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If you are using any version of Delphi that is more than 3 versions older than the current version (i.e. Delphi 2005 or older, as of today), the days of upgrading to the latest version will soon be over.

I am seriously disheartened by this change in policy.

Whether you agree with the sentiment or not, there is a fairly good case to be made that many versions of Delphi since 7 have been unacceptable in quality or irrelevant/problematic in features for a large part of the Delphi community.  (But please note that I’m not saying that I think this represents “most of” or “the majority of” Delphi users).

The evidence being quite simply that those people (however many of them there are or we think there may be) didn’t upgrade – the new versions were, by definition, either not good enough or did not offer the right improvements to attract those users to upgrade.

Now, although not technically Embarcadero’s fault as those versions did not come out “on their watch”, they cannot shrug off their obligations that easily imho.  A great part of the “Delphi Team” have remained constant through the .NET Borland/DTG/CodeGear era, so some share of the “blame” has to be shouldered on their behalf, as it were.

There is of course the argument that someone who bought Delphi 1.0 some fifteen years ago should not get the same great price on Delphi 2010 that is offered to someone who has bought ALL Delphi versions since.  But equally, if that person had no need and no desire to upgrade until now, why should they be penalised for the failure of the tool to improve in ways that suited them?  And of course, they haven’t had the benefit of the use of those intervening versions either, so why make them pay for that?

Surely better to keep them as a customer than put disincentives in their way to encourage them to drop the product entirely?

But we aren’t of course talking – in the main – about Delphi 1 users.  Not even 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 users.  However as I say, I for one do get the impression that there may still be a large number of Delphi 7 users out there.

As of January 1 2010, those guys (and anyone still stuck on Delphi 2005 for that matter) will be cut off by Embarcadero – “Upgrading” to the latest Delphi 2010 will cost them a new user license.

I have to wonder how many of those will simply decide that the time has finally come to ditch Delphi and make the switch to Visual Studio that they’ve been fending off.

This perhaps wouldn’t be so bad if the Unicode implementation had not been handled in the way that it had.  Anyone using Delphi 2007 will need to upgrade to Delphi 2011 if they want to be eligible for an upgrade to Delphi 2012, even if they have no plans to use Delphi 2011 itself (or perhaps even 2012) because they are not in a position even at that time in their projects to tackle the Unicode “hump” that CodeGear threw into their path.

And yes, for some people that hump is significant.

Take A Community Edition And Call Me In The Morning

I can only hope that attendant with this change in policy will be the creation of a free personal/non-commercial edition of RAD Studio that will be eligible as an upgrade basis for a full license of the same version of the product.

i.e. “RAD Studio 2010 – Community Edition” from which you could obtain upgrade pricing for a full RAD Studio Pro or Enterprise edition of 2010, albeit perhaps not as generous as an upgrade from a previous Pro/Enterprise edition.

This would help alleviate a great deal of the sting of this policy change, imho.

24 thoughts on “New Delphi Upgrade Policy – Get in QUICK!”

  1. A think the people at Embarcadero dont think that Lazarus is almost where Delphi 7 is and it also haves improvements from Delphi 2005.

    The new policy is bad for all of us, considering that the new Enterprise Edition costs 2,799 going against Visual Studio for les then 1,000.00.

    The upgrade from Delphi Pro to Enterprise is 1,799.00.

    Delphi 2010 for me it is the best Delphi ever but the price is very very very high.


  2. I can see why Embarcadero might want to do this to present something of a ‘stick’ to encourage users with older versions of Delphi to upgrade (more revenue & more people using the current version of Delphi is a good thing from their perspective.

    I do agree the quality of a series of Delphi releases was lower than could be reasonably expected.

    We too are faced with the UniCode hump, not to mention that we are currently using RAD Studio 2007 to produce both Win32 and .NET binaries from single source. Also, when Prism was introduced CodeGear broke Object Pascal compatibility which means we are faced with upgrading the entirety of RAD Studio (but use only one component – Delphi), or ‘downgrade’ to Delphi 2010 with the downside that there is no ‘upgrade’ back to RAD Studio at a later time (you must purchase a whole new license).

