Screenshot of Delphi 10.4, with the visual form editor being used to create an application
|Original author(s)||Borland, CodeGear, Embarcadero|
Delphi 10.4.1 Sydney / September 2, 2020
|Written in||Mostly Delphi (Object Pascal)|
|Operating system||Runs on Windows 10 targets Windows 10, Linux, macOS, Android, & iOS|
|Type||Software Development, Designer, IDE, Compiler, & RTL|
Delphi is a software product that uses the Delphi dialect of the Object Pascal programming language and provides an integrated development environment (IDE) for rapid application development of desktop, mobile, web, and console software, currently developed and maintained by Embarcadero Technologies.
Delphi includes a code editor, a visual designer, an integrated debugger, a source code control component, and support for third-party plugins. The code editor features Code Insight (code completion), Error Insight (real-time error-checking), and refactoring. The visual forms designer has the option of using either the Visual Component Library (VCL) for pure Windows development or the FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform development. Database support is a key feature and is provided by FireDAC (Database Access Components). Delphi is known for its fast compilation speed, native code, and developer productivity.
Delphi was originally developed by Borland as a rapid application development tool for Windows as the successor of Turbo Pascal. Delphi added full object-oriented programming to the existing language, and the language has grown to support generics, anonymous methods, closures, and native Component Object Model (COM) support.
To better support development for Microsoft Windows and interoperate with code developed with other software development tools, Delphi supports independent interfaces of Component Object Model (COM) with reference counted class implementations, and support for many third-party components. Interface implementations can be delegated to fields or properties of classes. Message handlers are implemented by tagging a method of a class with the integer constant of the message to handle.
Database connectivity is extensively supported through VCL database-aware and database access components.
Later versions have included upgraded and enhanced runtime library routines, some provided by the community group FastCode.
Delphi uses a strongly typed high-level programming language, intended to be easy to use and originally based on the earlier Object Pascal language. Pascal was originally developed as a general-purpose language "suitable for expressing the fundamental constructs known at the time in a concise and logical way", and "its implementation was to be efficient and competitive with existing FORTRAN compilers" but without low-level programming facilities or access to hardware. Turbo Pascal and its descendants, including Delphi, support access to hardware and low-level programming, with the facility to incorporate code written in assembly language and other languages. Delphi's object orientation features only class- and interface-based polymorphism. Metaclasses are first class objects. Objects are actually references to the objects (as in Java), which Delphi implicitly de-references, so there is usually no need to manually allocate memory for pointers to objects or use similar techniques that some other languages need. There are dedicated reference-counted string types, and also null-terminated strings.
Strings can be concatenated by using the '+' operator, rather than using functions. For dedicated string types Delphi handles memory management without programmer intervention. Since Borland Developer Studio 2006 there are functions to locate memory leaks.
Delphi includes an integrated IDE. The Delphi products all ship with a run-time library (RTL) and a Visual Component Library (VCL), including most of its source code. Third-party components (sometimes with full source code) and tools to enhance the IDE or for other Delphi related development tasks are available, some free of charge. The IDE includes a GUI for localization and translation of created programs that may be deployed to a translator; there are also third-party tools with more features for this purpose. The VCL framework maintains a high level of source compatibility between versions, which simplifies updating existing source code to a newer Delphi version. Third-party libraries typically need updates from the vendor but, if source code is supplied, recompilation with the newer version may be sufficient. The VCL was an early adopter of dependency injection or inversion of control; it uses a re-usable component model, extensible by the developer. With class helpers new functionality can be introduced to core RTL and VCL classes without changing the original source code of the RTL or VCL.
The compiler is optimizing and single pass. It can optionally compile to a single executable which does not require DLLs. Delphi can also generate standard DLLs, ActiveX DLLs, COM automation servers and Windows services.
The Delphi IDEs since Delphi 2005 increasingly support refactoring features such as method extraction and the possibility to create UML models from the source code or to modify the source through changes made in the model.
Delphi has communities on the web, where also its employees actively participate.
Although each new release of Delphi attempts to keep as much backwards compatibility as possible to allow existing code reuse, new features, new libraries, and improvements sometimes make newer releases less than 100% backwards compatible.
Since 2016, there have been new releases of Delphi every six months, with new platforms being added approximately every second release.
