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Introduction to Delphi Prism applications development.


Though you may have seen my name in the forums this my first time blogging. I have been approached a few times about about creating a web log on the SAP Community Network, and have always given a hesitant, “sure, but what will I blog about?” I really wanted to contribute something but it had to be something that I was interested in. That is when something that has been near and dear to my heart finally came up. Delphi!

Thirteen years ago when I started supporting Crystal Reports, I was supporting mainly Delphi developers who were programming against our VCL control. Eventually as the back-end API calls behind the VCL were being depricated this moved to the RDC COM object, When Microsoft announced they were dropping COM and moving to the .NET framework, our product team made the decision to drop all of our SDKs except for Java and .NET. This allowed us to concentrate our efforts instead of diluting it across different SDKs.

Unfortunately this lead to a slow demise of our Delphi community as we did not work well with the earlier Delphi .NET offerings.

I am glad to report that this has now changed. When I heard that Embarcedero had aquired CodeGear and the Delphi platforms it peaked my interest. I saw they had a new offering for .NET called Delphi Prism. I downloaded a trial copy and was impressed and sparked my investigation into partnering with Embarcedero to see if we can gain back the Delphi community that we once had. Thankfully the powers-that-be here at SAP and Embarcedero were both interested and on the same page and once again we are partners.

So what does this mean to you?

  • More blogs from me on using SAP software with Delphi Prism
  • Sample projects and applications demonstrating use of our products in Delphi
  • Our support engineers now have access to Delphi to allow us to test issues you may run into

Yes that does mean we will support Delphi Prism through online forums and paid support cases. At first we may not have much in the way of samples but they will come. And I am sure with at least a few basic samples and some code from our C# samples it should get most developers through any road blocks they have.

If you do look for support there are a few things to know:

  • Though Delphi Prism supports Mono and other non-Windows OS development, our .NET SDK is Windows only so we can only support projects that target Windows.
  • Issues, or bugs that are found with Delphi Prism will need to be duplicated by us in C#, VB .Net or MS Managed C++. For the most part a bug found in a .NET langauge will exhibit the behaviour in all .NET languages, however after 13 years supporting various compilers, I can tell you that this is not always the case.
  • The support engineer you speak to though will have heard about Delphi Prism and know we have samples for it, they may not know the Delphi syntax. In general this should not be an issue as they do know our SDK and can help with that, and if needed can get help from someone like myself that does know the syntax.

I plan to be back blogging early next week with information on how to get working with our .NET SDK, location of some sample applications and where to look for help.

I will also be creating a writing a blog on extending the Crystal Reports by creating custom add-ins with the .NET SDK. Though not Delphi specific, it is a very exciting new feature of Crystal Reports 2008. I hope to have a VB .NET, C# and Delphi example.

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