    I think Embarcadero need to take great care with their upgrade policies lest they drive away portions of their user base.

    I imagine that Lazarus must be starting to look quite good for growing numbers of users. Its use of UTF-8 Unicode encoding means the Unicode ‘hump’ is not _much_ different from handling MBCS now. Plus it already does cross-platform and 64 to boot. Oh – and did I mention it’s free?

  3. I agree that Delphi 2010 is the best Delphi ever, and that the prices are very very high. I really hope that they take the compiler and the IDE core and build a personal/lite edition for $99. Leave off refactoring support, database aware componentry, the basic Together diagrams page stuff, and make a lite easy small product, and charge $99, and make the license prohibit use for commercial purposes.

    As for the upgrade, I agree, take it now, folks. $399 gets you Delphi 2010, if you have a license for Delphi 5,6, or 7, and you need to get current, do it NOW!!! Also there’s a BOGO special on so you could get C++Builder thrown in free, or Delphi4PHP, or something like that.


  4. I am worried about Unicode. That is what stops me from upgrading from Delphi 2007 to Delphi 2010. I guess they thought it would help but it’s not helping me.

  5. I bought every Delphi version professionnal or similar from Tubo Pascal then Delphi 1 to 2010.

    For 2010, i finally upgrad for Entreprise version because of the database connection possibility. Meanwhile, i bought Delphi for PHP. Now, i realise that i should stick to Pro version because MySql driver can be accessed in Pro version.

    So i spent time and money to support the Delphi Team in their work. All last changes made (generics, IDE facilities…) are not essential to my work
    1) i got nasty habbits from the olders versions
    2) generics, class helper and so on are theorically interesting for students but not for end user from my point of view. It could even be a cause of instability if the changes affect the core programm, thats to say more time and more money to spent or to lost becaus of insatified custumers.

    We need:
    1) 64 bits versions
    2) Cross platform
    3) More and more detailed help: this point is getting mature with the last Delphi wiki

    I’m also a Visual Studio user. I must confess that Delphi is the best even if less complete.


    1. @Radek – I for one am still waiting for someone to show me something that *only* generics can do or that generics make easier to understand or (more importantly) easier to extend once code is in the wild and required to adapt to the changes occurring around it.

      All of the examples of things that *can* be done with generics are fine, but suffer from an unnecessary additional level of complexity to get your head around when trying to grok the code and in most cases when challenged with: “OK, so now how do I modify or extend the implementation or use it in this that or the other way not originally envisaged by the generic” come up short in ways that the alternative, supposedly “inferior” techniques do not.

  6. I take the points made Jolyon and don’t really diasagree, however… Our position was for a long time Delphi 6, then on to D2007, which is where we are now. We have no intention of budging until a 64bit release is cast in stone and delivered. That may well cost us the price of new licenses, but on the flip side we won’t be paying an “SA” type insurance policy (the upgrade prices) just to make sure we keep qualifying for future upgrade pricing. Or put another way, I have no faith that if we get on that treadmill, we will get to where we need to be – 64bit. A treadmill by definition of course goes nowhere!

    No taxation without representation, isn’t that a favourite saying of our US friends ?!

    Well, tax us when you deliver what we need.

    1. @Paul – I was a little confused by your comments at first then realised that my post – or the title of it at least – could be seen as advocating and encouraging people to upgrade. That wasn’t actually my intention. I was only pointing out that the “upgrade window” is closing so anyone thinking of upgrading might need to act sooner rather than later.

      I think this policy change is a mistake of Inprise proportions.

      People should upgrade when they need or want to – it behoves the suppliers of the software products to create products that encourage and entice upgrades.

      But when people feel they don’t have any choice they are less likely to pony up and meekly “do as they are told” than they are likely to turn to alternatives.

      Some people have pointed out that Microsoft upgrade policies aren’t as generous as Borland’s are/were. That may be true, but Microsoft are in a much stronger position to dictate terms to their user base. I don’t believe that CodeGear have that luxury. Especially since, currently, a new user license of Microsoft Visual Studio costs a fraction of the price of RAD Studio or even Delphi alone (even upgrade prices).

