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Borland Delphi: New tricks in store

Now part of Borland Developers Studio, Delphi has lost none of its power, and added considerable flexibility, as it has come to support the .NET environment.

I started working in the computing industry in the early 1980s, which is getting to be a pretty long time ago now. While I was still a young pup in the industry-speaking relatively, anyway-an upstart company made its way onto the programming tools scene. Then CEO, Philippe Kahn, made a big splash himself with his jet-setting and saxophone-playing ways, but ultimately with Borland's programmer friendly tools and technologies as well.

Borland's Delphi -- which is now a part of its Borland Developers Studio -- has lost none of its power, and added considerable flexibility and adaptability in its straight-up support for the .NET environment. In its latest incarnation, Borland Delphi comes in multiple flavors:

  • Delphi 2006 Professional - It aims at individuals developers and smaller companies and development organizations that seek to build desktop or Web applications with local database capabilities. The latest version supports common desktop services that include object-relational mapping and XML object persistence.
  • Delphi 2006 Enterprise - It is designed for SMBs and organizations that develop critical business applications, and that need high performance database components. The 2006 Enterprise version adds support for RAD (rapid application development) for intranet Web applications that require object-relational mapping and transparent database persistence.
  • Delphi 2006 Architect -- This is the top-end product built for processional enterprise developers who need to incorporate flexible business logic or rules into applications, or who need their applications to synchronize with multiple database schemas. The latest version permits such developers to build and deploy externally accessible Web applications that incorporate executable state diagrams.

These tools work uniformly and well with the Delphi programming language, but also with C, C++, and C#. They also include WYSIWIG client and Web application development components and support. Databases or data interfaces with which the environment can work include Borland's own InterBase, dBase, Paradox, ADO, MySQL, MSDE, and Access (on the low end) plus MS SQL Server, Oracle, and IBM DB2 (for Enterprise and Architect versions). Higher end models also support UML-based modeling, integrated audits and metrics, and document generation tools. The Architect model even adds support for all kinds of diagram-driven finite state and other logical machines, as well as more sophisticated database and XML transparency tools. These tools are all completely compatible with current and planned .NET interfaces, frameworks, and components as well.

You'll pay anywhere from under $400 for the Professional version to nearly $3,000 for the Architect version, but a 15% discount applies to the 2006 version (which supports upcoming new .NET environments, interfaces, tools, and components) applies to all those who purchase on or before December 1, 2005.

Ed Tittel is a full-time writer and trainer whose interests include XML and development topics, along with IT Certification and information security topics. E-mail Ed at with comments, questions, or suggested topics or tools to review.

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