On the 22nd September 2006, Gnostice released version 2.41 of the PDFToolkit and eDocEngine for the [Delphi] VCL. As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m a great fan of Gnostice products – their PDF creation tools and components are a real boon to developers. Of course, this continued support for the Delphi VCL for Win32 and .net despite the divestment of the Borland IDEs, is confirmation that Gnostice passionately believe in the Delphi product name and the VCL.
Indeed, one need only look at the PDFToolkit VCL “road-map” here to realise that Gnostice are intent on producing an astonishingly feature complete PDF component set…writing for the VCL using the VCL – V3.0 looks to be awesome. Not surprisingly, there’s a similar roadmap for eDocEngine VCL – plans all the way up to V3.0 are well documented over here.
In an earlier post, I touched on the fact that Borland IDE divestment and the direction in which many component vendors seemed to be taking their products (towards .net and C#). Whilst this seems to still be the case, it’s worth noting that Gnostice are firmly focusing on three market spaces: the traditional Delphi VCL, .NET and Java. Their PDFOne .NET product provides support for PDF creation inside Borland Developer Studio 2005 and 2006 – with demonstrations being provided using the C# language, whereas their eDocEngine and PDFToolkit are fairly and squarely targeted at the VCL.
Of course now that the Turbo range of products are available, we see a renewed interest in the Delphi language and its direction. Knowing that Microsoft’s Express Editions are free, I can’t see the Turbo products being direct competition, therefore their existence presumably serves to further the Delphi language and provide heritage continuance (outside of the more expensive Borland Developer Studio-style all-encompassing product set). Given the career path of Delphi’s original architect, Anders Heilsberg (from Borland to Microsoft), this renewed interest might be what it takes to let Delphi and the Turbo products catch up with Microsoft. After all, here we are seeing much talk of .NET 3.0, yet Borland Developer Studio 2006 still only targets .NET 1.1. That said, Bob Swart makes mention of the next version of Delphi that will support .net 2.0, codenamed Highlander, over here.
I would like to see the Turbo products enjoy a shorter release cycle, providing them with an opportunity to target .net 2.0 and 3.0. With the next version of Visual Studio (Orcas) just around the corner, there’s not much time left to achieve this, but it should be a goal nonetheless.
Despite my earlier concerns about the future of Delphi and its language, it seems that there is a rekindled enthusiasm for the Delphi product set, fuelled more so by the reappearance of the Turbo mark that made Borland who they are today. Indeed it was the original Turbo range that provided the inspiration for the VCL and their [Borland] re-introduction of this famous branding will take the VCL to new heights – a point not missed by Gnostice who have plans in place for native VCL product releases/upgrades right into 2007.
eDocEngine VCL – comprehensive, generic, 100% VCL electronic document creation component suite for Borland® Delphi™ and Borland® C++Builder™.
PDFtoolkit VCL – powerful component set for Borland® Delphi™ and Borland® C++Builder™ to manage, manipulate, view, print, enhance PDF documents and process PDF eForms.
PDFOne .NET – 100% .NET component library to implement PDF based software solutions.
PDFOne Java – 100% Java library to implement PDF based software solutions.