    1. @Sharken – Having “time to decide” is not the point. That‘s the role of trial/evaluation editions.

      This is about sticking two fingers up at the community for whom the releases of recent years have not been of sufficient quality or sufficiently “on target” for the needs of the user base to entice them to upgrade, so now Embarcadero are trying to force them.

      As regards Unicode, dealing with compiler warnings is NOT the end of the story. In many instances all that gets you is an ANSI application that happens to use the Unicode API’s of the OS.

      Supporting Unicode – properly – is just not that simple, and in taking the approach that they did CodeGear have created a great deal of confusion and promoted misunderstanding by encouraging a mindset that thinks that “compiling without warnings” is “IT” as far as Unicode goes.

      Q: What function do you think you should call to correctly convert a Unicode string to Uppercase? I am fairly certain that you will be surprised by the answer. (I’ll make it easy for you and tell you that you have at least two choices of uppercase functions that compile without warnings with String parameters: Uppercase() and ANSIUppercase()).

      Danny Thorpe once wrote that Unicode was as big a game-changer as 64-bit support and suggested that the two should go hand in hand.

  7. My problem to upgrade have a name: UNICODE.
    We don’t have enough time to revise and correct our projects for UNICODE support. BUT the main problem are certains component that we use (PNGComponents, BetterADODataset, etc.) that require a lot of work to adapt to the UNICODE restrictions of D2009/2010.
    I think that CodeGear did a gret mistake to force the applications to a UNICODE support. We make applications for the only Italian Market and UNICODE support is not need at all. As us the are a lot software houses in the same situation.

  8. I’m freelance developer. The price is very high but it’s not matter only of upgrade Delphi. It’s Delphi and tms and reportbuilder and all this third party compos. It’s the time and effort of test the projects with the new compos releases (my customers don’t pay for this kind of work), and it’s simply that I don´t need all the things of the new releases. I need a Delphi 5 or 7 and all thos 3rd party compos. I’ll pay for a 2010 with a dbgrid like the DevExpress suite, or something similar.
    After all the 90% of my apps are databases, with billing, reporting, accounting. That’s all. Connectivity and visual compos. Rtti enhancements, code formatter… I don’t REALLY need this things. Ide ehancements.. take cnn wizards, o gexperts and you get a very decent IDE…
    So, upgrade to 2010 it’s very expensive for me, and in this crisis time customer are paying less for the developments… I can’t upgrade. Simply. I don’t need and it’s expensive.

  9. I’m an happy user of Delphi 7.
    I’m also an happy registered users of many Delphi IDE add-on and libraries.

    I’ve used Delphi since version 1.
    I’ve upgraded every version of it from 1 to 7.

    For my job version 7 is fantastic.

    Embarcadero has done to delphi 7 a lot of good things *BUT* nothing that you cannot do yourself!

    Take for example the new memory manager FastMM: you can integrate it in D7 and it *IS* really stable.
    Or for example MMX (ModelMaker Code Explorer): with D7 you have nothing more useful than MMX.
    Then you can install Gexperts or cnPack IDE Wizards or install them both.

    Why do I have to pay someone that I’ve already payed in the past for Delphi 4, one of the most dangerous “viruses” you can deliberately decide to install on your pc?

    I think that Embarcadero should enforce a refound policy for customers of Delphi 4, 2005 versions.

    I’ve decided that unicode is a feature I can live without as are generics: I use generics in other languages, but for Delphi I can easily make an exception and not use them.

    So please do a favor to yourself: install FastMM, buy MMX, add Gexperts and cnPack IDE Wizards and you will have something that is stable enough to do great things with it.

    I’m also considering Lazarus: after all I really love Open Source.

    After being a programmer since 1987 I’ve developed my personal opinions about my work: I don’t like those artisans that believe that they cannot accomplish their work without a particular tool. I’ve learned that the silver bullet is something that doesn’t exists.

    Delphi is live! Long live to Delphi (7) 😉

  10. What is the big stinking deal?

    OK, I agree, the price for Delphi is too high. I think they’d sell more copies and make more money if the “standard” version was $300, and the “architect/enterprise” was ~$600.

