Podcast: Creating high performing native rich business applications on Windows, Mac and iOS

By: Tim DelChiaro

Abstract: This is a transcript of a podcast discussion on how creating applications for Windows, Mac and Mobile are vital to the success of any business; along current industry trends, multiplatform development solutions and the pros and cons of the available solutions in the market.

Podcast: Creating high performing native rich business applications on Windows, Mac and iOS

This is a transcript of a podcast discussion on how creating applications for Windows, Mac and Mobile are vital to the success of any business; along current industry trends, multiplatform development solutions and the pros and cons of the available solutions in the market.

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Wetmore: Welcome to the Embarcadero podcast, “Creating high performing rich business applications on Windows, Mac and Mobile.” I’m Sven Wetmore with Embarcadero Technologies. In today’s podcast, I’m joined by Sarina DuPont, RAD Studio Product Manager, who will explain how creating multiplatform applications is vital to the success of any business; along current industry trends, multiplatform development solutions and the pros and cons of the available solutions in today’s marketplace.

Hi Sarina. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for joining us.

   

DuPont: Thank you for having me.

Wetmore: I have been both a Windows and Mac user for a long time, and have been an iPhone user since it was first released.

In both my personal life and professional life, I have seen how important it is to be able to access applications across several devices, whether applications for personal use or business critical applications that allows me to get my job done.

It seems that not a day goes by without reading about Mac and mobile development and Apple’s rapid growth and the impact Macs are having across enterprises.

DuPont: I know. Apple has seen immense growth over the last couple of years, both in the desktop and mobile space.

It’s interesting that in its second fiscal quarter of 2011, Apple reported sales of around 4 million Macs, a year over year increase of 28%. I read recently that Venture Beat reported that the iPhone has increased its presence in the enterprise space, with 88 of the companies on the Fortune 100 list either testing or deploying applications on it.

Wetmore: I was hearing a few days ago that this growth is heavily reflected across enterprises where more and more employees are bringing their own devices, including Macbooks and iPhones to the workplace, which isn’t really surprising if you think of it, considering how popular Apple devices have become.

DuPont: That’s right. We’re seeing a lot more people bring their own devices to their companies. This trend, commonly referred to as BYOD, has created a shift in the industry as it has presented both challenges to IT but also immense opportunity for application developers to reach a whole new audience of customers.

Wetmore: So what solution does Embarcadero offer to address this growing BYOD trend across enterprises?

DuPont: We offer FireMonkey, the next generation business application platform. FireMonkey lets developers code native multiplatform applications. The idea behind this was to make it as easy as possible for developers to reach their audience regardless of platform or device. So with FireMonkey, developers can create a native Windows application and build a native Mac app based on the same source code simply by selecting Mac as the target platform. This is huge and it helps developers save so much money.

In addition, you can also build native iOS apps using FireMonkey. This is not only a powerful solution because both

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applications are native and leverage the power and speed of the CPU and GPU, but also cost effective as it enables developers to build faster using the same codebase.

Wetmore: What industries do you see adopting Mac the most?

DuPont: We are seeing strong adoption across many verticals from healthcare to manufacturing and government. PC Mag reports that Mac sales to enterprise users surged over 60% the first quarter of the year, significantly outpacing growth in the rest of the enterprise PC market, which grew 4.5%. What I found really interesting was that Mac sales to government departments grew by over 150%.

Wetmore: Government, huh? That’s interesting.

DuPont: What this shows is that all enterprises are adopting Macs at a rapid rate which is presenting a great opportunity for application developers to increase their reach across new customer bases in the marketplace.

Wetmore: How do you compare building applications for iPhone or iPad to desktop application development for Windows and Mac?

DuPont: iPad and especially iPhone applications are different when it comes to both the user interface and overall application functionality. Developers are either creating iPhone and iPad applications for field sales enablement or to reach new customers either by focusing on being a mobile application developer or by creating a so to speak mobile companion app to their full fletched desktop application.

Wetmore: You hear about Web apps a lot nowadays and how tools like Adobe Flash and Silverlight can help your create applications that run on multiple platforms. What do you think of those tools?

DuPont: They are certainly good but the challenge here is performance. Running on multiple devices and amazing visuals are useless if the user experience is slow and sluggish. That’s the consideration we had when we created FireMonkey. FireMonkey is a native multiplatform solution. So FireMonkey applications are 100% CPU and GPU native. They are driven by the full power of the hardware. So an application will have the performance and responsiveness that you simply can’t get from RIA platforms like Adobe Flash, virtual machine runtimes and dynamic languages.

Wetmore: How does FireMonkey compare to solutions from Microsoft like .Net or Visual C++?

DuPont: Well, what you run up against with Microsoft programming tools and platforms is that they are Windows only. Nowadays, it’s unrealistic to think that as a developer you can target only one platform and that’s sufficient. With FireMonkey you can write an application once and deploy it to both Windows and Mac and you build applications for iOS.

Wetmore: So how do you suggest developers pick a solution to work with?

DuPont: Decide whether you want to go native app vs. web app. What are you trying to achieve with your application. How important is performance. Try the tools out. Download them and see how they fit your needs.

Those really are the key factors to take into consideration when choosing a development solution.

Wetmore: Where can people find out more about FireMonkey?

DuPont: You can find out more on the website @ http://www.embarcadero.com/FireMonkey. You can download the trial and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you.

Listen to the podcast.

You may also be interested in:

Creating Windows and Mac OS X applications using a Single Code Base” Webinar with David Intersimone, Chief Evangelist & Embarcadero VP of Developer Relations

The Mac Imperative for Windows Software Developers” Webinar with Microsoft MVP, Miguel Carrasco and Director of Product Management, John “JT” Thomas


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