Category Archives: General

For stuff I forget to categorise! Doh!

Delphi App hits #1 on the App Stores!

My Delphi App made it to #1 on both the Apple App Store (iOS) and Google Play Store (Android) charts last weekend! (12 to 14 April 2024)

I was blown away by the response to my RAD Studio / Delphi Application, written for iOS and Android after I published it to Google Play and Apple AppStore. The app helps go karting mechanics and drivers quickly get answers to setup questions and understand the difference in their gearing ratios, and how that translates to speed on track.

Despite being for a niche market, it raced (excuse the pun) to the #1 Paid Sports App for both app stores within two days of launch.

Continue reading Delphi App hits #1 on the App Stores!

Installing Packages Offline with RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder

One great feature of RAD Studio is the ability to load component packages into the IDE rapidly via GetIt. This service feature works by collecting a list of available packages from the Online Servers, and then allowing you to select what you want and seconds later, the components and add-ons are available inside the IDE!

While GetIt is a lot faster and simpler for setting up the IDE, compared to using the traditional manual package install and setup route, it does was limited to online working only…. That is until now and the release of RAD Studio 11.2

11.2 adds the ability to load packages via GetIt when the PC is offline. This greatly improves access to packages for machines that are blocked from the Internet.

It’s pretty simple! You just need an active subscription, a downloaded package, and the file on the local machine.

TRESTRequestDataSetAdapter Example

The TRESTRequestDataSetAdapter component (introduced in RAD Studio 11.0) helps create a REST Request, from a TDataSet to send to a REST Server.

The TRESTRequestDataSetAdapter is a companion for the TRESTResponseDataSetAdapter component that takes a JSON data packet from a REST request response and concerts it into a TDataSet.

The TRESTRequestDataSetAdapter works well with the TEMSDataSetResource to accept data from POST, PUT, DELETE operations from the client side to update server side data.

This video will take you though how this works, and also demo’s a really useful unit of code, REST.DataUpdater.pas, that automatically manages the data transport based on the type of data update you have made.

Continue reading TRESTRequestDataSetAdapter Example

Delphi 27th Birthday #Delphi27th

The 14th of February is soon at hand, and for many around the world, this day symbolises love and affection. Indeed, as a software developer, it has specific significance, as it was that day, 27 years ago, that one of the most significant contributions to the software development industry was born out of Scotts Valley and the offices of Borland.

— Keep reading to find the free downloadable InfoDocs, packed full of useful resources —

Continue reading Delphi 27th Birthday #Delphi27th

How to use Azure Cloud Cognitive Services?

What is Azure Cognitive Services?

According to Microsoft, the Cognitive Services in the Microsoft Azure Cloud bring AI within reach of every developer, without requiring machine learning expertise.

Using the Azure Cognitive Services API you can use API’s to embed the ability to hear, speak, translate and understand directly into your applications.

— keep reading to see how to use Azure Services with Delphi (inc Videos and code sample —

Continue reading How to use Azure Cloud Cognitive Services?

How to migrate from old versions of InterBase?

I got a question this week about how to migrate from an old version of InterBase to the latest version, so I thought I would share a few tips and hints on how to move data forward from old versions.

InterBase On Disk Structure

Before we start, it is important to know that each major release of InterBase has an associated On-Disk Structure (ODS).

When database files are restored on created with the latest ODS it enables InterBase to make features available for use with that database file. If you don’t use the latest ODS format, then features in the InterBase engine may not be available to that database file.

InterBase versionPrimary ODS version

One benefit of InterBase today is that the ODS is cross-platform, meaning the same database file can be moved between Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux without modification, drastically simplifying the development and maintenance of data in cross-platform/multi-platform applications.

What is the InterBase migration process?

For most cases, the InterBase migration progress follows 4 simple steps:

  1. Backup all the databases to be migrated.
  2. Install the latest InterBase server.
  3. Restore the databases being migrated on the most recent version
  4. Validate migrated databases.

When migrating from a version using ODS 13 or newer, this should be enough to get updated. If you are using an older ODS, then there are a couple of more steps to get updated.

