Embarcadero has released RAD Studio 10.4, featuring updates to the rapid application development tool chain for RAD Studio, Delphi, and C++ Builder.

Version 10.4 delivers improvements for Windows 10 VCL (Visual Component Library) desktop development, Delphi multi device development, and developer productivity that optimizes application performance while reducing the time developers spend building and maintaining code. In total, RAD Studio 10.4 introduces more than 1,000 quality and performance enhancements. Embarcadero senior product manager Marco Cantu called the release “the most significant update we’ve made to RAD Studio in years.”

A key feature of the release includes the introduction of the Language Server Protocol (LSP) technology for Delphi to standardize inter-process communication between the RAD Studio Code Editor and Delphi language server. This helps Delphi developers speed code completion, improve error insight accuracy, and reduce the memory required to parse large projects with millions of lines of code, according to Cantu.

RAD Studio 10.4 also adds new custom-managed records support for Delphi record types. The Delphi language allows more complex record types with class-like functionality that may include properties and methods (including constructors), class properties, class methods, class fields, and nested types. Custom-managed records allow developers to customize how records get created, copied, and destroyed by writing the code to be executed at each of these steps.

In addition, Delphi memory management is now unified across mobile, desktop, and server platforms using the classic implementation of object memory management. Compared to Automatic Reference Counting (ARC), this offers better compatibility with existing code and simpler coding for components, libraries, and end-user applications, says Cantu.

RAD Studio also includes updates to its VCL for Windows 10 with new high-DPI support for styled applications. Developers can now use multiple VCL styles in different forms within a single application or different visual controls on the same form. This includes support for styling any element using the default platform theme and allows developers to use third-party unstyled controls within a styled VCL application. Additional capabilities include integration with Microsoft’s Chromium-based Edge browser and expanded C++ compilers and debuggers for Windows 10.

The 10.4 release continues to support multi device development with FireMonkey enhancements, including implementation of Metal 2 GPU driver support for macOS and iOS, Apple API updates, Windows API updates, enhanced FMXLinux integration for the Enterprise and Architect edition, and more.

RAD Studio includes a new unified installer for online and offline installations using Embarcadero’s GetIt package manager. This allows users to select an initial set of RAD Studio features to install, add, or remove at any time via an internet connection or ISO image.