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Delphi Programming Language

Discover the fundamentals of Delphi

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What Is Delphi Programming Language

Delphi is a programming language and an integrated development environment (IDE) designed for building software applications. The first version was released in 1995. Delphi is known for its simplicity, rapid application development (RAD) capabilities, and support for object-oriented programming (OOP) principles. What is Delphi used for? Many applications are written in this language, including antivirus software, system tools, backup programs, etc. Even artificial intelligence implementations, machine learning applications, and image manipulation programs can be based on Delphi.

Why is Delphi important?

Delphi has managed to become an important programming language and development environment for several reasons:

  • Rapid Application Development (RAD): Delphi’s visual development approach and component-based architecture enable rapid application development. This is particularly vital for businesses and developers who need to create software quickly and efficiently.
  • User-Friendly IDE: The Delphi Integrated Development Environment (IDE) provides a user-friendly and comprehensive platform for software creation. It includes code editing, debugging, and visual design tools. As a result, it makes it easier for developers to build and maintain applications.
  • Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) Support: Delphi relies on the Pascal language and supports object-oriented programming principles. This allows developers to create modular, reusable, and maintainable code, which is crucial for large and complex Delphi programming software projects.
  • Database Connectivity: Delphi has strong support for database connectivity, making it a preferred choice for applications that require interaction with databases. Its data-aware components and tools simplify database programming tasks.
  • Legacy Applications: Many businesses and organizations have legacy applications built with Delphi. These applications are still maintained and updated. The language has a history of stability and backward compatibility, which is important for long-term software projects.
  • Wide Range of Applications:  The Delphi coding language can be used to develop a diverse range of products, from desktop software to enterprise solutions and mobile applications. Its versatility makes it suitable for different domains and industries.
  • Performance: Delphi applications are known for their performance, and the compiled nature of the language contributes to the creation of efficient and fast-executing software.

Key features of Delphi programming

  1. Visual Development: Delphi is well-known for its development approach. It allows programmers to create interfaces using a visual form designer. This RAD approach makes it easier and faster to build graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for applications.
  2. Component-Based Development: Delphi promotes component-based development, where reusable components can be created and applied to build solutions quickly. 
  3. Cross-Platform Development: Delphi programming allows developers to write code once and deploy applications on different operating systems, such as Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. This helps in reaching a broader audience with a single codebase.
  4. Integrated Development Environment (IDE): The Delphi IDE is a comprehensive environment that includes code editing, debugging, and visual design tools. It streamlines the development process and provides a seamless experience for programmers.
  5. Community and Third-Party Support: Delphi has a dedicated community of developers, and there are numerous third-party components, libraries, and tools available. This ecosystem enhances the capabilities of Delphi and provides developers with a wide range of resources to leverage in their projects.

Delphi vs other software

Nowadays there are a lot of great IDEs that support numerous programming languages. But even among them Delphi is not lost and remains one of the leaders. Moreover, it is absolutely true in relation to both the Delphi programming language, which successfully combines the latest developments and ease of use, and the programming environment itself. And, since the environment is written in the Delphi language, it remains one of the fastest development tools, requiring a minimum of computer resources. It’s also worth mentioning the little things that experienced developers like, including simple and quick Bookmarks (Shift + Ctrl + number sets the desired bookmark in the module, and the combination of Ctrl + number allows you to go to it). Everything is so simple and intuitive that there is no need for additional windows with buttons and lists of bookmarks.

When talking about Delphi programming, it is absolutely impossible to forget about third-party libraries that turn an already powerful tool into a perfect code-generation machine. If you have ever designed anything in the Delphi coding language, you are certainly familiar with TvirtualTree and TMS components. 

And after Delphi introduced styles, developers got the possibility to personalize their Delphi programming software while staying within the “suit and tie” framework, thanks to the well-thought-out and wonderfully designed themes, including, of course, third-party ones.

Delphi versions

Delphi has gone through various versions since its initial release in 1995. Here is an overview of some key Delphi versions:

  • Borland Delphi

1995. The first official version of Delphi was a full-fledged development environment (IDE) that allowed the use of the Object Pascal programming language. Delphi 1.0 was contrasted with Visual Basic 3.0 and Microsoft’s Visual Basic 4.0 and it was superior to Visual Basic in many ways.

  • Kylix

2001. This is a version of Delphi for full-fledged application development on Linux.

  • Borland Delphi 7

2002. This is the latest version of the Delphi environment with the “classic” interface. It is one of the most popular Delphi versions. Delphi 7 is still used for development by some companies for various reasons (e.g. for legacy application support).

  • Borland Delphi 8

2003. Delphi 8 supported application development exclusively for .NET. It was opposed to Microsoft’s Visual Studio. Until then, Visual Studio had no competitors in terms of .NET application development.

  • Codegear Delphi 2009

2008. This version ensures full Unicode support in VCL and RTL components.

  • Embarcadero Delphi XE2

2011. It offers support for 64-bit application development for Windows, as well as support for cross-platform development of 32-bit applications for macOS and iOS using FireMonkey.

  • Embarcadero Delphi XE5

2013. It provides support for development of 32-bit Android applications using FireMonkey.

  • Embarcadero Delphi 10.2 Tokyo

2017. It ensures support for development of console 64-bit applications for Linux.

  • Embarcadero Delphi 10.3 Rio

2019. This version offers support for 64-bit development on macOS and for development of graphical applications on Linux using FireMonkey (with the release of Delphi 10.3.2 Update 2).

It also supports 64-bit development for Android (with the release of Delphi 10.3.3 Update 3).

  • Embarcadero Delphi 11 Alexandria

2021. It provides support for development on macOS ARM (Apple’s M1 processors).

Delphi coding currently allows you to create applications for different platforms such as Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. It supports 32- and 64-bit development.

Why use Delphi programming language: Benefits of Delphi

The Delphi computer language has not lost its relevance and today it has a unique and very attractive proposition. Delphi offers multi-platform native capabilities, low-code high-performance development, and integration with other languages.

Benefits of Delphi programming:

  • Delphi is fast.
  • It is easy to deploy.
  • Delphi supports all platforms.
  • It has new releases on a regular basis. 
  • Delphi is very easy to use.
  • It demonstrates high performance.
  • Delphi is an independent tool.
  • It has a great community of active developers, MVPs, and partners.

Who uses Delphi today

Delphi development is still rather popular today. It is still chosen by companies and individual developers. There is still a huge number of systems and applications that rely on Delphi. Many companies still hire Delphi developers who support their Delphi system infrastructure and code base.

Delphi is admired by 62.77% of developers (2023 Stack Overflow Survey). Every year Delphi developers get together for the annual online conference DelphiCon, to discuss the latest in, on, and around Delphi programming.

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