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Announcing the Availability of RAD Studio 11.3 Alexandria

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Embarcadero is pleased to announce the release of RAD Studio 11 Alexandria Release 3, also known as RAD Studio 11.3, along with Delphi 11.3 and C++Builder 11.3. This release is focused on quality and improvements, building on the great new features in RAD Studio 11 Alexandria three previous releases.

RAD Studio 11.3 includes support for newer versions of several operating systems, adds a new ToolsAPI to the RAD Studio IDE to customizing the way source code is painted in the code editor, introduces a new Biometric Authentication component for mobile platforms, and a few other features and enhancements.

Again, the core focus of this release has been on quality, in terms of usability, performance and stability, as requested by our customers. The quality improvements encompass all product areas, with a specific focus on Delphi Code Insight using Delphi LSP, the High DPI IDE introduced in 11.0, and VCL styles. There are notable enhancements in the compilers and toolchains, the Delphi and C++ RTL, VCL, FireMonkey, FireDAC and other database libraries, Internet access and services, including both the Delphi and the C++Builder personalities.

It’s also worth noticing that RAD Studio now ships with the recently released InterBase 2020 Update 4 Developer edition and IBLite/ToGo edition.

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Platform and Toolchain Changes

In terms of target platforms, RAD Studio 11.3 offers official support for new versions of many operating systems it can build native applications for. Specifically, RAD Studio is now supporting iOS 16 (for Delphi only), Android 13, and macOS Ventura, which were released after RAD Studio 11.2 GA. Additionally RAD Studio includes in the official applications target platforms Ubuntu 22 LTS and Windows Server 2022.

There are a few other notable changes in our toolchain, beside quality improvements:

  • In 11.3 there is a new debugger based on LLDB for macOS Intel and Android 32-bit. With this step, all of our non-Windows platform debuggers, across Delphi and C++, have moved to the LLDB architecture.
  • RAD Studio 11.3 offers a new notarization process for macOS, which Apple introduced starting with XCode 14.
  • The Windows signing support in the IDE now includes the time stamping of MSIX files.
  • Using a library suffix of $(Auto) now works for C++ projects.

New Features in the RAD Studio IDE

There are some notable extensions to the RAD Studio IDE.

Code Editor

The IDE code editor now has the ability to highlight matching words. This feature allows you to see instances of the same word you have selected, or the cursor is currently in, highlighted on the screen.

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By default it highlights only words you select, but you can change it to highlight words the cursor is in or adjacent to, by using the setting in Tools > Options > User Interface > Editor.

This release also brings a new ToolsAPI for painting in the code editor. This is a new foundation that allows developers to customize the editor without affecting its stability, and the team hopes this will offer a thorough and useful API that will spur innovation among our third-party vendors, as it makes it easier to write plugins that do things that we may not have thought of. Here you can see one of several demos for the new editor ToolsAPI, which colors the line number in the editor gutter. 

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The new API is very thorough, with support for not just painting but querying a large amount of information about the editor, as well as special support for reserving a gutter area for the sole use of your plugin. The API’s robustness and applicability is demonstrated by several internal editor features being moved to use the same new API in 11.3.

Code Insight and DelphiLSP

Delphi Code Insight through DelphiLSP sees very significant quality improvements, to further improve our Code Insight features and make them faster and more reliable, including with large applications. These improvements include code completion, Help Insight, and navigation, with a strong focus on overall reliability, as well as providing completion or navigation results in areas where they were not previously provided.

In addition, the Delphi compiler now stores XmlDoc in a compiled DCU, meaning HelpInsight can display information in many areas where it previously did not.

VCL Form Designer and High DPI

RAD Studio 11.3 offers improvements to the High DPI IDE and in particular the VCL Form Designer quality under High DPI , with specific improvements in the scaling of non-visual components, including in frames.

The icons for SyncEdit and structure flow in the editor have been replaced with high-DPI icons.

