Software tools and libraries company RemObjects Software has reached a major release of its Hydra 4 application framework. Designed for developers to create modular applications that can mix managed (.NET) and unmanaged (native Delphi) code in the same project, Hydra 4 seeks to combine technologies from both platforms.
After a comparatively lengthy spell at version 3, RemObjects now moves to version 4 and introduces support for 64-bit Delphi host applications and plugins; support for FireMonkey host applications and plugins; and support for hosting Silverlight-based plugins as well.
According to an official statement from RemObjects, "Compiling true 64-bit Windows applications has been on the wish-list for Delphi developers for a long time and Delphi XE2 finally provided the elusive support — and [so] Hydra has been updated to match. This makes it easier to build applications that use large amounts of memory, can interact with .NET plugins in 64-bit space, or simply run more natively on the 64-bit Windows systems that are standard these days."
FireMonkey is Embarcadero's new framework for creating rich "HD" or 3D graphical user interfaces in Delphi. RemObjects contends that FireMonkey is likely to supersede the VCL sooner or later but that Embarcadero does not let applications mix FireMonkey (FMX) and VCL by default. This is no reason to jump ship to FireMonkey and discard all your existing VCL code, says the company, because Hydra adds FireMonkey to its list of platforms supported by plugins. This allows developers to mix the new FireMonkey UI alongside existing VCL code or even among WinForms and WPF.
RemObject's Mike Orriss details Hydra 4's ability to work with Microsoft Silverlight so that developers can run Delphi (or .NET) based host applications, alongside other plugins. "This allows you to easily share code and visual elements between your web application and your desktop app, or between your phone and your desktop," he said. "We think Hydra 4 will be an essential tool for the modern Delphi developer — whether to add .NET to your Delphi projects or to add FireMonkey."