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DelphiResearchWhitepaper

Benchmark Study Weighs Electron And Delphi on IP Security

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Intellectual property security is a pillar of business sustainability. The money, time and resources invested in a project can be wiped out if the revenue-producing mechanism is not properly protected. How do Delphi and Electron protect intellectual property?

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

Delphi

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

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.

Benchmark Metrics

This post is part of a series of blog posts that look 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

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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: Intellectual Property Security

Intellectual Property Security: How secure is the intellectual property of the source code in a deployable project? After businesses invest resources into their projects, they face the challenge of putting their product into the hands of the public while protecting the code and techniques that produce revenue. This qualitative metric evaluates the ability of a user to access source code via decompilation.

Benchmarking Results

Delphi Score: 5 (out of 5)

Delphi compiles to native machine code, eliminating much of the source code structure and metadata necessary for accurate decompilation and interpretation. Decompilation using a tool like DeDe will provide some details about the UI but only assembly code for the logic/back-end.

Electron Score: 1 (out of 5)

Electron source code is packaged and deployed to the end-user’s system. Unless a developer uses 3rd party tools to obfuscate code, the source code can be read verbatim using a simple text editor or by unpacking with a tool like asar.

Download the complete whitepaper here


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