Controversial changes in the EULA for Delphi XE3 and C++Builder XE3

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As everybody knows Delphi XE3 will be released soon, some previews have been already published and there are some controversial topics around XEe, mostly because of leaks from people that clearly violated the NDA and this is shameful.

The biggest controversy is the new license agreement (EULA) that leaked this week, where new users can only use the Delphi Professional Edition to access local database, either with the Delphi components or third parties, to develop applications Client/Server applications new users will have to use Enterprise edition or higher, or by the Client/Server Addon for Professional Edition. If you own a license from Delphi 1 to Delphi XE2 you will not be affected by this new restriction.

Here what the EULA said:

. the use of data access technologies for client/server
connectivity will no longer be allowed in the Professional edition.
This includes both Embarcadero and 3rd party solutions. Professional
users may only, legally, access local databases with their applications.

Users who want to use client/server database access can purchase a
Client/Server Add-On Pack for their Professional edition or purchase
an Enterprise, Ultimate or Architect edition product.

This restriction if for new licenses only. Users upgrading to XE3
will be “grandfathered” in that they will be able to continue to use
3rd party data access technologies for client/server database access
in version XE3 ..


Embarcadero haven’t official released the product and there are some open questions about the definition of new users. Here an example, let’s say you own a Delphi 2006 Professional today and want to upgrade to XE3 Professional, in this case you ARE NOT elegible for upgrade because you DON’T own one of the last 3 Delphi version, so you will have to buy a new license (“new user”). Based on this example and the new EULA, here come the question are you considered a “new user” or “upgraded user”? This is just one of many situations I can think right now and will beed to be clarified.

Besides all of this, the third party vendors (Embarcadero Technology Partners) certainly will be affected by this new restriction, we have today several third party providing database access technology to access Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, etc., and mostly used by developers that own Delphi Professional licenses.

The controversy is gigantic, Embarcadero’s forum has more them 300 replies in a single thread, several other blogs about the topic with lot’s of comments.

At least I can see some positive thing on all of this, Embarcadero now knows what many Delphi developers are thinking about this change and can start measuring the impact before release XE3 or make changes before the official announcement.

What are your thoughts on that?

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17 replies
  1. markus
    markus says:

    EMB now lost a lot of trust.
    – no or too litle information on the product.
    – no new or removed features in XE3
    – bad quality (a lot of open bugs)
    – not listening to the community (UML Modeling, FireMonkey, LiveBindings, …)
    – and now this EULA news

    Where is the promise on quality? It seems the development team is not able to hande the market requirement.
    Where does it end?

  2. LDS
    LDS says:

    IMHO it is a smart marketing move. XE3 offers so little that they needed to move developers focus on something else. Now everybody is complaining about the EULA and not the product itself – nobody talking about the world tour, the missing WinRT support, the dropped iOS support. ecc. ecc.

  3. Alexandre Machado
    Alexandre Machado says:

    Another open question: Let’s say I have a company with 20 developers. I could buy 19 Pro licenses and 1 Enteprise license and build the final product using the Enterprise product, can’t I? Developers can use local database access to develop and only the final build will use the full product. I can’t see how they will enforce this….

  4. Simon J Stuart
    Simon J Stuart says:

    I like to think you know me fairly well, Andreano… and you should certainly know that I have generally been quick to defend Embarcadero’s position in the face of public ridicule aimed at me as a result.

    I cannot defend this EULA change, as my posts on the forum thread clearly show.

    It was a stupid idea, it’s unenforcable, and it’s draconian! They need to knock it off and start addressing the REAL problems, rather than creating new ones to drive customers away.

    My position: If this EULA change goes through, I’m resigning my Technology Partnership. Why? Because this EULA change screws everyone (myself included), and there’s no point in being a partner with a company that is screwing me!

    • Andreano Lanusse
      Andreano Lanusse says:

      I know you fairly will Simon and totally understand your point. I think you raise your point direct to them, for sure they already saw your comments here, but if you wanna reinforce go ahead 🙂

  5. andrew
    andrew says:

    I think most understood that only new users are affected.

    The controversy is:

    1. How does EMB define client/server and multitier?
    2. How is this enforceable (internet connectivity is everywhere)?
    3. Tech Partners will lose clients,
    4. The bar is now even higher to new blood entering the Delphi community.

    If it is true that EMB is being commanded from on high to squeeze the orange even harder, then – well, I dunno. Then we have a problem. All of us. Even EMB guys.