Delphi offers two frameworks for visual application development, VCL and FireMonkey (FMX):
- Visual Component Library (VCL) is the framework for developing pure Windows applications. VCL is a long-standing framework, included in the first release of Delphi and actively developed ever since then.
- FireMonkey (later abbreviated FMX), was released in 2011, as part of Delphi XE2, together with an additional set of built-in compilers for non-Windows platforms. FireMonkey is a cross-platform framework for Windows, macOS, iOS, Android and Linux (x64). The GUI parts of FireMonkey are largely based on Direct3D and OpenGL. FireMonkey is not compatible with VCL; they are two separate frameworks. FireMonkey applications do, however, allow easy sharing of non-visual code units with VCL applications, enabling a lot of code to be ported or shared easily between the platforms.
Delphi and its C++ counterpart, C++Builder, are interoperable. They share many core components, notably the IDE, the VCL and FMX frameworks, and much of the runtime library. In addition, they can be used jointly in a project. For example, C++Builder 6 and later can combine source code from Delphi and C++ in one project, while packages compiled with C++Builder can be used from within Delphi. In 2007, the products were released jointly as RAD Studio, a shared host for Delphi and C++Builder, which can be purchased with either or both.
To show a message:
procedure TForm1.ShowAMessage; begin ShowMessage('Hello World!'); end;
To give a label a caption using the VCL:
procedure TForm1.ShowSomethingOnCreate; begin Label1.Caption := 'Hello World!'; end;
To give a label text using FireMonkey:
procedure TForm1.ShowSomethingOnCreate; begin Label1.Text := 'Hello World!'; end;
- Delphi - February 14, 1995 - 16-bit Windows 3.1 support, full object oriented language features, property-method-event model, two way editor, visual designer, Visual Component Library (VCL)
- Delphi 2 - 1996 - 32-bit Windows 95
- Delphi 3 - 1997 - COM based interfaces
- Delphi 4 - 1998 - Windows 98, docking, anchors, method overloading, and dynamic arrays
- Delphi 5 - 1999 - Desktop layouts, Frames, XML support, DBGo for ADO, Language Translations
- Delphi 6 - 2001 - SOAP Web Services, dbExpress, Structure Window, BizSnap, DataSnap
- Delphi 7 - 2002 - Web application development and Windows XP themes
- Delphi 8 - 2003 - .NET Support, WinForms & ASP.NET, with many new language enhancements, the new Galileo IDE
- Delphi 2005 - 2004 - Multi-unit namespaces, Error Insight, History Tab, for..in, Function inlining, Refactorings, Data Explorer, Integrated Unit Testing
- Delphi 2006 - 2005 - Operator overloading, Static methods and properties, Designer Guidelines, Form positioner view, Live code templates, Block Completion, Line numbers, Change Bars, Sync-edit, Code Folding and method navigation, Debugging Tool-Tips, Searchable Tool Palette, FastMM memory manager, Support for MySQL, Unicode support in dbExpress, TTrayIcon, TFlowPanel, TGridPanel
- Delphi 2007 - 2006 - MS Build, Build Events, Build Configurations, Windows Vista support – glassing, theming, dbExpress connection pooling, delegate drivers, CPU view, FastCode enhancements
- Delphi 2009 - 2008 - Unicode, Generics, Anonymous Methods, Ribbon Controls, DataSnap, Build Configurations, Class Explorer, Type Library Editor Window, PNG support
- Delphi 2010 - 2009 - Attributes, Enhanced RTTI, Direct2D canvas, Windows 7 support, Touch/Gestures, Source Code Formatter, Thread Specific Breakpoints, Debugger Visualizers, IOUtils unit, Background Compilation, Source Code Audits and Metrics
- Delphi XE2 - 2011 - FireMonkey, 64-Bit Windows, Mac OSX, Live Bindings, VCL Styles, Unit Scope Names, Platform Assistant, DataSnap Mobile Connectors, Cloud API, HTTPS support, TCP monitoring, dbExpress support for ODBC drivers, Deployment Manager
- Delphi XE3 - 2012 - Metropolis UI, touch/gestures, FMX support for bitmap styles, TMaterial source for FMX 3D components, FMX audio/video, VCL/FMX support for sensor devices, FMX Location sensor component, Virtual keyboard support, DirectX 10 support
