Delphi and Electron licenses differ significantly. In fact, in some ways, they are diametrically opposed. The benchmarking study cited in this blog post and the entire series of which is the seventh post looks at the similarities and differences between the two platforms. Read on and decide what to use in developing applications in different platforms.
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 to 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 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.
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 facilitates 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.
Delphi Score: 3 (out of 5)
Delphi is 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.