    Delphi 7 was released in 2002…7 years ago. That same year, Microsoft released Visual Studio .NET, as well as v1.0 of the .NET Framework (the next year was when VS-2003 was released).

    They don’t allow you to get the “upgrade” price from the 1st .NET supported version of VS to VS-2008…and many agree that was probably the poorest release of the IDE/language.

    If you’re on Delphi 7 still, you’ve made a choice. Now it’s time to make a decision if you want to upgrade for a low price. The quality of the latest release is very high.

    If you don’t want unicode, then upgrade to Delphi 2007. If not, then you will pay full price for Delphi 2011 (or whatever it’ll be called).

    1. Microsoft are in a much stronger position to dictate terms to their users.

      Is it really “a good thing” that Embarcadero should be getting ideas that they can do the same? In the long run I am afraid this new policy is going to do more harm than good.

      Consider someone that hasn’t already upgraded… Embarcadero have secure $0 from that customer for a Delphi 2010 upgrade. Does *increasing* cost for that person to eventually upgrade (because that IS what they are doing) make it more or less likely that they will eventually do so?

      Any other argument is more about throwing hissy fits than it is about doing what’s best for the Delphi community (in terms of growing it an ensuring that it prospers). Talk of CodeGear being denied revenue because people have chosen not to upgrade is completely idiotic. Making it more expensive for them to make further contributions to CodeGear coffers simply makes it more likely that CodeGear won’t ever see another cent from those people ever again. It cannot change the existing purchasing history of those customers.

  11. I understand the sentiments of those opposed to the change. As Dilbert said, Change is good, you go first!. Coming to the Delphi world professionally only since D2007 I was amazed that they had such a generous policy. I think it was the only thing they could do however because the quality of the releases so poor enough that if they had pulled the plug with, say D2005, they might as well shut the doors and gone home.

    Since D2007 though, I think the quality is more than acceptible and I think both 2009 and 2010 are very good (best I use outside of Visual Studio). So they have more than enough quality to pull the plug and not lose their market.

    How many of you that were professionally developing a product as old as Delphi would allow an upgrade policy that generous (I go back 1 generation or its a new version with my stuff).

    Embarcadero has rejuvenated the language and the community is coming alive and growing again. They deserve some compensation for their investment.

    I do agree its too expensive however, the prices should easily be half the current pricing structure.

  12. Upgrading from D7 to D2009/2010 is not just a matter of money. The Unicode change broke a lot of comps, specialy old ones. Many of them wasn’t still ported to work with Unicode strings. So, for a lot of people, upgrading is desired but not yet possible. Embarcadero is doing bad with this new upgrade policy and yep, I agree Delphi prices are still too high. Shame on them, I hope they open their eyes in time and change the prices and upgrade rules to something more logical, or maybe they just want to see more people going to Visual Studio/C# 🙁

  13. Folks, you are also missing an avenue of upgrade here. I have been a loyal TurboPascal/Delphi user since TP 3.02a – bought every version, even all three versions of Kylix (sigh). That doesn’t get much more loyal, I think. There is a price bite to pay the first time you opt for it but in the long run I believe it’s worth it. What am I talking about? The Software Assurance policy. Sure, you pay every year, but then again, there has been a new version of Delphi every year. I got lucky this time in that my one SA got me two versions of Delphi – 2009 and 2010 – all for one payment of 800 something dollars (I don’t remember now but don’t really care either). For that price I receive RAD Studio Enterprise and Delphi Prism. And while that price is a bit steep, the best price for VS Pro that I have found is a three year commitment at $500.00 a year. And let’s face it, M$ has the money to sell their product at a cheaper price point – they can use VS as a write off against Windows, something that Embarcadero can’t do.
    So…let’s give the folks at Embarcadero kudos for boosting the Delphi product and keeping the dream alive; keep telling the folks that write Delphi what we hate about it – they *do* listen, unlike the folks at M$, and keep the best development product out there alive and kicking – I *REALLY* don’t want to switch to VS-only development if I can help it – I am paying the bills with Delphi and earning beer money with VS – I’d like to keep it that way!

