back to article Microsoft tool-crafter Idera buys database, app firm Embarcadero

Idera, a provider of monitoring and administration tools for Microsoft's SQL Server, is to acquire Embarcadero from private equity company Thoma Bravo. The terms have not been disclosed. Embarcadero's products include ER/Studio for database modelling, DBArtisan for administration, and RAD Studio for application development …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    What does Ms Stob have to say about this?

  2. steamnut

    Will Delphi survive?

    I stopped upgrading my Delphi in 2010 as the pricing has been slowly hiked to levels which are too high for small developers like me. Maybe the new owners will rethink the pricing in order to reclaim the large user base thy once had. Alternatively split it off to a company with more vision for it.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Will Delphi survive?

      Same here. I stopped when they brought in the new license server. It failed and after repeated calls they would not let me create another License server.

      I told them straight that I was done with them.

      I would not hold out much hope of any price reductions from the new owners.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Will Delphi survive?

      They basically decided to "do an IBM". As in screw the core developers every which way they could and instead focus solely on "enterprise". While utterly failing to appreciate that the biggest reason their tools were in use in "enterprise" environments was because of the number of developers using them.

      It also didn't help that various versions of the RAD Studio IDEs were so unstable that they were barely useable and their previous fixation with the aberration that is/was the BDE.

      1. GerryMC

        Re: Will Delphi survive?

        The BDE (Borland Database Engine) has been deprecated since Delphi 6 - which was released in 2000, so hardly a fixation,

  3. LDS Silver badge

    What was worth, DB tools, dev tools, or both?

    The big question is if Idera got the dev tools because it wanted the DB ones, or wanted really the whole company.

    Anyway, Idera got a $425M loan to buy Embarcadero.

  4. vintagedave

    Show's Delphi's worth!

    I doubt there will be price reductions for Delphi, but remember that AppMethod - budget Delphi - is free to cheap depending on what you buy. (A small monthly subscription.)

    Delphi is much more widely used that many people think - I have heard reasonable estimates, which I believe, that it's about on par with Python. TIOBE's latest index puts the combined Delphi + Pascal at #6. The combination of the two is because TIOBE differentiates between Pascal and Delphi for some reason known only to themselves (no-one uses Pascal, ie procedural 1980s code, now. On the other hand places like github often mark code as Pascal when it is Delphi, eg if it is a library with no UI code.)

    1. ggeldenhuys1

      Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

      @vintagedave: I guess you never got the memo from a few years ago... Delphi is the product. The language is Object Pascal. Yes, at one point the language was also called "Delphi", but has since been changed back to "Object Pascal" to stop confusion. Yes, the TIOBE index is a bit confusing too, but to really be correct,they should combine Pascal + Delphi counts into one "Object Pascal" item. But then, that would also include the likes of the Free Pascal Compiler, Lazarus and GNU Pascal... The Free Pascal Compiler and Lazarus projects are growing at a fast pace... So the increased TIOBE index you see is definitely not only because the the Delphi product, but rather of the whole Object Pascal community.

    2. alcalde

      Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

      Delphi is not more widely used than many people think - it's less widely used than the few Delphi diehards tell themselves (with no numbers or facts). You have to be kidding that Delphi is as popular as Python. Python is the #1 teaching language now, surpassing Java, for CS 101 at top schools. Pascal was out of schools between '98-'99. found that Python was the only language in its top 10 list of most sought-after tech skills, and it was also narrowly the highest paid developer language for job ads that posted salaries. It powers everything from Mercurial to Dropbox and continues to grow.

      Earlier research showed Delphi was #34 for new projects at Github in 2012 and #39 in 2013. I crunched the numbers myself and found it was at #44 for 2014. I've also crunched numbers myself and found that Python's repository adds more packages/libraries in one year than Delphi's repository,, did in all the years of its existence! I've also crunched Stack Overflow numbers and shown that Delphi questions, as a percentage of total questions asked, has been on the decline almost since Stack Overflow began.

