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RAD Studio XE5 Adds Android, iOS and REST Client Support

by Anand Narayanaswamy on Sep 28, 2013 |

RAD Studio XE5, recently released by Embarcadero includes support for Android and iOS platforms with the ability to create true native apps for PCs and mobile devices. Moreover, it also enables developers to make use of CPU executable code while coding. With the help of true native apps, developers will be able to directly run their apps on the device hardware with no scripting or interpretive layers to provide best user experience.

RAD Studio XE5 enables developers to build prototype and native apps in standard C++ or Delphi programming languages for multiple devices simultaneously without any need for multiple projects and schedules. The latest release provides support for REST client that enables you to connect any REST based service including social networks, MBaaS, payment services and storage.

"In XE5, we have added support for device detection both for iOS and Android, being the only difference that for iOS, you have to manually refresh the Project Manager after you plug the devices. For Android, devices are detected automatically after you plug/unplug them from your machine," said Jose Leon, Director of Engineering, Embarcadero.

InfoQ had a chat with John Thomas, Director of Product Management to know more about the usefulness and advantages of RAD Studio XE5

InfoQ: How does RAD Studio XE5 benefit developers?

RAD Studio XE5 delivers two significant benefits to developers. The first is the ability to target Android with the same source code they used to write iOS apps today with RAD Studio. The second is a new REST client that allows developers to easily integrate cloud services like those provided by Mobile Backend as a Service (MBaaS) providers.

InfoQ: What is the advantage of adding support for Android and iOS?

There are primarily two advantages. First, it enables developers to target the largest addressable market of users between Android and iOS (which now make up more than 50% of all client devices). The second is, with the FM Application Platform, developers can target both with the exact same native language source code. So, not only can they get the best app performance from compiled native code but they also enjoy a huge business benefit of managing a single source code base across these two tremendously popular mobile platforms.

InfoQ: Is it necessary to have knowledge in programming to build apps with of RAD Studio XE5?

Well, yes, RAD Studio is a development tool that supports the native code languages Delphi (Object Pascal) and C++. These are both modern, object-oriented languages, that provide the best performance on a device because they are natively compiled and therefore run directly on the CPU with no scripting runtime needed (like with JavaScript) or virtual machine (like with Java). With that said, RAD Studio also provides a very rich platform of application services, like User Interface controls, data access, mulit-tier, etc that can be visually designed within the IDE. So, although developers can do anything through code, a large portion of their application development can be accomplished without requiring code.

InfoQ: Are there any significant changes to the IDE when compared to RAD Studio XE4?

The IDE was primarily updated to add Android as a platform target but additional work went into enabling new design surfaces for the plethora of Android devices out there. The IDE is now able to pick up plugged in devices and make them available as a target.

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