    1. SA makes no sense for most hobbyist/individual users and at the Pro SKU makes very little sense for businesses either.

      I haven’t checked with current SA and Delphi 2010 prices but certainly it used to be that SA made sense for Enterprise/Architect users, where iirc you could skip every other version and still be better off with SA, but with Pro you HAD to find value in *every* Delphi release for SA to make more sense than upgrading – say – to every other version.

      With the way that Unicode has been introduced even that logic broke down with 2009. Someone on Delphi 2007 and SA but unable to migrate their code to Delphi 2009 without incurring an unnecessary (for them and/or their customers), costly and risky Unicode effort, also has no use for Delphi 2010 (or 2011 or 2012…) unless/until they are compelled to tackle the Unicode hump.

      And sure, the alternatives – e.g. migrating to C# – are an even bigger undertaking, but with what could be seen as additional advantages.

      The Unicode hump in Delphi is, in contrast, “running to stand still”.

      What most people don’t realise I think is that even once your application is compiling without Unicode warnings in D2009+, unless you have done a heck of a lot more work you still don’t have a true “Unicode” application. All you have is an ASCII application that to happens use the Windows Unicode API.

      *Proper* Unicode support is a much bigger and more complicated issue, which is why I think the approach CodeGear took in their implementation was wrong-headed from the start.

  14. *Proper* Unicode support is a much bigger and more complicated issue, which is why I think the approach CodeGear took in their implementation was wrong-headed from the start.

    Yes I completely agree with you!

  15. All of your comments are good, I agree that Delphi upgrades are rather high and I know Embarcadero need to start leverage the cost of investment they’ve put into Delphi, although in some instances they’re slamming the door certainly in our faces.

    We’re an ISV with 20 Delphi developers using BDS 2006. We can no longer purchase BDS 2006 licenses. So we cannot grow at all without investing an estimated £70,000 in Delphi license fees, 3rd party component license fees, converting any no-longer-available 3rd party components and getting developers up-to-speed.

    I’d pay twice the cost of BDS 2006 just to get a single license right now (and we need three!), but we just cant get them. What is worse is that when we reinstall we have to jump through hoops just to get our license keys registered (reg.borland.com).

    If that isnt bad enough I feel that eventually even the above registration system might fall to the wayside meaning we may not even be able to reinstall BDS 2006 at some point in the future.

    So, we’re faced with being force to shell out £70,000 for absolutely no return (we’re a bread and butter sort of company, we wont use the new features in the short term), or invest that cash into going down the Visual Studio route, we already have 40 licenses available being a Gold Partner.

    I love Delphi, but alas the decision to stick with it is not easy.


  16. Delphi… I can’t even tell you how sick I am of dealing with this tool. I used it up to version 4 and loved it. Used it for tons of little projects at all my jobs. Then the wacky ride that landed us where we are now.

    Embarcadero’s financial and marketing teams together I think must be all using some really great type of drug. The things they write in their rhetoric are absolutely asinine as they try to get me to blow how ever many THOUSANDS of dollars for their product that REALLY isn’t THAT much better to justify the wild prices they’ve been slinging.

    I work on a project that is fully Delphi 7 on the client side, with a PHP back end. There has been talk for two years about what to do. I voted to try to keep Delphi in the loop, and was the only one in the company who wanted it, so they allowed me to try to get some kind of deal with Embarcadero to make it worth our while…

    I wrote to them, and didn’t even get a response back. So, my company said “Well, here’s a C#/.net book, forget your old tools, they are dead.” and sad to say, they are right. Then Embarcadero decides to start contacting me with the hard sell via phone and email 6 months later, after decisions are made, and things are started. Yup, ONE more customer down the tubes. And I won’t spend ANY money on Embarcadero company. They don’t care about the little guy, and that’s the bottom line. So as far as I’m concerned, Embarcadero and their insanely greedy financial department can eff off, and that’s what I tell every other developer I know as well. They will fail and sink, because they didn’t take a good look at software history. Dumb. Shame to see such a great an innovative product turn into this. I miss OLD trustable, reasonable Borland!

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