      I also crunched the numbers from Stack Overflow's developer survey this very evening. Out of 26,087 respondents, only 121 replied that their primary tools include Delphi or Pascal. That's just under 1/2 of one percent.

      I'm an outcast from the Delphi community because I actually seek facts rather than worship it like a religion. Please don't go around claiming that Delphi is as popular as Python or that it's the sixth most used language. It only makes Delphi developers look foolish.

      Delphi users are a tiny minority and most are using it solely to maintain legacy software. No international company uses it for internal infrastructure projects, which is often considered a mark that a language has "made it" into the big league. When Google or Facebook or Twitter code in Delphi, then you can talk about it being a major player.

      1. vintagedave

        Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

        Alcade, I was going by TIOBE's numbers there, which show Pascal + Delphi at approximately #6. I'm sure it is much lower on github and similar places compared to an open-source language with a big open-source community, for several reasons: Delphi is not open source, the vast majority of code written with it is not open source, and many Delphi developers who are in large organisations may be slower moving to something like git than older source control systems. I know of active Delphi libraries still hosted on SourceForge, for example.

        It seems to me that you aren't considering things like that. I don't worship it like a religion, but I do try to take a reasonable balanced view. One of Delphi's problems is the internet community of people who seem viciously against it, posting at every opportunity that it is bad, unused, etc. For something unused, it sure has a lot of interested critics. Personally, I wish those people would not comment unless they had something useful to say.

        As for Google, Facebook etc: I have no idea if those companies use it. I know even Microsoft uses products built with Delphi - that's different to them using it in-house, of course. I also know, from personal knowledge, that Delphi is used by several space institutes, by many scientific software companies doing things you may not have heard of but with core, high-tech customers, etc. (I know because I've worked on several of those software products.)

        1. alcalde

          Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

          The funny thing is that on the official forum they ridiculed TIOBE... until it started to turn in their favor. :-)

          TIOBE is a "lagging indicator". Part of its rating process includes the total number of pages about a language. The problem is, those pages might be ancient pages that haven't had a hit in 10 years. As such, it is slow to reflect recent trends and tools like Visual Basic end up higher on TIOBE than on more leading indicators, such as using Google Trends to see what languages people are actually searching for (as used in the PYPL index).

          There's no reason that Delphi users can't open source their code - heck, the Mormot framework, Omnithread Library, Spring4J, DWScript, etc. are very successful Delphi open source libraries. The *culture* hasn't changed since the 1990s though - most Delphi users write a library and then try to sell it online for $60-$300. Delphi is the only language I can think of where users *pay* for database drivers, even for open source databases!

          As for a reasonable and balanced view, I find the idea that Delphi is as widely used as Python to hardly be reasonable. Nick Hodges, former product manager, once wrote something to the effect of "Delphi may be as popular as C or C++ - we just don't know." David Heffernan, the man who answers almost EVERY Delphi question on Stack Overlfow, replied that someone would need to be delusional to believe that Delphi is as popular as C++. You can check job boards, Stack Overflow, message boards, repositories, etc. to gauge language popularity. Heck, Delphi hasn't had a commercial book published since 2005 (Mastering Delphi 2005). If Delphi was as popular as Python, why would no publisher publish a book on it? There have been a few dozen Python books published in 2015. In the entire United States, turns up 67 (!!!) job hits, and that's without throwing out the ones for Delphi Auto Parts or the Delphi hotel management system. Python returns 6,452. Reddit has 696 subscribers to /r/Delphi and 112,555 for /r/Python! So no, I don't apologize for believing that a Delphi user claiming that Delphi is as popular as Python makes the Delphi community look silly.