The only other checks to make when updating are for are new keywords in InterBase. These are occasionally added to support new features, such as table truncation, or ChangeViews. A full list of keywords is available on docwiki

How to migrate from very old versions of InterBase?

If you are using a version prior to InterBase 2009, then there are two options available to you.

  1. Migrate to an intermediary version first (that supports ODS 13 or above)
  2. Move the data to a new database created in the latest version.

Migrating to an intermediary version

As an example, a backed-up version of an InterBase 5 database could be restored using InterBase 2007 (to create an InterBase database file that uses ODS 12). The new database file can then be backed up in InterBase 2007 to a backup that supports ODS 12. InterBase 2020 can actually read ODS 11 and 12 for backup purposes only, so from here you can restore to the latest version.

Prior to the release of InterBase 2007, a number of new keywords were added to InterBase. By targeting InterBase 2007 first, you can also locate any issues around keywords prior to the bigger jump to ODS 18 (InterBase 2020)

Moving data from an old to a new database

The other option is to use a data pump tool to move the database from an old database to a newer version. This can be more complicated due to foreign key constraints, however, there are specialist tools such as InterBase DataPump that can be used for this process.

If you choose to go this path, then the basic steps are to

  1. Create a blank new database in the latest version
  2. Save the metadata from the existing database, and use it as a script to add the structure to the new database file
  3. Pump in the data: Making allowance for
    • the order data is moved based on Foreign key constraints
    • table triggers (best to disable these first)
  4. Reset database generators to the required value

External Dependencies

Another things to check when migrating to newer InterBase versions are any external dependancies. (e.g. User Defined Libraries (UDF) that you use). Older versions of InterBase could have been 32bit only.

As 32bit and 64bit libraries are incompatible with each other, an initial upgrade route would be to get to the latest version of InterBase on 32bit, and then look to get a 64bit version of the UDFs for use with a 64bit version of InterBase. As the ODS is the same for all InterBase platforms, this is then a seamless migration.

Where to download the latest InterBase version?

The Latest version of InterBase is available from with a Developer Edition (which offers light database encryption only) or Trial Edition (includes strong encryption at rest on disk). For older editions of InterBase to help with migration, please contact Embarcadero sales

Native v Hybrid v WebApp

I recently posted on my Embarcadero Blog about the 3 main types of mobile applications that developers write. Native apps, web-based mobile apps, and hybrid apps, and highlighted that you can achieve the benefits of both Hybrid development with a single code base to manage, test, and develop, with the SPEED AND SECURITY of TRUE native compilation. (Note, Not all development toolchains that claim to be native, compile everything!- Delphi does!)

Definitely worth sharing with those you know looking to choose which platform they want for their next development project.

Each approach has its Pro’s and Con’s, and with a view of how operating systems have developed over time, its easy to see how web-based technologies (web-native, and hybrid) have had a positive role to play in the adoption of multiple platforms by targeting the one thing each platform provides, a browser-based on HTML and open standard.

With OS vendors only interested in offering the best speed, performance, and usability via their own tools to aid adoption, and as OS’s evolve in different ways, (especially early in their development cycle) is understandable that choosing web can seem a good option to gain market entry with a broad access.

That said, we are now at a point where the market has matured. We have Apple and Google as the two key players covering over 99% of the market, pushing developers towards needing to maintain two codebases for the best user experience on mobile. On the other side, a number of web-based frameworks offering semi-native apps with a single code base.

What I love about Delphi, is that there is a unique offering enabling developers to benefit from a single code base that address both mobile platforms, with the speed, security and usability of Vender tools, PLUS the lower development cost, and low code options promoted by web/scripted frameworks.

FireMonkey is now 9 years old, and benefits from the best available compilers on the market, targeting the latest technologies (like Metal on iOS for blazing-fast rendering) and offers a choice of true native controls or platform styles controls at runtime.

Read more on my Embarcadero blog – What are the best options for mobile app development?

How ISV’s Drive Innovation with InterBase

I recently ran a webinar, alongside Mary Kelly, discussing how InterBase ISV’s are innovating faster while improving profitability and return on investment through using InterBase. Following up on that webinar, I wanted to summarise some of the points discussed.

