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Long-Term Feasibility Benchmarking Between Delphi And Electron

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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

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.

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.

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 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.

Benchmarking Results

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.
Compensating slightly for those drawbacks, Electron gains access to the many Javascript and Typescript libraries available and provides excellent accessibility options for all major desktop platforms. Business investigating Electron should keep in mind its uncertain future – at five years old the framework is still in its honeymoon phase. Released in April 2016, Electron is actively developed and maintained by GitHub and has rapidly provided support for emerging technologies like Apple Silicon (circa Nov 2020). It lacks the history and stable longevity needed to determine if Electron apps built in 2020 will survive through 2030.

Download the complete whitepaper here

 

Do you want to create an app for iOS, and Android with Electron? Try the Cross-Platform Development tool, which can help you create apps in the Delphi or C++ environments. Try it out and make the most of it. Request a Product Demo here.


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