          "One of Delphi's problems is the internet community of people who seem viciously against it, posting at every opportunity that it is bad, unused, etc. "

          No, one of Delphi's problems is that so many of its remaining users can only program in Delphi, have never used any other language, never talk to any non-Delphi programmers, and otherwise live in their own bubble that's trapped in the 1990s. Feeling persecuted and paranoid is another symptom. People aren't "viciously against it"; most of the world forgot it existed. The others are just trying to inject a dose of reality to those who believe everything is rosy when the language has sunk to extreme niche status and has been overpriced and mismanaged for quite some time. The "interested critics" are Delphi users who have been burned by putting all their eggs into one basket. Criticizing the language is the most useful thing any Delphi user can do right now. We can't fix things until we agree on what's wrong. No other language community forbids people from discussing its flaws or only wants to hear praise. And if our community thinks it's as popular as Python then it doesn't have a clue about where it needs to improve.

          "As for Google, Facebook etc: I have no idea if those companies use it."

          They talk about the tools they use all the time - they even create some of their own! You have to know that they don't use Delphi. A multinational using a language for an internal infrastructure project is considered one of the metrics that a new language has succeeded. I don't believe Delphi ever achieved that point.

          >I also know, from personal knowledge, that Delphi is used by several space institutes

          That it was used for one project in the 1990s by NASA doesn't count. When you limit things to 2010 onwards, it becomes a very different picture. Much of what's present on "made with Delphi" lists becomes disqualified as a result.

          > by many scientific software companies doing things you may not have heard of but with core, high->tech customers, etc. (I know because I've worked on several of those software products.)

          Given that R and Python dominate the scientific computing field right now, I'd be very interested in what scientific software today is based on Delphi. Heck, the array/statistics/machine learning libraries from Dew Research alone cost a combined $1600.

          1. smot

            Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

            @alcalde You make some good points and then spoil it with the Dawkins Effect - taking a good argument and extrapolating it into areas in which you have either no evidence or no knowledge.

            I've worked in the Delphi arena for 18 years, previously with many other languages from assembler through Cobol, Coral 66, C and C++. Today, Delphi is one of the main tools I use, along with some PHP and Javascript, and still some C++ and C#. Of all the Delphi developers I've known or met in those 18 years, only one has been exclusively Delphi. I've no idea what circles you move in, but to suggest that the majority of Delphi developers have never used a different language is either naive, or taken from a limited personal view. Even if we combine our two personal views, it suggests that at least 50% of Delphi developers have worked in multiple languages (and there are many flaws in that logic too).

            I also suspect that you have absolutely no knowledge of whether Facebook, Google et al use Delphi and are simply adding this in to support your argument. Unless of course you've worked for both of them so can vouch for this. Now, I'm quite prepared to believe that they don't use Delphi, but I certainly have no knowledge as fact. It was reported some time ago that MS do indeed have some in-house Delphi stuff in use, whether ingested from an external source or created inhouse. This doesn't surprise me at all - both companies were in the market of supplying development tools.

            Similarly, I believe you have little knowledge of the current real-world use of Delphi in mainstream industries. From personal experience, and with evidence, I can tell you that 85% of all commercial radio stations in the UK and Ireland are being run with some currently developed and supported Delphi systems. Without them, there would be no advertisements on radio (I'll let you pick that one up....). One of the largest insurance companies uses Delphi for its endowment policy management system. And I've bumped into Delphi in use in some quite surprising areas during my many years of working in radio, manufacturing and hospital systems.

            But your basic message - that Delphi is less popular that Python - is, IMV, sound. So don't spoil a good message for a ha'porth of tar - just focus on the key message and leave out the Dawkins Effect as you're much more likely to avoid the inevitable backlash. Unless that's what you were trying to garner?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Show's Delphi's worth!

        Really? You sound like a hater and a basher. Before posting, you should expand your understanding of the "facts" ... Are these not "international" companies clearly using Delphi for infrastructure projects ... ... "Microsoft Deploys ER/Studio" , "WideOrbit", "Image-Line Software", and the list goes on and on.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just one link for Object Pascal lovers

    Good IDE, for free, and multiplatform (Linux, Mac, Windows): Lazarus

    The IDE uses the FPC (free pascal compiler)

    Another good IDE which uses this is: Codetyphon

    Also very good

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Only one thing to say...


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