AnyDAC Acquisition

While the information available regarding the AnyDAC acquisition is pretty sparse, I find it worrysome.  Perhaps I’m alone on this, but why does a company acquire a competing technology?  I can think of a couple of reasons: 1) the technology is better than what they currently have, or 2) the company that owns the technology is more progressive and so acquiring them early enough prevents having to compete with, and quite possibly lose to them later.  Otherwise, licensing it is a viable option depending on its intended usage.

Marco in his announcement stated that AnyDAC is “considered the best data access library for Delphi”, and “its [dbExpress] features set remained very stable since it was introduced, and the transition to dbExpress IV started in Delphi 2009, was never fully completed.”  I interpret this last statement as an indication that dbExpress has not continued to evolve, and was never completed in over 4 years.  That is a little disturbing since EMBT sells their additional drivers as part of the Enterprise SKU which commands a large price tag.  It’s also scarey in that Delphi’s popularity was largely due to it’s ability to produce first class client/server applications, and then later distributed database applications.  If EMBT fell behind in such core functionality, to the point where they had to buy a third party product to keep pace, what does that say about their direction?  It’s also concerning that the AnyDAC acquisition might very well mean a change to the EULA in the next release due to the additional cost, and the deprecation of DBX.  I’m sure other EMBT partners such as DevArt are thrilled!

Add to that, the acquiring company is apparently suffering financially, raising it’s prices in the new year, laying off staff, etc, and it really makes you wonder why in January they were negotiating a deal with DA-Soft to purchase DA-Soft’s primary product.  The last time this happened they acquired a flaming ape.

I suppose time will tell what this means to the Delphi community.  I personally don’t see it as a positive.  If I wanted to use AnyDAC, all I had to do was buy it.  Now I will very likely be paying for it (Kind of like the “free” HTML Builder 5 you get with Delphi), whether I want it or not, and there is no telling what the customer service, and development direction of Any DAC will be like in the future.  As part of EMBT, it will become EMBT’s.

18 Responses to “AnyDAC Acquisition”

  1. Nirav Kaku Says:

    Hmmm… the points you make are valid. There’s a concern of the price being inclusive of the AnyDAC (will be known as FireDAC in Delphi) components in the Enterprise edition. But what about the possibility of them selling it as an add on instead of forcing their customer to buy it. Also, if they have acquired the product that is better than anything that they have internally, overall, it’s still a step in the right direction for the product. Every company (including Google) can’t be the best in everything and they resort to buying other companies out.

  2. Günter Kieninger Says:

    I see it nearly like you. I used AnyDAC long time ago with my D7 professional. Now I believe that EMBT will drop Support for D7 and also limit it to the Enterprise version. And it would be a lot of work and money for me to switch to XE3 because I am using older 3rd-Party-tools which are not available for XE3 and I must buy the Enterprise-Version because of new AnyDAC. I hope it will not come this way …

  3. Bunny Says:

    I am not sure, maybe someone can correct me. Assuming acquisitions have always been part of the game. Isn’t it very likely that Crlab (DevArt’s predecessor) invented DBX? Maybe EMB is simply bound to contracts … I don’t know. One of the design decisions had been to offer the possibility to rely on DBX drivers.

    Indeed a solid combination of Datasnap + AnyDAC could make Delphi Enterprise attractive out of the box or enrich the DB Add-on package that already exists for a while now. This is maybe not good news to all those who still insist on a cheap low cost version of Delphi but maybe honors the majority’s patience, those who use the Enterprise version still and as you pointed out carried the torch for a long time and maybe indirectly ’subsidized’ the Prof users and third-party vendors.

    We will see what the future will bring.

  4. Alexandre Says:

    This is one point of view, but you have to consider another thing: Imagine that you have a huge code base using AnyDAC, and then Dmitry thinks: “Delphi user base is not big enough” and decide to go fishing instead of programming? And then? It would be much worse, because you will have a dead technology in the core of your application. The 24h bug fixing and Delphi Pro + AnyDAC era is over, thats true, though.

  5. Dorin Duminica Says:

    IMHO they still haven’t learned that their clients are developers, not “consumers”.

    I think someone up there is trying to hard to add value where there’s a low need and refuses to acknowledge that the product itself is great but buggy, in stead of raising quality standard, they push the third party market off the cliff.

    flaming ape <- priceless

  6. Iam_Noone Says:

    Hi!

    I’m 100% agree with you.

    Since the release of the news, i’m been thinking that this is not a good news at all, on contrary it will kill the market of AnyDAC customers; the main reason is the price will be more expensive.

    And certainly leaves much to be desired about the incomplete implementation of DBX, a product in which EMBT has invested much time and resource.

    At AnyDAC be acquired by EMB passes, they will give the same treatment that has Delphi, I mean support, bug fixes and updates its releases will be as bad as it is right now Delphi.

  7. ObjectMethodology.com Says:

    If it brings more features to Delphi, I’m all for it.

  8. Brian Says:

    We were using dbExpress but required extra functionality so switched to SQL Server Data Access Components (SDAC by Devart). We just started to move to AnyDAC to support more databases within our code.

    If it is now included in the base product - that is great news. One solution many databases.

  9. Araújo Says:

    I can not see as negative.

  10. Carlos Tré Says:

    My very first thought when I first heard of it was “As part of EMBT, it will become EMBT’s”. I had much trouble when I began to use it, most of the time it had nothing to do with any component specifics, but Dmitry was always helpful beyond expectation. I’m really, really sad to them go.

