A fourth pillar has been erected in Embarcadero’s rapid application development tool set. Traditionally, the company’s rapid application development IDE, RAD Studio, has focused on C++, Delphi and .NET. But with the release of RAD Studio XE in early September, Embarcadero is adding PHP to that mixture, as well as new cloud-targeted deployment tools and some powerful third party tools.

Mike Rozlog, Embarcadero’s RAD Studio product manager, said that XE focuses on easing deployment to both Amazon’s and Microsoft’s cloud environments. “We made it simple to interact with Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform, especially around tables, queues and blobs,” he said.

“All I have to do is drop in a connection string, add a user name and password, then I can go out and create a brand new data stream. I can create a queue and just start putting messages into the queue and interacting with that.”

That’s because RAD Studio XE automatically creates such queues and tables on the Windows Azure platform. Amazon Web Services, too, is supported for quick deployments of RAD applications, and Rozlog said that developers can push code to Amazon’s EC2 using little more than their Amazon credentials to spark the deployment.

RAD Studio XE isn’t just about new deployment options, he said, as the four-IDE suite now includes a PHP IDE in addition to Delphi XE, C++Builder XE and Delphi Prism XE, the company’s .NET IDE.

RAD Studio XE will be available to developers in early September; the company is not ready to reveal pricing.

RadPHP XE, said Rozlog, “is basically a really fast way to develop native PHP code. It comes with its own set of 135 components for things like Google Maps, MySQL and Zend authentication components. Everything you write in the product is 100% PHP. It also includes debuggers and profilers, so you can take any PHP application and hit the ‘run debug’ button, and you can start pushing through code you wrote five years ago.”

Additionally, RAD Studio XE includes third-party tools that Embarcadero felt were helpful to the RAD process. SmartBear’s AQtime code profiler is included, as is the Beyond Compare diff tool. Additionally, Embarcadero is included a logging operations library designed to allow developers to quickly drop logging functionality into existing applications.

Embarcadero has also opened up the code behind its Subversion support in RAD Studio XE. The idea, said Rozlog, is to give developers the ability to see how the platform handles source-code management, and to allow developers to write their own SCM tools on top of the IDEs.

Finally, Rozlog said RAD Studio XE will include a new system for helping developers control the build process. By choosing from a list of build functions, he said, developers using RAD Studio XE will be able to point and click their way through the process of creating complex build scripts.