Saturday, December 24, 2011

1st Impressions on Embarcadero Delphi XE2

This year i decided to make a Christmas present to myself, a brand new Delphi version.

After working with Delphi 6 for many years and refusing to go further due to Borland’s –whatever- policy at the early millennium, i have decided to take a better look at what Embarcadero has done the last couple of years. A nice surprise hit me, i just was amazed with the brand new Delphi XE2 which seems to be the next revolution of Delphi after the mid and late 90’s.

During the last years I strangled to find something that could replace my good old Delphi 6, and lately tried to take a look at .Net and Visual Studio. But I just could not abandon my beloved IDE and programming framework that I have built during the 15 years of development. Old dogs like me does not do (trust) new tricks. So i stacked here hoping and waiting, having my eyes looking at the latest developments of Embarcadero.

Yesterday during late night hours and after a couple of days that i had attended the David’s 24 hours of Delphi i decided to give a try and downloaded the trial version. By my surprise while i was registering to Embarcadero's developers network i found out that they had transferred my old -and forgotten- Borland’s developer network account, back from 1997, to their new network. And more over it was eligible for an upgrade. The decision was just a flash in my mind and the brand new Delphi XE2 Enterprise is now in my hands.

Due to the very late night time, i decided to try getting some sleep, even though i have serious trouble doing so(!), and install it first thing in the morning. So i did, Morpheus (the Greek ancient god of sleep) came to me a couple of hours after that but that is not so necessary of course...

First thing in the morning, a huge cup of coffee -the first from a series- and power on my workstation. Right after I started the installation procedure.

Huge installation makes me thinking of what I could expect. After half an hour and so far, all running smooth, but my experience with every installation procedure in Windows keeps me nervous for the law of Murphy! Almost one hour after starting the install process and it is still downloading files, right now it is downloading Help system's Web Media.

As i am writing these lines, installation keeps going on, Help system, Final Builder, CodeSite and others. Finally i see the end of the installation. Hit finish and waiting for the application to start... waiting ... waiting ... waiting ... is something wrong? Guess no, it just does not start automatically; i have to run it by my self.
Started, registering, and waiting to load and … my 23” monitor dominated. It is alive!!!

First impression: solid and consistent environment, not what i was used to from the old Delphi's IDE with disconnected windows but i think i can adapt even if it looks a bit like VS... I have two boxes on the left “Structure” which I do not know –yet- what is it and Object Inspector my friend from the past I suspect. At the right side I see Project Management box with Model View and Data Explorer tabs and the Tool Palette box which I was used to see just under the main menu in the old IDE. In the centre and main area there is a Welcome page that has a very nice and clear menu Projects, News, Resources and Documentation, each one having a bunch of sub items to choose. Having a quick look at the IDE menu i found my self been very familiar with most of the choices.
Yes definitely seems like i am at home!!!

Ok, now i have a page opened in my browser that gives me links to download some things, ER/Studio, DB Power Studio, Interbase XE Developer edition and partner products AQTime, IP*Works and Partner Software ISO. So i do started downloading... it is Sat 12:30 and it will take approximately 1:20 hours. I have time to check for the updates.

I see in About box that Update 1 is already installed and i am looking for a “check for updates” item. I know from embarcadero's website that there is an update 2 available.
Cannot locate such a quick option, so i will navigate to various others like the resources menu in welcome page and directly from Embarcadero's website.
Sorry, i forgot to RTFM :) installation instructions that says "Select Start | Programs | Embarcadero RAD Studio XE2 | Check for updates.". It is just another option at the program menu group but it would be nice to have it also embedded somewhere in the IDE. I hit it and, Yes! it shows Update 3 is available! I will wait for other downloads to finish and come back to it.

Nice option at my EDN account "My registered user downloads" where are a bunch of downloads available. I am afraid i will become a download junkie (!), so i will stop here and come back later when i have completed the setup of everything i need.
Have a merry Christmas day all you out there.

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