CodeGear, the developer tools subsidiary of Borland, is now sharpening their focus around supporting the open source LAMP stack (Linux / Apache / MySQL / PHP) with their latest offering, Delphi for PHP. Ok, full disclosure: I have a soft spot for Delphi. I've rarely had more fun in my career than working with the original Delphi team back in the 1990s. It was a lot of hard slogging, but we built something that was pretty amazing. Who knew it would still be going strong twelve years later?
So I was excited to catch up with long-time Borlander Michael Swindell their head of products who told me about their plans to bring PHP to the Delphi installed base. Delphi programmers have been quite fanatically devoted to the VCL framework which provides all of the visual goodness and drag & drop capabilities for building windows apps with ease. Although Delphi for PHP is a different product (and obviously uses the PHP language) it is based around an equally powerful IDE and an open source PHP implementation of the VCL framework. That makes it easy to develop database applications that use MySQL, InterBase, Oracle, et al. So a Delphi programmer who wants to dip his or her toes into the PHP waters can do so without having to re-learn everything. And for PHP developers, Delphi brings the Rapid Application Development productivity gains that have been in short supply for web developers.
I've always been an IDE guy myself, but I recognize they're not for everyone. (Hint: if your idea of visual development is vi or emacs, then this probably isn't for you.) But if you crave the productivity that Windows developers have had with Delphi, VB or Visual Studio, check it out. Delphi for PHP is expected to be commercially available later in March, before the next Rush album.
Long live Delphi! And Borland! (I mean CodeGear!)