I still get people asking about Embarcadero offering a free or community version or Delphi or C++Builder. That is one of the big strategies of IDERA – offering good free tools. So when we joined IDERA it didn’t take long before we started offering Delphi and C++Builder Starter edition for free (or a 100% discount, depending on who you ask).
At first Embarcadero offered it for a limited time, but it is still offered it and you can still get it. The next question I get is “Will it be free forever?” to which I reply something along the lines that forever is a really long time, and I don’t have a crystal ball.
The Starter Edition is exactly that. It has limited feature set, most notably missing database access, and it has a limited license limiting you to free or open source software development, or upto $1000. Generally the latter isn’t too big of a deal because once you cross $1000 in revenue then you have the money to upgrade! And we usually have some great specific offers for upgrading when you are ready for Professional or Enterprise features.
The Starter editions generate a lot of interest, which is great. In the future we may we work them to include more or different features. It will never have as many features as Professional or Enterprise though. Then it wouldn’t be a Starter anymore.