Why ISV’s Choose InterBase?

To put it simply – Trust – ISV’s trust InterBase to lower their business risks, and cut out large costs that exist around data management and support, while kick starting their development with a stack of required core capabilities around data storage, data protection and user security.

Real Value of Ownership

Let me share what I mean with a quick story from my own first-hand experience. A number of years ago, I worked as a Director for an ISV when it purchased a .NET software house. The .NET product used MSSQL as the backend and supported a quarter of the businesses that the existing supported Delphi & InterBase application did. Even though it was hosted, the .NET product support overhead was over 5x the cost to run compared to InterBase after purchase, year on year.

The largest part of the cost came from having 2 full-time DBA’s, compared to minimal training that was required for those supporting InterBase. Additionally, InterBase was suitable for remote deployment and support on whatever type of computer the customer had. This helped improve the value proposition to the customer and lower the risks to landing business.

InterBase features and benefits that bring business value

A full list of the top reasons ISV’s / OEM partners choose InterBase discussed in the webinar include

  • Highly Scalable
    • From one machine to 100’s of connections on a dedicated server, it grows with you easily!
  • Small memory & on-disk footprint
    • Regardless of the device InterBase just runs! – from a mobile to a laptop to a top-end Server, InterBase is lean!
  • Affordable
    • OEM / VAR program offers great options for ISV’s with bespoke pricing based on your usage.
  • Simple Deployment
    • Next > Next > Finished! You don’t need a training course to get InterBase server running, making it ideal for remote, low-cost deployment
  • Fast & Simple
    • Out the box, InterBase has an element of self-tuning included. But is also highly configurable.
  • Reliable
    • Near zero admin and automatic crash recovery make it ideal for embedding into remote deployments. Even if the plug gets pulled out the server, InterBase pops back up and goes!
  • Embedded User Security
    • It’s easy to overlook the value you get (especially when combined with Encryption) to control access around the database. The full roll based user security makes it simple to implement.
  • Change Views
    • Data change tracking with the IoT Award-winning database.
    • The patented change tracking method is designed to enable 1000’s of connected devices to track changes, even when disconnected without any overhead on the central database! – No change-logs, table triggers or anything else that bloat the database and become hard to manage over time!
  • Rich Disaster Recovery
    • A great mix of database features for backup, restore, dumping etc, and enhanced even further with a unique use of Table Spaces.
  • Cross Platform Support
    • Server, Desktop AND mobile spanning Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.
  • Strong “Enterprise Grade” Encryption
    • 256bit AES strength on-disk encryption at rest that is transparent to the client, with column level encryption options with multiple encryption keys – InterBase is used by everything from Financial and POS systems to Medical software globally to deal with financial, personal, and medical data, enabling customers to reach a wide range of industry data management and security standards.
  • Tight RAD Integration
    • It’s easy to develop with InterBase, with it used widely by RAD Studio customers,
    • Its open API also supports direct backup from software, making regular admin tasks very simple.
    • It’s also widely used by considerable .Net applications and offers .Net, ODBC, and JDBC drivers.

The ISV Business Model

Further to the above, the webinar also spends time looking into the key business of a typical ISV, and the other value InterBase makes possible for them.

InterBase ISV Business Model Canvas

A big part of the InterBase customer stories shared on the Embarcadero website, include time and again, customers talking about the evolution of InterBase, and even when they have been slower to upgrade their development environment, how InterBase has enabled them to release new features. This open innovation approach enables ISV’s to gain a real innovation boost to their product with major releases of InterBase, complementing their own R&D.

A good example of this was the addition of transparent on-disk encryption a number of years ago. This server-side feature, enabled with a simple parameter update in the client-side, provided rich functionality and data storage compliance with nearly zero R&D spend! More recently, Table Spaces has enabled customers to speed up their server for larger deployments by targeting which part of the database goes on which drive.

Anyway, I hope you find the webinar an interesting watch, and it would be great to hear about your InterBase stories!

If you are interested in becoming an InterBase ISV. Then please contact the Embarcadero sales team, or me directly.