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Ian Ignatov
Ian Ignatov

Delphi Programming for Dummies: A Practical Guide to Creating Windows Applications with Delphi

Delphi Programming for Dummies

Are you interested in learning a powerful and versatile programming language that can help you create native applications for Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android? If so, then you should consider Delphi programming. In this article, we will introduce you to the basics of Delphi programming, show you how to get started with the Delphi IDE, and guide you through some of the most common tasks and features of Delphi development. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of what Delphi programming is and how you can use it to build amazing applications.

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What is Delphi programming?

Delphi is a general-purpose programming language and a software product that uses the Delphi dialect of the Object Pascal programming language and provides an integrated development environment (IDE) for rapid application development of desktop, mobile, web, and console software, currently developed and maintained by Embarcadero Technologies.

A brief history of Delphi

Delphi was originally developed by Borland as a rapid application development tool for Windows as the successor of Turbo Pascal. Delphi added full object-oriented programming to the existing language, and the language has grown to support generics, anonymous methods, closures, and native Component Object Model (COM) support.

Delphi and its C++ counterpart, C++Builder, are interoperable and jointly sold under the name RAD Studio. There are Professional, Enterprise, and Architect editions, with the higher editions having more features at a higher price. There is also a free-of-charge Community edition, with most of the features of Professional, but restricted to users and companies with low revenue.

The features and benefits of Delphi

Delphi supports rapid application development (RAD). Prominent features are a visual designer and two application frameworks, VCL for Windows and FireMonkey (FMX) for cross-platform development.

Delphi uses the Pascal-based programming language Object Pascal created by Anders Hejlsberg for Borland (now IDERA) as the successor to Turbo Pascal. It supports native cross-compilation to many platforms including Windows, Linux, iOS and Android.

To better support development for Microsoft Windows and interoperate with code developed with other software development tools, Delphi supports independent interfaces of Component Object Model (COM) with reference counted class implementations, and support for many third-party components.

Delphi includes a code editor, a visual designer, an integrated debugger, a source code control component, and support for third-party plugins. The code editor features Code Insight (code completion), Error Insight (real-time error-checking), and refactoring. The visual forms designer has the option of using either the Visual Component Library (VCL) for pure Windows development or the FireMonkey (FMX) visual framework for cross-platform responsive UIs.

Database support is a key feature and is provided by FireDAC (Database Access Components).

Delphi is known for its fast compilation speed, native code, and developer productivity. [citation needed]

The Delphi dialect of Object Pascal

The Delphi dialect of Object Pascal is a high-level programming language that also supports object-oriented programing. The programming language is able to incorporate the low-level and assembly-level language codes, which enable it to have access to the machine learning as a service hardware.

The syntax of Object Pascal is similar to that of standard Pascal but with some extensions such as classes, interfaces, properties, exceptions, generics etc.

Here is an example of a simple class declaration in Object Pascal:

```pascal type TPerson = class private FName: string; FAge: Integer; public constructor Create(AName: string; AAge: Integer); function GetInfo: string; property Name: string read FName; property Age: Integer read FAge; end; ``` How to get started with Delphi programming?

To start developing applications with Delphi programming, you need to download and install the Delphi IDE from Embarcadero's website. You can choose from different editions depending on your needs and budget. You can also try out the free Community edition if you qualify for it.

The Delphi IDE and its components

The Delphi IDE is a graphical user interface that allows you to create, edit, compile, debug, and deploy your applications. The IDE consists of several components such as:

- The Project Manager: This is where you can manage your project files, settings, and dependencies. - The Form Designer: This is where you can design your user interface by dragging and dropping visual components from the Tool Palette onto your forms. - The Code Editor: This is where you can write your source code using Object Pascal syntax. - The Object Inspector: This is where you can view and modify the properties and events of your selected components. - The Structure View: This is where you can see the hierarchy and relationships of your forms and components. - The Debugger: This is where you can set breakpoints, watch variables, evaluate expressions, and step through your code execution. How to create a simple Hello World application in Delphi

To create a simple Hello World application in Delphi, follow these steps:

- Launch the Delphi IDE and select File > New > VCL Application - Delphi. - A new project will be created with a blank form named Form1. - In the Form Designer, select Label from the Tool Palette and drag it onto the form. - In the Object Inspector, change the Caption property of Label1 to Hello World. - Select File > Save All and save your project files in a folder of your choice. - Select Run > Run or press F9 to compile and run your application. - A window will appear with your label displaying Hello World. How to use the visual designer and the code editor