All posts by Stephen Ball

Stephen is a Charted IT Professional and the Associate Product Manager for InterBase at Embarcadero. He is also a Product Evangelist for RAD Studio, regularly speaking across EMEA. @DelphiABall

Creating and connecting to MSSQL Database on Azure with Delphi / C++Builder

Creating and connecting to MSSQL Database on Azure with Delphi / C++Builder

I have been asked multiple times recently about connecting to a  Azure databases with Delphi and C++Builder. So….I decided to make a video! Which even shows how to use the data directly at design time in the RAD Studio IDE.

The video follows the the 3 phases.

  • Creating an account
  • Creating a database
  • Connecting to the database from the RAD Studio IDE

Continue reading Creating and connecting to MSSQL Database on Azure with Delphi / C++Builder

Attributes for Documenting TEMSDataSetResource

Attributes for Documenting TEMSDataSetResource

I recently blogged about a number of RAD Server topics, including using TEMSDataSetResource, (the component that enables a TDataSet to be expose as a RESTful resource, and manage all the List, Get, Put, Post, Delete methods – very cool!), how to set named parameters for the TEMSDataSetResource documentation (where multiple keys are passed in e.g. with Master Detail relationships (reviewed below)), and how the YAML and JSON documentation is auto generated with custom RESTful resources / end points

Typically, each custom REST endpoint method (List, Get, Put, Post, Delete), would be supported by separate procedures in the code, with each having their attributes to support documentation, resource name etc. Continue reading Attributes for Documenting TEMSDataSetResource

Developing client applications using RESTful master-detail data with TRESTResponseDataSetAdapter

This is part 3 in my series of developing an REST server and client application and will focus around using the TRESTResponseDataSetAdapter.

In my last two posts, we have created a REST server with a fully documented API using YAML , and exposed 3 datasets with master detail relationships over REST using zero lines of code.  If you have not read and watch the videos. I would suggest starting there. – It’s now time to consume the API into a cross platform Delphi Client.

Steps to making the client

The video and supporting blog post take you through the following.

  1. Setting up components to connect to the REST API. (RAD Style)
  2. Converting the JSON into a master detail datasets (based on the current item in the JSON data)
  3. Enabling the data in the UI with LiveBindings and zero code.
  4. Tricks for reducing API calls.

Continue reading Developing client applications using RESTful master-detail data with TRESTResponseDataSetAdapter

Adding Tools into the IDE

Adding tools into the RAD Studio IDE.

Now, this isn’t new! But, this week in Sweden, I spoke to a developer who has been using Delphi for years and didn’t know about this handy trick. As I am currently working over a series when I’m developing a RESTful backend and client, it makes sense to show how to add the REST Debugger into the IDE menus.

“Configure Tools” inside RAD Studio

At the top of the IDE you will find the Tools Menu. You might normally go straight to the Options (to configure the IDE) or Getit Package Manager (to download components), but there is also Configure Tools… which manages the list of items underneath it.

Continue reading Adding Tools into the IDE

Master Detail data in RAD Server using TEMSDataSetResource

Master Detail data in RAD Server

The TEMSDataSetResource is a very powerful component that enables rapid development of full document REST API’s for TDataSet using RAD Server. Using TEMSDataSetResource, along with traditional master detail relationship configurations, it is possible to expose, and automatically document data APIs via REST with no code at all.

In this article, I will cover sharing master detail data with no code, but also how to roll your own REST endpoint to cover more advanced detail with detail embedded calls.

In my previous article, I updated advise on getting started with Swagger UI, using the new WebFiles feature of RAD Server (from 10.3.2) as a way to view your documentation as you build your backend services API. This article will build upon the sample application created in that post.

Continue reading Master Detail data in RAD Server using TEMSDataSetResource

Embedding Swagger UI into RAD Server

This post is an update to the original post written previously showing Swagger UI being used with RAD Server, covering new features of RAD Server.

Why Embed Swagger UI into RAD Server?

Swagger UI (as previously discussed) is a great option for checking your documentation and working with the REST API. One of the challenges has always been CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing) that makes execution of the code a challenge when developing.

There are a few options now however. You can either work around this with browser plug-ins, (as seen before), enable CORS in the emsserver.ini under [Server.APICrossDomain], or embed swagger-ui inside your RAD Server instance.

In this video, I cover the latter option. You can watch how to get documentation up and running. The video shows how to configure your EMSServer.ini to share the external resource through RAD Server and also modify the downloaded files to automatically load up the API documentation directly from RAD Server.

WebFiles in RAD Server EMSServer.ini

The key to making this work is the WebFiles option that was added to RAD Studio in 10.3.2. This was primarily added to make it easier to serve out web content and support ExtJS for doing web client development under the Architect edition of RAD Studio, however, this also has the benefit of making other content available to share.

Continue reading Embedding Swagger UI into RAD Server

InterBase Temporary Tables

InterBase Temporary Tables

This last week, InterBase 2020 has been released bringing the awesome Tablespaces feature into play. This new feature enables splitting the database into groups of tables (a Tablespace) that can then be put onto different physical disks (to aid performance) but also enables partial backup of a database. I plan to cover this new feature, and some useful ideas about how to use them in an article in the coming weeks, but first, I want to address something a bit older in InterBase that I’ve not blogged about before. Why? Well recently, I was at a UK roadshow event, when content about InterBase 2020 was being previewed, and a developer said “This new stuff is cool, but what I really need is the ability to put data into a table temporarily in InterBase, and have it isolated from other transactions…. Other databases have it, when will InterBase get it?” Well, InterBase has had this for years!

Continue reading InterBase Temporary Tables

Opening a PDF on Android with Delphi

Intents on Android using API 26 to open PDF documents.

Recently, the Google Play store updated its requirements so the target API level of 26 was used to get new apps submitted. While this was reasonably easy to achieve through updating the AndroidManifest.Template, the change to the newer API changed the behaviour of my application.

Before the update, I would download a file to the CachePath and then share to a public folder. I would then get a URI for the public folder path file and share via Intents.  Following the update, this no longer worked. After a little research, I discovered this was due to the changes in the Android security system, that actually, make a lot of sense. Rather than sharing the file outside the application, you now provide tempory access to it via the Intent. To achieve this, you need to setup a Provider, (this is done via XML) and then programmatically provide the path as a ‘content://’ URI, set flags for allowing read / write access via the intent and share it.

The video shows how to achieve this and demo’s the working code. To help, below are some of the XML blocks you will need upon the way.

Adding Provider

Add this to the AndroidManifest.template in the source code root folder, before the </application> tag. This is then used to build all Android apps.

<provider android:name="android.support.v4.content.FileProvider"
android:authorities="%package%.provider"
android:exported="false"
android:grantUriPermissions="true">
<meta-data
android:name="android.support.FILE_PROVIDER_PATHS"
android:resource="@xml/fileprovider" />
</provider>

Provider file

Create a fileprovider.xml (or whatever file name you set in android:resource when declaring the provider).

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<paths xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android">
<cache-path name="bbresources" path="bbresources/"/>
</paths>

More flags and details for Provider Files can be found on the Android documentation