RAD Studio XE7 – Interview with John JT Thomas

Embarcadero Technologies has released RAD Studio XE7 which enable developers to build connected apps for Windows, Android, iOS, Mac OS X, gadgets and wearables. It helps you to extend Windows applications using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth App Tethering. It also creates shared user interface code across multiple device form factors.

RAD Studio XE7 includes a new Parallel Programming Library which not only boosts multi-threaded performance on multi-core systems but also exponentially increases the performance of existing C++ and Object Pascal code by parallelizing threads to leverage full advantage of multi-core CPUs.

RAD Studio XE7

Some of the core features of RAD Studio XE7 are as follows

  • FireUI Multi-Device Designer and UI Components
  • Connected Apps with Bluetooth
  • Enterprise Mobility Services (EMS)
  • Parallel Computing Library
  • Object Pascal Language enhancements
  • RTL enhancements
  • Database and FireDAC enhancements
  • PAServer manager
  • FireMonkey enhancements

RAD Studio XE7 enables Delphi/Object Pascal and C++ developers to extend existing Windows applications and build new, modern apps that connect desktop and mobile devices with gadgets, cloud services and enterprise data and APIs.

In an interaction with Learnxpress, John “JT” Thomas, Director of Product Management at Embarcadero Technologies shared more about the new features of RAD Studio XE7. He also disclosed the possible mobile app trend in 2030.

Learnxpress: What purpose does Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7 serve?

Embarcadero RAD Studio XE7 serves the purpose of enabling our community of developers to extend and expand their existing Windows applications (some of which are measured in the millions of lines of code, in virtually every industry) to mobile devices, gadgets, wearables, cloud services, and backend data. The new features of XE7 helps developers build these distributed, connected apps and deliver new solutions that breathe new life into existing applications.

Learnxpress: Can you elaborate more about FireUI Multi-Device Designer?

The FireUI Multi-Device Designer enables the developer to quickly build user interfaces, setup event handling functions, and build application logic that can be shared across many devices and form factors, for example a 4” phone and a 7” tablet.

The Designer allows the developer to create specific views for a particular device form factor and optimize it for the small differences needed from the share UI to deliver the best user experience for that form factor. The designer also renders the UI correctly for the device so that you can see exactly what it will look like before building and deploying an application.

Learnxpress: Can you share with us how App Tethering really works?

AppTethering is very simple. It connects two apps to one another. A developer simply adds a component to the app on each endpoint, for instance an existing Windows VCL app and a FMX Android app. In the component, the developers makes actions or data accessible and then when deployed the app becomes discoverable. The other app finds the discoverable app over WiFi or BlueTooth, connects, query’s for its capabilities, then can call directly into that app.

Learnxpress: Can I build .NET based apps using Parallel Computing Library?

RAD Studio does not build .NET apps. It build natively code compiled apps (directly to the ARM or x86 CPU) and not to an intermediate language like CIL.

Learnxpress: Do you think programming languages like Object Pascal are still relevant?

There are millions of developers actively developing using Object Pascal. With new capabilities in the Object Pascal supported VCL and FMX frameworks for multi-device, mobile, and wearables, Object Pascal is firmly situated to solve today’s and tomorrow’s development challenges.

Learnxpress: Is it possible to build an Android app without coding using RAD Studio XE7?

It’s possible to build a pretty simple, general purpose app without coding but to build something unique or more complex for a specific purpose some coding would be necessary.

Learnxpress: How do you see the potential of wearables in future?

I see great potential for wearables particularly in the healthcare industry. Realtime data from these wearables can contribute to much better healthcare analysis by a trained doctor. I think wearables will also contribute to an improved quality of life where a person could disengage from their primary device (today’s mobile phone) and get input from other less intrusive gadgets like a wearable watch for example.

Learnxpress: Going by the recent trends, can you predict the mobile app scenario in 2030?

Wow, that is looking pretty far out but I envision a future where every object around us is enabled to be interacted with by programmers, whether it is providing or displaying information. A lot of our lives will be automated by software and these devices working together.

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