Online help in Bristol Technologies HyperHelp Format
Source code for sample applications included
Uses Object Pascal for application development
No packaging tool to simplify application deployment
No automated integration with Web servers
Pentium 200 MHz processor (Pentium II 400 Mhz recommended, required for Enterprise)
64 MB RAM (128 MB recommended, required for Enterprise)
110 MB disk space (Open), 185 MB (Professional), 225 MB (Enterprise)
Distribution: RedHat 7.1 or later, Mandrake 8.0 or later, SuSE 7.2 or later
Attracting developers from other platforms is always going to be a hot-button issue for Linux. Although there are many integrated development environments (IDEs) for Linux, most of them have a steep learning curve.
A possible exception to this “rule” is Borland’s new Kylix 2, the Linux sister product of their popular Delphi development environment for Windows. But don’t think of Kylix 2 as “Delphi for Linux.” Kylix 2 is a development environment with a powerful set of features.
Pick Your Flavor
Kylix 2 is available in three versions: Open, Enterprise, and Professional. The Open edition is a free, downloadable version designed for creating standalone applications that can only be distributed with an open source license. This makes it easy to test-drive Kylix 2, and also shows Borland’s sensitivity to the needs and concerns of the Linux market. The Professional edition is designed for commercial use and adds components that ease the development of database-driven and Web-based applications. The Enterprise edition adds a set of components for developing full-blown e-business applications for use over the Web.
The heart of Kylix 2 is a toolbar that makes it easy to drag, drop, and customize a wide variety of pre-existing application components, from standard controls and dialogs to powerful data, database, and Internet access components. The toolbar also is how you access many of the new features that differentiate Kylix 2 from both Kylix and Delphi.
The most notable among these is only available in the Enterprise edition. They’re three new palettes that highlight the e-business and enterprise application development orientation of Kylix 2. Borland calls these components WebSnap, DataSnap, and BizSnap.
WebSnap provides components for easy development of Web-enabled applications. DataSnap simplifies creating database-oriented applications and middleware, and includes connectors for databases such as DB2, MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and Borland’s own InterBase. Finally, BizSnap makes it easy to create Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and XML interfaces to access almost any kind of new or legacy data.
With all this power, it’s a shame there are two significant issues that could negatively impact your decision to use Kylix 2. The first is that Kylix 2 applications must be written in Object Pascal. Though Object Pascal brings some of the advantages of Pascal to object-oriented programming, it’s not very widely used. The other is that Kylix 2 doesn’t provide any packaging tools to deploy your application and integrate it with an Apache Web server.
Try it Out
Kylix 2 shows that Linux is truly coming of age as a development platform. The power, productivity enhancements, and cost savings that Kylix 2 can bring to your development organization makes it much more than just a potential alternative to Windows-based development — taking Kylix 2 for a test drive may just be the smartest business decision you’ll make this year.
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