How Are Delphi And Electron Licenses Alike And How Do They Differ?

Delphi and Electron licenses differ significantly. In fact in some ways they are diametrically opposed. The benchmarking study sited in this blog post and the entire series of which it is the seventh post looks at the similarities and differences between the two platforms. Read more below.

The “Discovering The Best Cross-Platform Framework Through Benchmarking” whitepaper evaluates two frameworks supporting multi-platform desktop application development: Delphi and Electron.


Delphi, encapsulated in the Rapid Application Development (RAD) Studio IDE, is Embarcadero Technologies’ flagship product. A proprietary version of the Object Pascal language, Delphi features graphical application development with “drag and drop” components, a WYSIWYG viewer for most mobile platforms, and robust style options including platform-standard and unique palettes that provide a fully customized look and feel. Among other features, included libraries provide GUI controls, database access managers, and direct access target platform hardware and platform operating systems. The Delphi FireMonkey (FMX) framework will compile projects to native code for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, and Linux, allowing users to develop and maintain one codebase reaching most of the market. Delphi has been available for over 25 years.


Electron is an open-source (MIT License), Chromium-based framework that utilizes web technologies to build desktop applications on Windows, macOS, and Linux. It is developed and maintained by GitHub, a subsidiary of Microsoft. Electron combines the Chromium-based rendering engine with a Node.js server environment. As such, the user interface for an Electron application is available via HTML5 and CSS. Generally, Electron works with most Javascript frameworks such as Angular, Vue.js, and React. The HTML5, CSS, and Javascript-based technologies found in Chromium provide a rich ecosystem of user customization familiar to any web developer. Despite its relatively young age of five years, its community boasts open source packages for database access, operating system interactions, and other common tasks.

26 Benchmarking Metrics

This is the seventh in a 26-part series of blog posts looking more closely at each of the individual metrics used in the study, and how Delphi and Electron each fared on these metrics. The first can be found here.

Download the complete whitepaper here


Benchmark Category: Functionality

Functionality Framework functionality was examined qualitatively through research on the business aspects of each framework ranging from initial investment through long-term maintenance of the products created. Business functionality refers to a framework’s business suitability and impact on long-term plans. Excellent functionality allows companies to easily build custom tools or extensions, develop on a platform of their choosing, protect their source code from exploitation, and have confidence that their applications will be maintainable for decades.

Benchmark Metric 7/26: License

License: Does the framework’s IDE facilitate direct deployment to native platform application stores (i.e. iOS App Store, Android’s Google Play, Microsoft Store)? Frameworks with built-in deployment features reduce product deployment complexity, limiting errors that could occur or compound, and time-to-market for initial products and updates/bug-fixes.

Benchmarking Results

Delphi Score: 3 (out of 5)

Delphi is a proprietary software with three paid license tiers and a free Community Edition and Academic Program. The free tier allows for development as long as annual revenue does not exceed $5,000 USD per year. The first license for full commercial use costs $1,599 USD and the tier that fully unlocks the software suite is priced at $5,999 USD at the time of this writing. An annual subscription is offered at one-third the initial license cost in order to receive updates and new software versions.

Electron Score: 5 (out of 5)

Electron is a free and open-source (MIT license) framework allowing full commercial use without any licenses or fees. It is not tied to an IDE but can be developed in Visual Studio to take advantage of the IDE’s tools and 3rd party ecosystem.

Download the complete whitepaper here

Delphi 27th Anniversary