Borland has a long history of producing development tools and IDE's and with the release of Delphi 8 for the Microsoft .NET Framework they are putting this experience to good use.
As the name implies, this version of Delphi was created to leverage the Microsoft .NET framework, enabling Delphi applications to run on the framework without any additional software or redistributable files required.
You can download a trial version of the software from Borland's Web site and the first thing you will notice when you install the IDE is the similarity to other Borland tools (including C# Builder) and Microsoft's own Visual Studio.NET interface.
Experienced Delphi developers will be familiar with most of the tools in this new release and for developers new to Delphi, the user interface is intuitive and easy to navigate.
When developing applications, you have your choice of creating applications using VCL forms, Windows forms or Web forms and there are a number of tutorials and walk-throughs to help you get started.
If you are working with existing Delphi applications, you can also import and extend these applications, but some tweaking may be required depending on the components and code you have used in your legacy applications.
For making the transition to .NET easier, Borland has also included their own data provider for .NET. The Borland Data Provider for ADO.NET (BDP) reportedly can be used to access data held on Interbase, IBM DB2, Oracle 9i, Microsoft Access, MDSE, and SQL Server 2000.
For developers who are responsible for a number of different roles, including modelling there is an integrated set of tools that can be used out of the box and the IDE itself is well integrated with other Borland and third-party tools and technologies for team development (including StarTeam, Microsoft Visual Source Safe and others).
So whether you are an existing Delphi developer looking to make the move to .NET or an existing .NET developer looking to leverage some existing Delphi skills, we recommend taking a look at the new IDE for yourself.
And check back often, as we will be doing an in-depth review on this product in the near future.
Delphi 8 for the Microsoft .NET Framework
Price: AU$1690 (Professional Edition)
System Requirements: IntelÃ,ÃÂ® PentiumÃ,ÃÂ® II-class processor, 450 MHz (IntelÃ,ÃÂ® PentiumÃ,ÃÂ® III-class processor, 850 MHz+ recommended), MicrosoftÃ,ÃÂ® Windows ServerÃÂ¢Ã¢â¬Å¾ÃÂ¢ 2003 Microsoft Windows XP, Ã,ÃÂ® Professional WindowsÃ,ÃÂ® 2000, Professional WindowsÃ,ÃÂ® 2000 Server, 256 MB RAM (512 MB recommended), 700 MB free hard disk space, CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, SVGA or higher resolution monitor, Mouse or other pointing device
On the Web: http://www.borland.com.au/delphi_net/index.html