What's New in RAD Studio XE7

By: Tim DelChiaro

Abstract: Build apps that connect with everything... Devices, sensors, data and services

RAD Studio XE7 is a must-have upgrade for all developers and is the newest version of the award winning, multi-device app development solution for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android, gadgets, and wearables. There are great Windows and VCL features, a new Parallel Programming Library, significant FireMonkey enhancements for building multi-device apps, new Enterprise Mobility Services, and enhancements for connecting with gadgets and wearables, thanks to the new Bluetooth support.

Key New Features Benefits

Multi-Device Designer

  • RAD Studio XE7 delivers the only true single source solution for natively compiled applications on Windows, OS X, iOS, and Android.
  • A revolutionary new way to build a single user interface based on visual form designer that scales and adjust to different types of devices, form factors, and operating systems
  • Develop your UI once and then view and adjust or customize it for each device type (mobile, tablet and desktop; iOS, Android, Windows and OS X)
  • Make changes on the main user interface that are propagated to other device specific user interfaces; fine tune a device specific form factor without affecting the other views
  • Customize layouts and styles for each device as desired or easily utilize the inherited style
  • Predefined views including size and layout standards are included for many popular mobile device, tablet and desktop form factors. You can also add your own.
  • Only one "form class" is required across all of the form factors allowing the developer to create a single source file managing all of the common user interface events in one shared source file.

FireMonkey Behavior service

  • A new service API that allows the framework and developer to query information about the device the app is running on to dynamically adjust itself for the form factor and platform
  • UI element locations are automatically adjusted for each type of target device (for example, the position of tabs on different mobile platforms)

MultiView component

  • The MultiView component is brand new unique FireMonkey component that utilizes the behavior services to dynamically displays itself depending on the form factor and desired platform behavior.
  • The multi-view lays outs menus appropriately for a phone as a drawer and for a tablet as popup or docked menu

Enterprise Mobility Services

  • Enterprise Mobility Services is a turnkey REST based MEAP (Mobile Enterprise Application Platform) middleware stack that includes API hosting, data access, and SQL Database access and deployment, serving mobile, desktop and web application clients
  • Data management across tiers through middleware that is stateless, restful, and scalable
  • Create custom APIs for your business functionality
  • High-performance enterprise database access for Oracle, DB2, Microsoft SQL Server Informix, SQL Server, and many more from a mobile application through the middleware
  • Custom Mobile API management with REST/JSON through loadable modules
  • Data access components for multi-tier data access through standard REST/JSON
  • User, session, and API calls analytics and reporting using a web based interface
  • Secure Data Storage Service on both servers and mobile devices
  • Rapidly connect your apps to your enterprise APIs and databases and services on-premises or in a private cloud
  • Flexible deployment license options. Purchase deployment licenses based on the numbers of users that access the Enterprise Mobility Services

App Connectivity with App Tethering, REST and Bluetooth

  • With App Tethering, RAD Studio makes it extremely easy for apps to broadcast and find other apps to tether with over local WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Extend existing VCL Windows apps with mobile companion apps or Bluetooth devices by simply adding a few components to each app
  • Connect with Bluetooth and Bluetooth LE enabled gadgets like healthcare sensors and wearables to build unique and domain specific solutions
  • Easily connect to REST APIs on any near field device to interact with that gadget
  • Specific Bluetooth LE component to connect with power sipping micro gadgets

Parallel Computing Library

  • The Parallel Computing library helps you exponentially increases performance making it easier to write multi-threaded applications that take advantage of multi-core CPUs
  • Boost the performance of your existing VCL and FireMonkey applications, with a self-tuning thread pool
  • Include the new System.Threading unit in your apps and you can do the following:
    • Parallel 'for' loops
    • Scheduling of tasks
    • Futures
    • Joining of multiple tasks and waiting for all to complete
  • Easy integration for a significant performance boost

IDE and Development Tools Enhancements

  • The new PAServer Manager is an OS X tray app that allows you to start and manage multiple instances of PAServer (the Platform Assistant app for developing iOS and OS X apps)
  • Improved Subversion version control support with new Git version control support
  • New integrated multi-device designer
  • IDE support for adding Java classes to an Android apk
  • IDE Guided Tours to help learn about RAD Studio features
  • New Java2Delphi native bridge file generator for Android

RTL and VCL Enhancements

  • New OmniXML library for faster performance, particularly on mobile platforms and easier selection of default XML engine
  • Improved JSON low level processing
  • Updated C++ STL library for iOS and new versions of Boost and Dinkumware Libraries for Win64
  • Enhancements to the taskbar component introduced in XE6 to support with a new TJumpLists VCL component for Windows Taskbar Jump Lists
  • New unit for Web encoding and decoding
  • Hundreds of quality and performance improvements

Object Pascal Language Enhancements

  • Improved initialization for dynamic arrays
  • Mix and match constant and dynamic arrays
  • String-like operations on dynamic arrays including + operator concatenation, Insert and Delete
  • An array constructor can be used to specify an initial value of a global dynamic array variable
  • Also, generics containers optimizations

