was. Perfect
stuff...... except no components, meaning that it was
completely useless.

So yeah, every few years I check back and see if its
possible to afford delphi again, without being
insulted by nonsense like the $200 "starter" pack that
your not allowed to use to make your money back.

Back to java. :( Delphi surprises me that its still
hanging on for dear life. Its a great and tenacious
language, sadly harmed by utterly demented management
with an absurd understanding of the IT industry.
Comment by Shayne O [] on June 16, 10:17

Delphi Price Compared 

Those embarcadero guys need to put themselves in the 
shoes of small s/w developer firms. We bought 2 x XE2 
Rad studio prof. upgrades in 2012, 6 months later they 
wanted us to pay for XE3, then now £1.5k for XE5 and 
even then, poss. more for add ons! We simply don't have 
the money for this, so we struggle on with older 
versions. Why cant we just pay £250 per developer per 
year or something simple like that, and get all the 
minor and major upgrades. As developers why cant we 
easily install and run our app on multiple pcs without 
registration headaches? Is this the reward we get for 15 
years of supporting borland / codegear? i also agree 
with the others who say EMB. should make it GENUINELY 
easier and cheaper to young developers to get on board 
with THE FULL PRODUCT.
Comment by dean robinson on November 18, 11:41


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