Delphi 2 - A Comparison of Client/Server Development Tools; PowerBuilder vs. Delphi

By: Borland Staff

Abstract: Delphi offers performance vastly superior to PowerBuilder. And only Delphi offersintegrated coding, debugging, testing, and deployment of client/serverapplications to increase developer productivity and applicationstability.

A Comparison of Client/Server Development Tools; PowerBuilder vs. Delphi
By Michael Lant
Sphere Data Systems Inc.
NOTE: The views and information expressed in this document represent those of its author(s) who are solely responsible for its content. Borland does not make or give any representation or warranty with respect such content.

Since the introduction in February 1995, Borland's Delphi Client/Server development tools have set a new standard in high-performance rapid application development. As a result of Delphi's unique combination of a native code compiler, visual two-way tools and scaleable database technology, Delphi has won dozens of technical awards worldwide and has become the fastest growing visual tool.

In just over twelve months, hundreds of thousands of customers have used Delphi Client / Server to solve their business needs; including such organizations as Alcatel, American Cyanamid, American Stores, Arthur Anderson, AT&T, BMW, BP Shipping, Bank of America, BBC Television, British Telecom, City of Los Angeles, Compaq, Conoco, Coopers & Lybrand, DHL, Dover Elevators, EDS, Ernst & Young, Fiat, First National Bank of Chicago, Glaxo, KPMG, Mercury Communications, Netscape, Sarah Lee Knitting, Standard & Poors, SwissBank SG Warburg, Union Bank, US Marine Corps and many others.

Recently ComputerWorld contracted First Market Research Corp. to survey users of each client/server product, the goal was to find out what factors led users to choose a client/server product and how well the package has performed. Delphi has achieved significantly higher customer satisfaction than PowerBuilder.

" Delphi has satisfied its users more than competitors have because it is the first tool to include features that developers need to build faster stand-alone applications -- ones that don't require runtime modules such as a code compilers...Overall satisfaction scores show that Powersoft's PowerBuilder could be past its prime. ComputerWorld, March 15, 1996"

Industry analysts also concur that Delphi Client/Server Suite 2.0 offers significant advantages in speed, flexibility and power. For example, International Data Corp reports that in 1995 Delphi sold 16% of all RAD Client/Server development tools compared to only 6% for PowerBuilder.

"For general purpose client/server based applications Delphi 2.0 may be a better choice than Visual Basic or PowerBuilder. It provides native code compilation, significant data access capabilities, and a large library of objects straight out-of-the-box. In fact, Delphi Client/Server Suite 2.0 offers a viable alternative to the C++ language and the more difficult to learn PowerBuilder environment for object-oriented programming. Aberdeen Group, November 1995."

Delphi Client / Server Suite 2.0 incorporates integrated technologies that help solve your business needs. Delphi Client / Server Suite 2.0 includes technologies that are still not available in PowerBuilder 5.0, e.g. an object-oriented Application Architecture, SQL Monitor, Scaleable Data Dictionary, and the world's fastest Optimizing 32-bit Native Code Compiler.

Borland is completing the next stage of its client/server strategy by acquiring Open Envirornent. Delphi, in combination with Open Environment's Entera, offers its customers a business advantage by providing the only scalable architecture that meets development needs from the desktop to the enterprise. Delphi combines the productivity of its object-oriented rapid application development with Open Environment's distributing computing and application management architecture to offer scalable, rapid application development for the entire enterprise.

Client/Server development tools remain one of the fastest growing sectors of the software industry. Research by META group predicts that over 90% of all new applications will be based on the Client Server model. Forrester Research also predicts that between 1995 and 1996, the number of Client/Server developer licenses will roughly double to approximately 700,000 seats worldwide. With this enormous growth rate comes many of the challenges of maturing technologies. According to articles in ComputerWorld, PC Week as well as research by the Gartner Group and others, some of the most frequently cited concerns are:

  • Training
  • Productivity Of Tools
  • Code / Component Reuse
  • Performance
  • Scalability
  • System Reliability
  • Unavailability / Down Time
  • Greater Than Expected Costs
  • RAD - Rapid Application Development
Only Delphi addresses each of these concerns by offering a complete suite of technologies that allow developers to work in both the Client and Server Development environments. These include the SQLMonitor for tuning client and server communications, SQL Explorer for examining and modifying server metadata, OLE automation for integrating in your desktop environment, and much more. Delphi also offers the world's fastest integrated native code compiler to create machine code executables that outperform PowerBuilder applications by 15-50 times. This means that your application will exceed end-user expectations for speed.

Delphi Client/Server Suite 2.0 is the only application development tool that has true object oriented technology to offer maximum code reusability and maintenance. And only Delphi has exception handling capabilities that help developers create applications that remain stable under the workloads of your business.

"Combining faster core technology with expanded client/server design aids, the forthcoming Delphi 2.0 from Borland International Inc. updates a development system that already offered good reasons to switch from Powersoft Inc.'s PowerBuilder or Microsoft Corp's Visual Basic." PCWeek Jan 22, 1996
The companies that are able to exploit opportunities for maximum return on investment will be those that can develop applications that respond to the speed of business. Delphi equips companies with the most powerful development tool they need to produce robust, flexible, client/server applications, and to do it fast.

The purpose of this document is to examine these issues as they apply to Client/Server application development and in particular, how they apply to the two leading Client/Server application development tools; Delphi Client/Server Suite 2.0 and PowerBuilder Enterprise 5.0.

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