Database and FireDAC Enhancements

  • IBLite embeddable database now available for Windows, OS X, Android and iOS
  • FireDAC streaming support for blob fields and support for MSSQL file streams
  • Support for DBMS API command native timeouts
  • FireDAC connection parameters are now displayed in the Object Inspector as a record
  • Data Explorer enhancements (primary keys and fields are displayed, foreign keys and fields are displayed, sequences/generators are now displayed)
  • Other FireDAC enhancements including a new IBLite driver for desktop and mobile

FireMonkey Enhancements

  • TEdit and TCalendar controls haves been rewritten to utilize a new presentation architecture: you choose whether you want the control to use the standard styled presentation or a platform native control presentation on iOS dynamically
  • Multi monitor support on desktop platforms
  • The TBannerAd component now supports the Google Mobile Ads API from Google Play Services
  • Immersive full screen mode on Android KitKat
  • TListView pull to refresh on iOS and Android

  What can you do with RAD Studio XE7?

Develop appsDevelop connected apps for Windows, OS X, iOS, Android and gadgets and wearables using the tools and language you know and trust (Object Pascal or Standard C++), and keep building Windows applications using the updated VCL library.

64 bitDevelop connected apps with AppTethering, Bluetooth, and REST calls to devices and gadgets.

FireDACGet FireDAC high performance enterprise database connectivity and make database app development fun again.

RESTful web servicesConnect with popular cloud services with REST as well as BaaS providers for push notifications, authentication, storage and more!

LiveBindingsBind any UI control to other objects or datasets. With LiveBindings, every component is data aware.

DataSnapDevelop multi-tier, enterprise applications with DataSnap SDK or easily create server packages and client app modules for the new, turnkey Enterprise Mobility Services

Haven't upgraded in a while? Here are new features introduced in other recent releases:

FM = Available for the FM Application Platform 
VCL = Available for VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio XE6

  • Application Tethering Components FM VCL
  • Taskbar component VCL
  • Cloud Service (BaaS) integration with components for Kinvey and Parse FM VCL
  • New VCL Styles VCL
  • VCL sensor components VCL
  • In-app purchase and in-app advertising FM
  • Create apps for Google Glass FM
  • Accessibility for FireMonkey desktop FM
  • Improvements in quality, performance and stability FMVCL
  • Build Android apps with C++ FM
  • C++ Package Support for 64-bit Windows FM VCL
  • Find definition and find references for C++ FM VCL
  • FireDAC enhancements and Informix driver updatesFM VCL
  • Database Explorer for FireDAC FM VCL
  • Apache support (WebBroker)
  • DirectX 11 support FM VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio XE5

  • Develop Android apps with Delphi and iOS apps with C++ FM
  • New mobile components for Android and iOS FM
  • REST Client support to access cloud based RESTful web services (in Professional edition and higher) FMVCL
  • FireDAC integrated into the Delphi install and core components included in Professional edition FM VCL
  • IBLite database for Android with unlimited deployment license FM
  • Develop iOS 7 apps FM
  • Fixes and enhancements FM VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio XE4

  • Develop iOS apps with Delphi iOS ARM compiler, toolchain, new visual development environment and controls for iOS FM
  • IBLite database for iOS with unlimited deployment license FM
  • FireDAC – Powerful, fast and easy data access FM VCL
  • FireMonkey sensors support for location, orientation and motion FM
  • FireMonkey Frames and new TListView component FM
  • OS X full screen mode FM
  • Fixes and enhancements FM VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio XE3

  • C++Builder 64-bit Windows compiler FM VCL
  • Windows 8 support FM VCL
  • Incorporate the Windows modern look into your applications with Metropolis UI FM VCL
  • OS X Mountain Lion and Retina Display support FM
  • Visual LiveBindings FM VCL
  • Enhanced FireMonkey styles, audio/video and 3D FM
  • Fixes and enhancements FM VCL
  • HTML5 Builder for creating web and mobile web apps

NEW! in RAD Studio XE2

  • 64-bit Delphi compiler for Windows FM VCL
  • FireMonkey application platform - create multi-platform, multi-device applications from one codebase FM
  • Create Windows and OS X desktop applications with FireMonkey FM
  • DataSnap mobile connectors FM VCL
  • LiveBindings engine FM VCL
  • FastReport reporting tool FM VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio XE

  • Expanded multi-tier development with DataSnap FMVCL
  • Additional bundled tools (CodeSite Express, IP*Works, Beyond Compare Differ) VCL
  • Cloud computing support for Azure and Amazon FMVCL
  • Subversion integration in the IDE FM VCL
  • Regular expressions FM VCL

NEW! in RAD Studio 2009 and RAD Studio 2010

  • Build touch and gesture enabled applications FM VCL
  • Windows 7 support FM VCL
  • IDE Insight FM VCL
  • Extended RTTI (reflection) added to the Delphi language FM VCL
  • Unicode FM VCL
  • Ribbon Controls VCL
  • Major DataSnap upgrade FM VCL
  • Generics and anonymous methods FM VCL

See more of what's new in RAD Studio XE7 on the Embarcadero doc wiki. Learn more >

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