CodeGear Readies Delphi For PHP

Delphi for PHP is scheduled to ship in March at an introductory price of $250 per individual license. The rapid application development (RAD) IDE features code editing and debugging tools, along with VCL for PHP, an open-source library of reusable components.

Delphi for PHP is part of CodeGear's effort to hook a new generation of developers on its classic Delphi tools, traditionally used for developing enterprise database and desktop applications. With the move into PHP, CodeGear aims to woo developers working with dynamic scripting languages, which are popular in Web development. A tools product for Ruby, one of the most-buzzed-about Web development platforms, also is in the works.

Scotts Valley, Calif.-based CodeGear also is gearing up for release of the latest version of its Delphi product for Windows developers, Delphi 2007 for Win32. Delphi 2007 is updated to support development for Windows Vista and is scheduled to ship in March. The Professional edition of the software is priced at $900 ($400 for upgrades), and the Enterprise edition carries a $2,000 price tag ($1,300 for upgrades).

Delphi 2007, which can be deployed on Vista or Windows XP, supports Microsoft's MSBuild platform and the latest versions of major databases, including SQL Server, MySQL and Oracle. Delphi 2007 also includes AJAX functionality and VCL components supporting Vista features like the Aero interface.

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CodeGear's tools are popular choices for ISVs, VARs and small development shops, but the company is looking to overcome dings to its reputation over the past few years as its products languished and road maps missed customer expectations. Its parent, Borland, put the organization up for sale last year but then decided to hang onto it after sparring over price with potential suitors. CodeGear's team is now working to build an independent, developer-focused company that maintains an arms-length relationship with its parent.

"We're doing a lot of customer outreach, where we talk to customers that were concerned about the IDE tools in Borland, because there was not a lot of support in Borland for IDE," said Michael Swindell, CodeGear's vice president of products and strategy. "But we did not have a lot of developers leaving [our customer base]. They were waiting to see what was next."

As part of its outreach, CodeGear is throwing a virtual user conference next month, CodeRage 2007. Held March 12 to 16, the online event will feature an assortment of technical sessions and a virtual exhibit hall.

Swindell is optimistic that CodeGear can win back the skeptics. "It's really about doing two things," he said. "We need to communicate with customers about our commitment to developers, and then we have to back it up with great new products."