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The .net support is a preview of Borland's wider plans for supporting the .net Framework. The company believes it will enable programmers to develop their skills and produce a few applications as they learn how to migrate to the new Microsoft platform.
Borland said Delphi 7 Studio is the first independent development platform for .net and, as such, will be a primary challenger to Microsoft's Visual Studio .net.
The advantage claimed for Delphi is that it is a cross-platform environment that supports UML (Unified Modelling Language) and MDA (Model Driven Architecture). The UML/MDA facilities allow Delphi to take a project from design to deployment while reducing the amount of code that has to be generated.
Other features of Delphi 7 Studio include visual Web development for creating Web applications, cross-platform support for Linux through the inclusion of Borland's Kylix 3 development environment, and multi-tier application deployment using Datasnap.
The licensing for Delphi allows single-tier applications to be converted to multi-tier applications with no extra runtime penalties.