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I visited the site of Embarcadero and read about Delphi. Though the new version is named Delphi XE, but it is not Express Edition. I want to learn programming in Delphi. Is there any Express Edition or a trial version with no time limit?

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closed as off-topic by gnat, MichaelT, GlenH7, Kilian Foth, BЈовић Aug 25 '13 at 9:00

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If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

According to Embarcadero, "XE" is a new unified branding name for all of their products. E means Embarcadero, and X means a handful of different things combined into one, none of which are easily associated with an X mnemonic. Go figure. But it has nothing to do with "eXpress Edition" or anything similar. –  Mason Wheeler Nov 17 '10 at 19:10
For what it is worth, I've heard that Embarcadero can extend the trail for you if you ask your friendly sales person. Sounds like a pain to me though. –  Jim McKeeth Jul 28 '11 at 21:13

5 Answers 5

up vote 24 down vote accepted

No, there isnt. Its one of the ways Embarcadero (and Borland and CodeGear before them) keeps shooting themselves in the foot, and why Delphi has become essentially an afterthought in Windows development, despite being the best tool for Windows application development.

They dont even have an inexpensive edition (ie, in the range of $99-$199). Foolish. And your question shows exactly why. People want to try it out after hearing us Delphi users tell everyone how great it is... but they arent going to do so if it costs $800 to get started.

There is the open source Delphi-like IDE called Lazarus. Its not as polished as Delphi, but is similar in concept (and cross platform). The language is almost identical, and the framework closely compatible. I use it sometimes to compile apps on other platforms. Its functional, but like I said, not nearly as polished as Delphi.

Edit: As of 1/31/2011, there is now a low cost ($149) edition of Delphi. I just wanted to make sure I updated this should people happen upon this answer moving forward.

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+1 for "shooting themselves in the foot". I remember some 20-odd years ago when Borland was a big player, mostly by offering fast, lean and efficient products at a reasonable price. That's changed in the 90s and we barely hear about them nowadays. The multiple name changes do not help either. A real shame. –  MetalMikester Nov 18 '10 at 12:37
+1 for pointing out the reasons I personally have not tried Delphi. Between all the confusing changes of ownership and the apparent cost, I just gave up, despite how much I've desired to work with a lower-weight option (vs. .Net). –  qes Jan 31 '11 at 23:38
@qstarin: Check out the edit. While I'd enjoy seeing the price a bit lower than they set it at, Delphi is definitely a lot more affordable for learners now than it was yesterday. –  Mason Wheeler Jan 31 '11 at 23:50
Thanks for the Lazarus mention. I'm working on an open-source Delphi app and really didn't want to plunk down $150 just to try to debug one issue. –  Chris Heald Feb 6 '11 at 6:13
A few days ago, Delphi XE Starter came out. –  Jon Feb 8 '11 at 7:18

This just came out recently: Delphi XE Starter edition

Delphi Starter Edition is a... way to get started building... applications for Windows without database connectivity. Delphi Starter includes a streamlined IDE, code editor, ultra fast 32-bit Windows compiler, integrated debugger, two-way visual designers to speed development, hundreds of visual components and a limited commercial use license.

Delphi Starter key features include:

  • Develop 32-bit Windows applications using the Delphi VCL and FireMonkey application platform
  • IDE and visual development environment
  • Hundreds of included components
  • License for use until your individual revenue from Delphi applications or company revenue reaches $1,000 US or your development team expands to more than 5 developers.

... See the Starter Editions FAQs for additional details...

Starter edition looks like it is $199 or so.

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They offer a competitive upgrade price of $149 from "any other IDE or development product". I've been told that doesn't exclude free development tools so really everyone should get the $149 price. –  LachlanG Jun 6 '11 at 23:19

I don't know if it's "actually" free. I can't find any real documentation about it, but I heard it was an official deal done by the community. Anyway, there is Delphi 7 Second Edition which I can't find any kind of "purchase" page for. I've used it before and it seems just like a bug fix release of Delphi 7. Again, I don't know about the legal status of it though.

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It's not "free", since it's an hacked version. But Delphi 7 doesn't support unicode. –  Sirber Jan 7 '14 at 15:25

If you want to try Delphi XE, Embarcadero leaves you no other choice but to get it illegally. Finding the torrent shouldn't take more than 30 seconds though.

  • If you like it: buy it.
  • If you don't: no loss for anyone.
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There are trial editions, you do not have to pirate for this reason. –  sukru Mar 11 '11 at 18:11

As GrandmasterB pointed out there isn't an express edition. The last free version you could obtain was Turbo Delphi but it is no longer available. You have two choices:

  • If you are student you can purchase a Delphi XE academic license for a pretty reasonable price from Programmer's Paradise.
  • As GrandmasterB mentioned you can download Lazarus for free.

Note: You are legally restricted from using an academic license to produce commercial software. So if you intend to do more than just learning you'll need to upgrade to a commercial license.

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