  6. andrew
    andrew says:

    …Addendum: The fact that Tech Partners will lose clients is not a bagatelle. It means we, the Delphi community, will lose Tech Partners.

    The point I wanted to make is, we are ALL affected in some way or other.

    Anyway, we do not have the full answers yet from EMB.

  7. Paul
    Paul says:

    Andreano – you state what we already know…

    How about giving us your opinion on the proposed license change ? Your final paragraph hints at the possibility that Emb may have a change of heart. Do you think that may be the case, or will they blunder ahead regardless of what their whole community (minus Rudy of course) is saying ?

    • Andreano Lanusse
      Andreano Lanusse says:


      It’s hard to give you a final opinion on that at this point, like I said there are number of questions that need to be answered.

      I understand Embarcadero wanna raise their revenue, which is fair enough, however I personally would not take this path, which make difficulty for new developers start using Delphi, third parties innovate in Delphi, etc.

      At this point current customers are protected, which is good.

      Not sure what they will change or if they will change, but they have enough information to decide on that.

      • Paul
        Paul says:

        You must take the point that existing customers are not protected?

        In the narrow definition , yes, they are “grandfathered”, but as soon as you skip a couple of versions (not on SA for example), then you become a “new” user at your next purchase. Equally, existing customers are not protected in the wider sense due to the damage done to the community as a whole – as you yourself mention “make difficulty for new developers start using Delphi, third parties….”.

        Leaving the protection aside, what about creating two classes of Pro user, each of which is using exactly the same physical SKU as the other ? One entitled to produce C/S software and the other not. There is no logic to it and it has to be just marketing and finance people pushing the buttons on this one ?

  8. Alan C
    Alan C says:

    The person who broke the NDA has indeed broken their promise to keep silent, however I do not believe what they have done is shameful. They were clearly looking at the greater good of the Delphi community by releasing this information. Apparently, EMBT were going to try and sneak it into XE3 without telling anyone.

    I believe that there is 99% unanamity among the Delphi faithful that this is a disasterous move by EMBT, and by making it public now, the “leaker” has created the possibility of it being reversed when EMBT realize the anger.

  9. Kryvich
    Kryvich says:

    Hi, Andreano. Thank you for asking!
    I use Delphi XE 2 Starter Edition for my hobby programming. As there will be no any DB support in the coming Delphi XE3 SE, my short-range plan is to stay on XE2 as long as it’s possible.

    Right now I’m downloading the shiny new Lazarus 1.0. Unfortunately, not all third-party components has support for it, in particular CCR Exif library. Fortunately, it’s an open source, so I can try to convert the library to Lazarus.

  10. Leonardo Herrera
    Leonardo Herrera says:

    Well, my company is just starting. Right now I’m the sole developer. To me this change means that, if I ever grow enough to hire additional developers, those are by definition *new users*.

    The grandfathering thing is lame as heck.

    Embarcadero has one enormous opportunity to increase revenue: stop screwing its customers.

  11. IL
    IL says:

    I don’t like my license “grandfathered” in a way which gives me a preference among new users of Delphi. EMB should ask community ahead of planning this EULA change. They’ve polled users last year or two about platforms and features. In June they introduced C/S and Ent packs for Pro SKU and now this EULA amendment without any polls.
    I was going to upgrade someday from Delphi Ent to RAD Studio Pro, but feel very reluctant now. Things should really settle down the sooner the better.

  12. Anthony Eischens
    Anthony Eischens says:

    iOS justified my XE2 Pro upgrade. The pricing at the time meant it was RAD studio rather than just Delphi.

    Unfortunately it was not a return to a higher-level sku (at one point I did have Enterprise or Architect in the stable) due to cost/benefit. Specifically it was cheaper for me to go 3rd party for the pieces of Enterprise and Architect that interested me (yay DevArt and others).

    It looks like I won’t be an XE3 buyer but then again I’m on an every-other or every-third release road. A sound Mobile add-on for very little money could push me into XE3, I really want iOS from Delphi. For my use, XE2 shows great promise there, I don’t need native or fancy, FMX was and is sufficient for me.

    That all said, if useable (by me) Lazarus LCL iOS support magically appears OR there is suddenly a ‘complete’ TMS LCL suite, goodbye Delphi. At the end of the day, TMS is why I still maintain a somewhat recent Delphi license, if those pretty/capble components go Lazarus, I’m gone for good!


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