With a breaking change from the recent numbering scheme (based on years, but one year in advance) the next version of Delphi won't be called Delphi 2011, as a few anticipated, but will be called Delphi XE, along with the new naming rule for all Embarcadero products. Of course there will also be a RAD Studio XE, which will include Delphi XE, C++Builder XE, and Delphi Prism XE (as usual) along with RadPHP XE, a new entry in the suite (formerly known as Delphi for PHP).

The Partial Announcement

There is no formal announcement of the product, but only the indication of a first set of features demonstrated in the video and detailed in the document at http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/40766:

  • Full subversion integration in the IDE, including as a plugin a differencing viewer based on Beyond Compare (a favorite tool of mine). From the video this looks very nice indeed.
  • New debugging features.
  • Modeling improvements, with more powerful class diagrams and (noticeably) the ability to generate sequence diagrams directly from the code of your methods.

A few more features are mentioned by the product manager in his blog at http://blogs.embarcadero.com/michaelrozlog/2010/08/10/37149/, and from those I noticed a relevant feature for teams like the ability to save and share the customizes formatting options.

This is not a complete features list, but only a list of features demonstrated in the video. Three more videos are expected in the coming weeks, followed by more formal online presentations in the first week of September and face-to-face events around the world in September (as mentioned by David I on his blog at http://blogs.embarcadero.com/davidi/2010/08/10/40083/).

Having said this, the features covered in this video hardly match what was in the last public roadmap, as questioned by Tim Anderson on his blog.

The Video

There is a first preview video available online in a number of places, including Facebook, YouTube, and the Embarcadero site at http://www.embarcadero.com/rad-studio-xe-preview (the home page for this and coming previews). You can also start the embedded version below:

What is XE?

But what does XE mean? It is not an acronym, but a marketing terms global to Embarcadero, and tied to a change in the product strategy (one license for multiple databases, rather than a specific license for each) but a more generic meaning associated with it for developer tools. In the words of Andreano Lanusse

"XE in few words means:

Heterogeneous database support with no additional cost


ToolCloud enable which will help you to management and distribute our Tools in your organization

Easy way to upgrade do All-Access XE and get access for all Embarcadero database and developer Tools"

Temporary Conclusion

This first announcement shows a very limited set of the new Delphi XE features, so it is hard to comment on them in full. I appreciate the integration of third party tools (like Beyond Compare, which is itself written in Delphi) and hope there will be more. Stay tuned, despite the summer time and vacations (which I find a very bad time for products announcements).