There is a lot to say about this year 2020 and for sure, we at TMS had our challenges as well. But to end the year and look back at it, we prefer to stick to the positive things that happened this year.
Looking back, it is actually amazing how many product releases we did and what significant new products were introduced. I think like most software developers, you can relate to the feeling how sometimes painfully slow and difficult software development can be. But in hindsight, we can look back at fantastic achievements. It is with this feeling I'm looking back at our year 2020 especially about two new products that were released:
TMS FNC Maps
We took our FNC concept on steroids with this new product. TMS FNC Maps is not only supporting 4 different development frameworks, 5 operating systems, all major browsers but also 8 different mapping services. Take the best mapping features at the best prices and combine these to integrate powerful mapping functionality in your VCL, FMX, LCL and TMS WEB Core web applications.
TMS WEB Core for Visual Studio Code
Another tour de force was bringing our TMS WEB Core framework to Visual Studio Code. Visual Studio Code is like a natural fit for TMS WEB Core. It is the beloved IDE for web developers, it runs on Windows, macOS and Linux, it is built with web technology, it has a large ecosystem and it is free. It foremostly enables to render your pages and its controls live in the designer, even taking responsive design in account. We even released already a major update in 2020 with support for PWA and Electron cross-platform desktop application development support. Upcoming is the release of v1.2 with support for pas2js v2.0 compiler that introduces generics, attributes, await, promises and many more new capabilities.
Many products got constant updates mainly driven by your feedback, needs, requests. There are too many updates in 2020 to cover all in detail but I'd like to highlight a few ones that personally excited me.
TMS Flexcel for VCL/FMX and TMS Flexcel for .NET got frequent updates this year. The major new features that were added are support for .NET Core v5.0 and an API for adding charts to .XLSX files.
TMS VCL UI Pack
Formerly known as TMS Component Pack, TMS VCL UI Pack has an almost bi-weekly update scheme. Countless new features and enhancements were added all the time. But for me, the major one is the introduction of the new TAdvWebBrowser component that is a wrapper for the new Windows Edge Chromium browser. TAdvWebBrowser permits modern and secure integration of web functionality in your VCL applications. Further, we focused a lot on polishing VCL styles support, TMS styles support and multi-monitor high-DPI support.
TMS FNC UI Pack
Be it for cross-platform FireMonkey applications, VCL Windows applications, TMS WEB Core web applications or free Lazarus IDE based cross-platform applications, TMS FNC UI Pack is a bundle of UI controls including grid, planner, rich editor, treeview, object inspector, … and much more.
Several new components were added to this pack this year: TTMSFNCWaitingIndicator, TTMSFNCSplitter, TTMSFNCRating, TTMSFNCRichEditorHorizontalRuler, TTMSFNCProgressBar and also here our cross-framework, cross-platform browser component was updated to Edge Chromium on the Windows platform. We also introduced FNC styles, to enable easily to give applications built with FNC UI controls a modern Microsoft Office or Microsoft Windows like look & feel.
TMS WEB Core
Two major releases of TMS WEB Core were done, TMS WEB Core v1.4 Ravenna and TMS WEB Core v1.5 Rimini bringing heaps of new functionality.
New UI components: TWebImageSlider, TWebContinuousScroll, TWebShare, TWebToast
New UI logic capabilities: TWebElementActionList, automatic theme adaption, Sentry based cloud exception logging
New support for DB backends: RAD server, FaunaDB, Dream Factory: TWebRadServerClientDataset, TWebDreamFactoryClientDataSet, TWebFaunaDBClientDataSet
New IDE integration: live preview, HTML template import
New direct local database access in Electron apps: mySQL and PostgreSQL
RAD Studio 10.4 support added
This year, Embarcadero released RAD Studio 10.4, so of course, we ensured that every product works seamlessly and as fast as possible with the newest IDE.
TMS Business Subscription
The suite of products to create powerful backends was non-stop improved and extended. TMS XData swagger support was enhanced and it got flexible URL routing mechanism using Route attribute. TMS Logging got support for the Linux platform and new logging output handlers. TMS RemoteDB got support for native database-access drivers, making you no longer depend on FireDac, UniDac or other drivers and have faster operation.
TMS Cryptography Pack
We delivered also here in 2020 several new cryptography functionality: New TLSH component for comparing files based on hashes, new key import from PEM files in TECCEncSign & TRSAEncSign, new signature algorithm on elliptic curve ed448.
Web site enhancements
We launched the TMS Support Center this year, replacing the old support forum. The TMS Support Center offers better search, better interface for editing posts, adding attachments to post, direct messages, … resulting in a much better experience for consulting our support. And best of all, we were able to import our old support forum information in the new TMS Support Center so no valuable information got lost.
We also overhauled the “My Products” page on our website. It became faster and gives you a more focused view on your active versus expired products, offers to renew and status of active licenses.
Academic program launch
We launched this year our TMS Academic Program. Its goal is to enable students to get the maximum out of Delphi and become a new generation of passionate Delphi developers this way. An academic version of the product is free and fully functional and supports the latest Delphi IDE. The program was started this year and we already brought academic versions of 4 of our major products: TMS VCL UI Pack, TMS FNC UI Pack, TMS WEB Core and TMS Flexcel for VCL/FMX.
Four (yes 4!) books were released this year. It started in March with TMS WEB Core Webanwendungen mit Delphi entwickeln written by our chief evangelist Holger Flick and was followed quickly by the English version TMS WEB Core: Web Application Development with Delphi. These books get you started either in German language or English language to develop full web applications with TMS WEB Core clients and TMS XData based backends.
Later in the year, a first book in a series “Hands-on with Delphi”, the book “TMS Software Hands-on with Delphi: Cross-platform Multi-tiered Database Applications: Web and Desktop Clients, REST/JSON Server, and Reporting” was released. The goal of the hands-on series is to cover how different TMS products combined with Delphi fit together with real-life examples. In the first hands-on book, TMS FNC UI Pack controls, TMS Cryptography Pack, TMS Flexcel, TMS Aurelius ORM & TMS XData, TMS WEB Core are all used together.
And if that was not enough, even the 2nd in the series TMS Software Hands-on with Delphi was released: FNC Maps: Cross-framework, Cross-platform, Cross-service Mapping Component Library. This book mainly covers the new TMS FNC Maps product but brings TMS FNC UI Pack, TMS WEB Core, TMS Flexcel, TMS XData, TMS Cryptography Pack in the mix.
This year 2020, there was not only the celebration of 25 years Delphi in February but also 20 years founding of the company tmssoftware.com BV in October.
This year, we also extended our family of partners around the world assisting Delphi developers to get the most out of Delphi in combination with TMS products. We welcome this year Thierry Laborde, offering consulting on Delphi & TMS products for the French speaking developer community and the company Abatic in Spain for the Spanish speaking Delphi developers. In addition to our existing partners, they can give you a helping hand in the most challenging parts of your software development with Delphi and our products.
Not only did our chief evangelist Holger Flick add numerous videos on our YouTube channel, in July our colleague Gjalt also started a new series Gjalt's 101. With this new series, Gjalt brings you the latest news about what is cooking in our labs and tips & tricks to get the most out of our components.
The new year is a white page. There is already lots in the pipeline, exciting R&D work that will come soon to existing and new products, new services we will bring and there are even more ideas and dreams. We are ready to make 2021 an exciting year for Delphi developers! We will share information about upcoming developments soon. We are foremost interested in hearing what your ideas, wishes, needs and dreams are, so our team efforts can maximally aligned to these!
Best wishes for a happy & healthy 2021!