For quite a few months of conspicuous silence about the plans, features and roadmap about their upcoming releases (even a few months ahead), CodeGear finally have published their roadmap for the forthcoming releases.
See Nick Hodges blog here about the publication.
First of all, I am very relieved to see it published. Without a straightforward answer or published roadmap, I was having hard time planning for technology adoption for our oncoming releases. There was a steady stream of complaints and sometimes angry venting at the Codegear forums about the disappearance of the roadmap.
Well, now that it is hear, it is time to start more educated speculations about it :-)
I am specifically interested in the Highlander release roadmap, which is supposed to come out by the end of this year. The farther releases, understandably has much less clear specs, except of course the promise of 64 bit.
Here are some key points I noticed
- DBXClient, this is a very interesting feature. It is nice to have a thin driver layer that is native in both win32 and .net. Unicode support is great as well.
- Consumption of generic types - This is nice, but does it mean there wont be language support for declaring generics?
- CodeBehind support for Asp.Net, very nice
- Aspx provider model for fod DBX4 seems promising.
- I am not sure what unified metadata, but if this further reduce the incompatibility between ado.net and DBX I am happy.
- Is SQLDatabase the replacement for Interbase? It is apparently posed as an alternative to SQL Compact edition from MS. I have to see how that spans out.
- One thing that is not clear is how these features span among the SKUs. I will be very sad to see if the DBXClient and SQLDatabase is limited to the higher SKUs.
- I have never been a big fan of ECO, mainly because of its strong dependencies and issues incorporating it into TDD. However, VCL.Net support for ECO is interesting. I am sure a lot of people who use ECO will like that.
I overall satisfied with this. Lot of the technologies that I am planning to move into like SmartClient Software Factory, Workflow Foundation and WPF (I am sure there wont be a WPF design surface available, but that is not a major issue for the next one year for me) will work with Highlander.
Now we have to see how true the release time line will be.