  11. Joseph Says:

    It doesn’t bring more features to Delphi; it duplicates features in Delphi, leading one to wonder what will happen to DBExpress.

    My take on motives had three possibilities:

    1) As stated in the article, an acquisition to replace poor technology or meet a need that couldn’t be met internally.
    2) As a profit driver to draw in new customers to the product.
    3) As a profit driver to attract existing customers to higher-level SKUs.

    I ruled out #2, since there’s nothing unique about AnyDAC compared to the offerings in other languages (in most languages, database access isn’t an add-on feature anyway). If AnyDAC were a killer app, people would already be buying Delphi to use it so it wouldn’t generate more revenue even in that unlikely scenario.

    Regarding #1, I’m not convinced that they decided DBExpress had to go (but it’s possible, especially based on the quote from Marco you provided). I felt #3 was the most likely - eliminating a major tool people were using to avoid buying the Enterprise edition and to which they could point as being cheaper but superior to DBExpress (EMBT doesn’t offer their own PostgreSQL driver, for example). Mr. Bauer and Marco’s original post suggested that they’re “leaning” towards making AnyDAC only available in Enterprise+ SKUs, which tends to confirm this. However, Mr. Bauer’s comments on the forum also suggest there’s some internal debate over this and Marco seems to be pushing for including AnyDAC in Pro or making it available for the same price as it was selling for previously.

    The thing that really made me do a spit-take was Mr. Bauer’s admission that reaction to EMBT policy statements are what will finalize policies, which he made in the EMBT forum thread on the AnyDAC topic. This is not surprising, but still outrageous. It seems there is a “see what we can get away with” approach to things, which completely explains the database EULA fiasco. They had Marco suggest AnyDAC will only be available for Enterprise in his blog, now they wait and see if a #($#-storm materializes, and if not, they’ll do that. Otherwise, they’ll claim they never intended to do that, just as Marco bizarrely asked people how they knew AnyDAC would only be appearing in Enterprise despite his own blog welcoming AnyDAC to Delphi Enterprise and not mentioning Pro at all. I think Marco has the best of intentions but I don’t know how much he can really change in a company that treats its customers in that fashion.

    P.S. To borrow a suggestion from Luigi Sheldon he made in a different context, I think AnyDAC should be renamed “Water Donkey” after the acquisition. This is the Chinese year of the snake… maybe they’ll be incorporating Python into the product this year too?

  12. Cameron Says:

    They should have bought AnyDAC and RemoteObjects a few versions back and packaged them as their go forward enterprise solution. Both techs are vastly superior to their current offerings as well as delivering a complete solution to multi-tier development. Add in some sort of LINQ functionality and Delphi would once again be a very solid platform.

  13. Tubby Says:

    The story is a lot simpler. You get access to AnyDAC and others will get it too.

    Wondering why Allen B., Marco C., TDL joined the discussion in the well known - non-tech. Waste of time. Always the same discussion among non-tech visitors. Hysterical pseudodementia at it’s finest. All vendors I know have given up to discuss with customers … the result is simply a poor one.

    I see no reason for EMB to explain themselves in general. See, first there was very positive feedback also in the thread on Marco’s blog. The first reaction is the most natural and very likely the most appropriate.

    All of sudden the discussion moved to the good old controversial Prof vs. Enterprise. I personally would get rid off this discussion by removing the Prof version.

    Borland did not accept these days, assistance from those who invented AnyDAC. So those set down and started from scratch something new. The very first intention was to replace the DBX components not the drivers and of course add the native drivers. Anything else evolved.

    @Cameron - If you want to buy something there must be someone who sells. It’s this simple and not so simple on the other hand.

    Guy’s you praise third-party vendors similar saints. I personally see this a lot different. Some simply exploit a certain weakness instead of assisting the vendor fixing the problems. On the other hand some really add something different to Delphi and expand the horizon.

  14. Yogi Yang Says:

    I still fear that this does not result in the InstallAware like tieup.

    http://www.installaware.com/blog/?p=58

    http://www.installaware.com/blog/?p=43

  15. JP Says:

    Why not buy svcom from Aldyn while you are at it?
    When writing server side you want services.
    And svcom is the best / only logical way.
    It is also always the last to be upgraded when a new Delphi arrives.(still stuck at XE2)

  16. Leonardo Herrera Says:

    Delphi users are the winners here.

    We existing da-soft customers, on the other hand, will lose the bargain it was buying Delphi Professional + AnyDAC. I bet they will move AnyDAC support to the enterprise versions, which is much more expensive than the “combo”.

    It’s the support part, however, what I’m more worried about. Actually, I’m completely pessimist about this: da-soft support is top-notch. Now it will become QC. Blech.

  17. Tubby Says:

    Existing Delphi Prof. and AnyDAC. The AnyDAC support contracts continue and the renewal will be 150 USD.

    Devart does not have to be thrilled. They still offer the wire protocols (direct mode), Devart is a lot lot bigger:).

    svcom is already on XE3.

  18. TPersistent.com » Blog Archive » AnyDAC Acquisition Concerns Apparently Justified Says:

    [...] just stumbled upon this on DelphiFeeds. Apparently when I posted my concerns about the AnyDAC acquisition back in February I wasn’t too far off the [...]

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