Deep Delphi Discussions


Everyone knows Delphi is the best Rapid Application Development tool. Delphi, C++Builder, and RAD Studio set the standard that everyone else is still trying to follow. Nothing will get you to market quicker with a great native experience for your users.

Delphi is also a top choice for large, long lived, and complex applications. Many of these are line of business applications that automate the internal operations of so many companies. I’ve worked on or seen a few of these large scale line of business applications over the years, and I’m sure many of you have too. Some of them are still maintained with the original version of Delphi they were written in, while many of them are moving forward with new releases adding new features and platforms.

Embarcadero Cool App ContestWe’ve been running the Cool App Contest as a way to highlight some of the cool and exciting apps that were developed with Delphi, C++Builder, and RAD Studio. Most of the entries and winners were consumer focused, like EarMaster for iPad, 1Password for Windows, Expresii, or 3D Train Studio. There were some in the Line of Business category too, like BeePOS, Where On the Map, FrameForge Previz Studio, and MalyKangurek POS. We even had some developer focused tools like BEAM, RAD & Installer, and Visuino.

But we really didn’t do a good job of highlighting large scale, internal, line of business applications. That is where this new blog series comes in. I’m going to interview architects and lead developers on some of their projects that are built and maintained by teams of developers and are core to different businesses. We’ll talk about some of the challenges they faced, why they use Delphi, and some of the more elegant solutions they’ve created.

Based on my experience some of the reasons Delphi is the ideal choice for these sorts of applications include:

  • Database Access was a key feature of Delphi from the very first release. The BDE was ahead of its time and FireDAC takes those core concepts and brings them forward to a modern, lightweight framework. Now with the REST Client Components and the Enterprise Connectors you can access data from anywhere like Salesforce, CouchBase, Google Sheets, etc.

  • A Commitment to Backwards Compatibility is something else that sets Delphi apart from so many other development tools out there. Many developers I talk to who are using other languages and tools spend a good portion of their time rewriting their programs to work with the latest version of the tools. With Delphi the changes necessary to upgrade to the latest version are minimal if any. This is because Embarcadero respects the investment you have in your code.

  • Rapid Application Development is so important in business. It gets you to market quicker, and helps your line of business applications evolve and change as your business does. When I worked at Micron Computer my co-worker was a Visual C++ developer, and he came to me and said I was making him look bad by turning around all the change requests I got with Delphi so fast. After that whenever there was a change request my stock answer was “That’ll take at least a week, but only if we’re in spacedock!” He eventually switched to Delphi as well.

Stay tuned to this series as we discuss what makes Delphi ideal for so many of these key line of business applications. I’m lining up Delphi Experts to talk with now, but am also open to your suggestions.

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  • Reach libraries and powerful rapid GUI in same language and IDE where at same time developer have an access do deepest layers of direct hardware programming - that is awesome and killer feature of Delphi and C++Builder.More friendly, helpful and supportive language in Delphi makes it my favourite!

  • far in advance before C++ and others.?? Not so, as C++ Builder brings all the same advantages. I develop and Maintain a significant set of Applications for a National Rental Company on my own, and keep up fairly well. We are never more than one version behind and often on the latest cut due to the painless upgrade process. I make most of the components I use, but there is plenty of choice if I want to buy some functionality in. So its the RAD Studio approach which brings the value.
  • I like Delphi very much since 1.0. But I cannot understand why nobody speaks about the biggest feature of Delphi: The component based architecture. A Delphi program should always be some component developement. Components are a big architectural feature and help even beginners to avoid internal dependencies. Delphi is the only programming environment that has successful implemented component development. If you program Delphi the first thing you have to think about is: What components do I have, which components do I have to buy and which components have I got to develop by myself. Once the components are connected the main structure of the program is there and you have only fill the missing code. The core functionality you can transmit to other developers as a component. There is not enough presentation of this exceptional advantage of Delphi. Those important architectural principles should be better presented by the management and supported by tools and Think Tanks. Delphi's architectural support is still far in advance before C++ and others. But if this advantage will be neglected it will be lost soon.