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

Delphi is turning 25!

This week, Delphi is turning 25, and as part of the celebrations, members of the community have been encouraged to share their stories about Delphi, what they love and how it has helped their careers.

Delphi was originally launched on the 14th of February 1995, while I was still at 6th form College. It kind of passed me by, to be honest. At the time, I was just purchasing (well my parents did) my first PC with Windows on it. I was, however, using Pascal in the computer labs in some elective modules I took alongside my primary studies. (Progressing on from Basic).

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Creating PDF Reports in RAD Server

Creating PDF Reports in RAD Server

Reporting is a critical aspect of any enterprise application, but the data and the programming components to create reports are not always available on all platforms?

It took a little trial and error to work out the best path to create reports via RADServer using the components out the box.  In this post, I will share what I have learned along the way.

Reporting Components

The obvious answer to generating a report that can show on mobile is to create a report PDF report remotely download the PDF to the client over REST. But which version and platforms can be used?

Fast Reports (Embarcadero Edition), which is included in RAD Studio, provides everything we need to create a report and save it out to PDF for export.

Fast Reports – VCL or FMX?

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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