Where do I begin ? I suppose in 2002. BoldSoft was a small but growing
company with a clear vision and a cutting edge product that was already very
mature (in development since 1996).
It was/is a UML compilant MDA framework with a wide range of unique
features, too many to list.
So in 2002 Borland purchased BoldSoft and TogetherSoft (visual modeling) ,
and I remember being excited, expecting Borland to merge these into an even
better product. It was the logical next step (Bold lacked the actual visual
modeller and instead had an import from Rational Rose,Modelmaker, etc).
At that time Borland jumped on the .NET and so the former BoldSoft team was
directed to write a .NET version of Bold, which soon became ECO. So all
development of Bold ceased, never to be continued. In a typical Borland
fashion, no statements were issued of the direction taken. It was never (to
this day) announcned that Bold has been terminated. Bold team did mange to
release Bold for Delphi 2005 and 2006, (which was basically just recompiled
source from 2002) so that pakages are compatible with those IDEs, but that
In the meanwhile, ECO was developed and reach version 4 before the turbulent
times of Borland/Codegear and eventually Embarcadero transition ensured that
former Bold team left and formed CapableObjects and continued development
During all this time there was an impression that Bold/ECO team had half
harted support, wasn't given proper resources or freedom to influence the
direction. Bold (Win32) was terminated and all focus was on ECO yet, as
eventually became evident, Delphi .NET was a failure. Together modeler felt
like it never left beta testing stage, Delphi 8/2005/2006 were all poor
releases quality wise.
And so we come to the present day, an awkward situation where CapableObjects
is an idependant company developing ECO, while Embarcadero still holds the
rights to both ECO and Bold. Borland kept Together. Delphi.NET was
discontinued. Codegear/Embarcadero focused on unicode, language
improvements, and according to current roadmap, cross platform and x64.
There are plenty of buzz words in the road map, from Cloud computing to
Social networking, but only "Agile modeling support with Sequence diagram
generation" sounds like it could be somewhat related.
Now, the main focus of Embarcadero bussiness is database tools. The goal of
the modeling movement, OTOH, is to change the paradigm from database centric
to model centric development, so I'm afraid this is somewhat conflicting.
The global development trends changed a lot in the past 8 years, there has
been the emergence of .NET, growing number of web platforms/frameworks,
cloud computing, multi core/threading & parallelization, testing frameworks,
open source movement, etc.
While these are all significant, and tackle a wide range of issues, the
typical application still ends up using SQL, database triggers, stored
procedures and other db specific technologies. Picking a database is still
one of the first decisions taken. UML is still mostly used in informal way
for planning or fancy documentation, but is rarely used for actual execution
specification of the application. I am not aware of any tools/frameworks
that cover the whole process from diagrams to code generation, db
generation/evolution, gui generation, etc.
There is, however, a growing number of ORMs for various platforms. Even
Microsoft seems to flirt with DDD in Entity framework. But, again, none of
these cover the whole process.
So what about ECO ? Well, it is not open source, nor is it backed by a major
company, and I believe the CapableObjects team currently consists of 2
active developers. So while it's an excellent product, it's market
penetration is minor.
So back to Bold, fortunate few customers who purchased complete source while
it was available, before BoldSoft acquisition, still use it. Some of us have
improved it, but these are now separate branches. Most others, without
source access, either continued using it with older Delphi versions, or
There is however constant interest in OPFs and I believe the number of users
would increase significantly if Bold was once again available, and if it's
future wasn't uncertain.
Embarcadero owns Bold (and ECO) and hasn't done anything with it for years,
and the roadmap suggests that is not likely to change. So for Embarcadero
it's a useless frozen asset, it's not available, and doesn't bring in new
customers. It makes no business sense to continue this status quo. Releasing
it as open source, would however, present the community with a chance to
continue development, and cover another market segment not directly
developed by Embarcadero. So just like DevEx, Indy, ICS, and other popular
3rd party components (free or not) contribute to the sales of Delphi, an
open source Bold would surely, also benefit Embarcadero.
I have therefor been asking this question for years now, only to receive
vague answers, even though I fail to see how the current state benefits
Embarcadero or anyone else.
So on the behalf of Bold community I would really appreciate a concrete
answer from whoever in Embarcadero is responsible for decision making
I would be grateful to you Tony, if you could raise this matter internally
or direct me to people who could.
And sorry for such a long post, but you did ask :)