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Subversion DLLs

For security reasons, Embarcadero no longer ships the Subversion DLLs, but recommends that you install and maintain your own Subversion client side DLLs: The IDE can connect to them seamlessly if you use that version control system and plan using it from the RAD Studio IDE. This is similar to the support and integration RAD Studio offers for Git and Mercurial.


Finally there are other two small but handy IDE new features:

  • You can locate the current build configuration’s output folder in Explorer by right-clicking a build configuration (like Debug or Release) and choosing Show In Explorer
  • When the IDE is run with elevated privileges, its title bar caption now indicates this with ‘[Administrator]’ at the start of the text
  • Markdown files can now be opened in multiple editor windows

Biometric Authentication 

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For FireMonkey mobile applications, RAD Studio 11.3 offers a new Mobile Biometric Authentication component. This component (called TBiometricAuth) provides a means of authorization to use an application or some specific features via Biometrics (e.g., Face ID on iOS devices or Fingerprint on Android devices).

Another new FireMonkey feature for better mobile device integration is the new IFMXPhoneDialerListenerService interface, which was implemented for Android. The service is intended for tracking changes in the state of the phone system service (Calls, Carrier, CallState).

The FireMonkey library has extensive fixes and improvements, beside the support for newer versions of target operating systems. FireMonkey apps now properly handle terminate requests from Windows Restart Manager; also for the Windows platform they offer better accessibility, TWebBrowser integration, and support for multiple displays. On iOS, RAD 11.3 includes improvements in scrolling for TDateEdit, TTimeEdit, and TComboBox. On Android, it introduces DocumentFile Provider support and offers improvements when moving the cursor in a TMemo with finger slide.

There are several FireMonkey graphics improvements in the TBitmap and TCanvas classes. There are fixes for many controls, including Multiview (with platform control type), SpeedButton, Label’s FocusControl, TTreeViewItem’s IsChecked, TEdit when used inside a TVertScrollBar. Finally, 11.3 improves Tab key cycling across user interface controls.

Overall Quality

RAD Studio 11 Alexandria Release 3 is a quality-focused release. 

Among the improvements in the Delphi RTL library, 11.3 has Android memory allocation performance improvement, a number of performance improvements, and an updated version of the ZLib library (1.2.13).

RAD Studio 11.3 addresses a number of VCL issues related to VCL styles, adds better support for the styling of the background of the TouchKeyboard component (see image below), and an enhanced TControlList component including the ability to select multiple items. There are many other improvements and fixes in the VCL styles support.

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FireDAC now offers improvements for PostgreSQL database performance and full compatibility with version 14 and version 15.1 of the database. For Oracle and other databases, it offers better treatment of column names with square brackets. For Linux, the database layer offers preliminary support for UTF8 in the database RTL (like for TStringField) and in FireDAC’s DataSets.

In the HTTP and web space, the new release offers improvements to TMultipartContentParser, automatic token refresh to TOAuth2Authenticator (and several other improvements for OAuth2 support), better support for NestedElements in TRESTResponseDataSetAdapter, and fixes in RAD Server, SOAP and other related subsystems.

Overall, RAD Studio 11.3 Alexandria implements over 25 feature requests from Quality Portal and fixes over 365 bugs reported by customers on that site, encompassing all areas of the product.

Ready to Go

Product trials for RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder 11.3 are now available and the updated product builds are live in the online store. Customers on Update Subscription can download and install RAD Studio 11 today using their existing license and will receive an email announcing the new release availability. Downloads are available in the customers portal at https://my.embarcadero.com.

For more information, you can check the following links:

We are very happy with the quality work our team did for RAD 11.3 and we are certain you’ll equally enjoy using this new version of RAD Studio, C++Builder, and Delphi.

We’d also recommend you join our preview webinar, now turning into a launch webinar tomorrow, see the information and signup here.

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About author

Marco is one of the RAD Studio Product Managers, focused on Delphi. He's the best selling author of over 20 books on Delphi.


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