Updated October 2010
This is the updated ROadmap for our product development here at RemObjects Software, looking at our short-term and longer-term plans for RemObjects SDK, Data Abstract, Hydra and also Oxygene/Delphi Prism. Over the past year, we have let the ROadmap updates slide a bit, and we apologize for that. Lack of ROadmap updates has of course not meant that our development and planning teams have been sitting still, as as you have seen, we have released a lot of exciting new features over the course of this year with the Spring and Summer releases, and have caught up (or are well under way) with most of the functionality we have promised in the last ROadmap update from November 2009.
So let us take a look at what where we are now, and where we are going.
One major milestone for us was the release of Relativity Server for all three platforms, and we have shipped that in the Spring and expanded and rounded it off with the Summer release with features such as OData Publishing. We will continue to advance Relativity Server, and it will be a major pillar of our Data Abstract plans for the future.
DA/Xcode, the youngest member of our family, is also the platform that will be seeing the most exciting developments for the upcoming Winter release, as we take it from a pure client-only solution suitable for DA/.NET and DA/Delphi server developers only to a product that can stand on its own and be used by pure Mac or iOS developers. The first step for this was the addition of Relativity Server this spring, and we are closing the gap with our upcoming Schema Modeler for Mac, which was redesigned and rebuilt from the ground up to provide a first class native modeling experience. DASM/Mac will leverage new modeling support in Relativity Server to communicate with any database supported by Relativity, obtain meta data, and allow you to create and edit schemas that are stored in Relativity Server. It will also include a brand new Server Explorer for managing, configuring and testing Relativity Servers and other DA Servers, right on your Mac.
Based on the experiences with the redesigned DASM/Mac, early work has also begun on an all-new Schema Modeler for Windows, to replace the aging Schema Modeler that we have now been shipping and expanding since version 2. The new DASM/Win, or DASM7 as we refer to the project internally, will provide a completely revised and much more streamlined experience for creating and working with schemas, and it will also integrate with Relativity Server, in addition to of course supporting “local” schemas from regular DA server projects being written in .NET or Delphi. It will follow similar UI paradigms as the new DASM/Mac, but of course be designed to fit in on the Windows platform, instead. We have no definitive timeline for DASM7, and plan to ship it “When it’s Ready”, but it can probably be expected sometime in 2011.
Another feature that debuted in DA/.NET this summer was our new New Project Wizard and template engine. That too is currently being expanded to support DA/Delphi, and we are planning to ship that with the upcoming Winter release, unifying the template experience between .NET and Delphi. At the same time, were also building on the now existing infrastructure to provide additional templates for .NET, including Silverlight, Mono and others.
OData support has also been ported to DA/Delphi and will ship in feature parity with .NET in the Winter, bringing this functionality to all DA servers.
We think OData will become an important technology moving forward, and in addition to making DA data available as OData, we are also looking into integrating with OData on other levels, for example in terms of consuming external OData sources as input on the server side, essentially treating them symmetrically with how “regular” databases can be accessed now. Ideally, this would allow seamless exposing of data from regular databases and OData sources in your middle tier, and through your business logic, so that DA clients can consume it and work with it in a unified fashion.
On the RemObjects SDK front, we are still working on a new and revised Service Tester for Windows. Like DASM7, this is a project with no fixed deadline that we are working on on the side and planning to ship “whenever ready”. ROST7 will be WPF-based for fancy graphics and charts, and support scripting to automate complex text scenarios.
For RemObjects SDK for Xcode we are working on adding support for more advanced channels for the Winter release, in particular the HTTP Super channel. In the longer term, we are also looking at adding server support to the product. We still believe that demand for creating actual server applications natively in Objective-C is fairly low, but we recognize that many traditional desktop applications could make great use of server functionality for peer-to-peer communication, for example for syncing up with iOS devices, so that scenario will be our main target with RO/Xcode server support.
Hydra has been and still is a stable and mature product, and as you may have noticed has not received many changes in the past couple years. That is because the product, as it stands, serves a very distinct niche and purpose - combining managed and unmanaged code under one roof - with very little room for vast improvements or major new functionality. That said, we have geared up the development machine for Hydra a bit, again, and as a result, the past Summer release has probably been the most extensive release Hydra has seen in a while. We are planning to keep moving, and we have a range of small-but-significant enhancements that we want to add to the product, mainly aimed at rounding of the development experience and making work with Hydra even more easy and pleasant. Along the lines a few bigger items such as support for Silverlight-based plugins might also make an appearance.
This leaves us with Oxygene, or Delphi Prism. After a major release this spring and a minor non-feature release with Delphi Prism XE last month, we are gearing up for an exciting year 2011. We have a number of very cool language features planned, such as support for what we call “soft interfaces” and duck typing, and “units of measure”, which we are very excited about. We also have a rather big thing planned in relation to Oxygene that we are not ready talk about yet; that project is code-named “Cooper” and should be a mind-bender on a similar level as when we first introduced Chrome 1.0 some six years ago.
We are also looking to start take better advantage of the new WPF-based editor in Visual Studio 2010, with some cool editor features that will set Delphi Prism’s editing experience apart from others. This starts with enhanced markup in the editor to highlight navigation or display errors inline with the code (similar to Apple’s Xcode), over structural highlighting and inline meta data, and extends to some much fancier ideas we have on the drawing board and in the labs.
More longer term, we are looking at adding static code analysis (along the lines of the Clang Static Analyzer for C-based languages), editor-integrated refactoring, pair editing support and more. In addition to of course always driving the Oxygene language itself forward as well.
We hope this ROadmap gave you a brief outlook at what we have planned for the remainder of 2010, for 2011 and even beyond - from concrete features to more abstract R&D projects. As always, we appreciate your feedback and input, so please do not hesitate to let us know what you think - just contact us through the normal channels, or drop us a mail to email@example.com.
Chief Architect, RemObjects Software