Not exactly hot off the presses but some people apparently seem still to be unaware that my suggestion for a Community Edition of Delphi has been picked up (some years later, mind you). Except that it isn’t Embarcadero that have picked it up, but Microsoft.
The Deal Just Got Better
Some might recall that a while back I mentioned a little-known means by which Visual Studio Pro could be had on a subscription basis for US$45 a month through a Visual Studio Online subscription as part of an Azure Pay As You Go plan.
To me this seemed a very good deal, allowing me to pay on a month-by-month basis (no up-front annual commitment) as needed. In fact, with the free trial period, I actually only paid for one month of Visual Studio Pro before Microsoft went the extra step and made it entirely free, in the form of Visual Studio Community Edition.
Not Just Another Express Edition
This is not another iteration of the relatively limited and platform specific Visual Studio Express line, but a bona-fide edition of Visual Studio Pro (Update #4 to be precise) with all that entails.
There are terms in the EULA that restrict the use of the Community Edition. In brief terms these amount to:
- If you are an individual: NO restrictions. Build and test apps to your hearts content, even paid-for apps.
- If you are a company: no restrictions for Open Source projects or teaching/learning use.
Commercial use is still allowed within organizations, but the conditions start to get more complex, with only a maximum of 5 users permitted to use the Community Edition for development, testing and demonstration purposes. It isn’t absolutely clear, but it appears that once you start shipping paid for apps you must upgrade from Community Edition.
And note that even this concession does not apply if your organization is an “Enterprise” (> 250 PCs and/or revenues over $1m).
Further details of the EULA can be found here.
Shall I Compare Thee…?
These are perfectly sensible and reasonable conditions for a “Community Edition”, or a “kick-start” license to enable a start-up to get coding and build their product imho. Certainly it is far more practical and useful than similar license restrictions imposed by, for example, the “Delphi Starter Edition which by comparison looks like a parody of a supposedly community spirited license, or in fact just a bad joke (in fact, imho it always did, never mind in comparison with anything else).
Where To Get It
So, if Visual Studio Community Edition is suitable for you, then you can download it here.
It is certainly suitable for my own private projects with RemObjects Elements, enabling me to enjoy the full Visual Studio Pro environment at no extra charge, in which to use the excellent RemObjects languages.
On that score, there is an upcoming addition to the RemObjects Elements family: Silver, which you may know by its original Apple name, Swift).
As if that weren’t enough, as well as Silver, there is a new release of RemObjects Elements just around the corner with some very cool new features that I hope to blog about soon.