The long-term feasibility profiles of Delphi and Electron licenses are vastly different. This is related to Electron’s short history compared to Delphi’s 27-year evolution, and the difficulty of making reliable predictions about Electron’s future. In the blog post below we take a closer look at the long-term feasibility profiles of Delphi and Electron as part of an extensive benchmarking study.
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.
26 Benchmarking Metrics
This is the eighth 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.
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 8/26: Long-Term Feasibility
Long-Term Feasibility: Does the framework have a history of stability, backward compatibility between major releases, bug fixes, and security updates? This metric highlights the confidence businesses can enjoy or the strategic risk they may take when choosing a framework.
Delphi Score: 5 (out of 5)
As a proprietary framework, Delphi requires businesses to purchase commercial-use licenses and offers optional annual updates for a fee. For this investment, users gain a stable, backward-compatible and growing framework with dedicated support teams and a 25-year history of success. The Delphi language has been growing, maturing, and expanding since 1995. It’s multi-platform desktop and mobile framework (FireMonkey) was released in 2011 and constantly expands access to new hardware and operating systems while maintaining backward compatibility. Comprehensive documentation aids maintenance and a full support team is available for upgrade, migration, or troubleshooting help.
Electron Score: 3 (out of 5)
Electron is a free, open-source platform offering businesses the opportunity to develop applications on any major operating system without upfront costs. The price of zero up-front costs is found in the lack of expert support and amenities. The framework forgoes a native IDE, relying instead on extensions for IDEs like Microsoft’s Visual Studio, and lacks conveniences such as integrated compilation, bundled testing libraries, and native language tool development.