- Delphi XE4 - April 2013 - iOS support, TWebBrowser component, ARC (automatic reference counting) for all TObject classes, Platform Services, Notifications, Location, Motion and Orientation sensor components, TListView component, Mac OSX full screen support, FireDAC universal data access components, InterBase – IBLite and IBToGo
- Delphi XE5 - September 2013 - Android support, Notification component, iOS 7 style support, Configurable form designer for mobile devices, REST Services client access and authentication components
- Delphi XE6 - April 2014 - Windows 7 & 8.1 styles, Cloud REST Services, more FireDAC databases, full InterBase integration
- Delphi XE7 - September 2014 - FireMonkey Multi-Device unified designer, IBLite embeddable database for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS, Multi-Display Support, Multi-Touch Support, Full-Screen Immersive for Android, FireMonkey Supports the Pull-to-Refresh Feature for TListView on iOS and Android, FireMonkey Save State Feature
- Delphi XE8 - April 2015 - GetIt Package Manager, Native Presentation of TListView, TSwitch, TMemo, TCalendar, TMultiView, and TEdit on iOS, Interactive Maps, New Options for Media Library, InputQuery now Supports Masking Input Fields
- Delphi 10 Seattle -
- Delphi 10.0.1 Seattle (Update 1) - November 2015 - FMX Grid control for iOS, iOS native UI styling, New FMX feature demos, Platform support for iOS 10 and macOS Sierra
- Delphi 10.1 Berlin - April 2016 - Android 6.0, Windows Desktop Bridge, Address Book for iOS and Android, New ListView Item Designer, New CalendarView control, QuickEdits for VCL, High DPI Support on Windows, Hint Property Changes, EMS Apache Server Support, GetIt based Web installer
- Delphi 10.1.1 Berlin (Berlin Update 1) - September 2016 - TGrid support for iOS, ControlType toggle for Platform or Render, FMX ListView Items Designer, FMX Search Filter, Deploy iOS apps to macOS Sierra, 50+ Internet of Things packages
- Delphi 10.1.2 Berlin (Berlin Update 2) - December 2016 - Windows 10 App Store deployment, Quick Edit feature for VCL Form Designer, VCL calendar controls mimic Window RT and provide backwards compatibility, Windows 10 styles for VCL and FMX
- Delphi 10.2 Tokyo - March 2017 - 64-bit Linux, FireDAC on Linux, MariaDB v5.5, MySQL v5.7, Firebird Direct I/O, QuickEdits for FMX, New VCL Controls for Windows 10, Updated IDE Look & Feel (Dark Theme), RAD Server Deployment License Included
- Delphi 10.2.1 Tokyo (Tokyo Update 1) - August 2017 - Improved QPS (Quality, Performance, Stability), Fixed over 140 customer reported Quality Portal issues, BPL package loading for Windows Creators Update, Improved support for latest versions of iOS and XCode, TEdit improvements on latest Android, faster controls rendering, Parse API for other providers, FireDAC improvements for SQL Server, InterBase 2017, ODB
- Delphi 10.2.2 Tokyo (Tokyo Update 2) - December 2017 - QPS: Quality, Performance and Stability, New VCL Controls and Layouts (Panels), Dataset to JSON, Mobile platforms QPS, RAD Server licensing, User Experience improvements (manage platforms, progress bar on loading etc), FMX QuickEdits, Dark IDE Theme
- Delphi 10.2.3 Tokyo (Tokyo Update 3) - July 2018 - Enhancements to core visual frameworks, Expanded RAD Server support for Ext JS for creating Sencha Ext JS web clients with a RAD Server backend, and various patches/hotfixes. Inclusion of mobile support in Delphi and C++Builder Professional Edition.
- Delphi 10.3 Rio - November 2018 - Inline variables, Android zOrder, Android Native controls and API Level 26, HighDPI imrpvements, Extensive IDE UI modernization
- Delphi 10.3.1 Rio (Rio Update 1) - February 2019 - Expanded support for iOS 12 and iPhone X series devices, RAD Server Console UI redesign and migration to the Ext JS framework, Improved FireDAC support for Firebird 3.0.4 and Firebird embedded, New VCL and FMX Multi-Device Styles , IDE Productivity Components, Quality improvements to over 150 customer reported issues
- Delphi 10.3.2 Rio (Rio Update 2) - September 2019 - Delphi macOS 64-bit, RAD Server Wizards and Deployment Improvements, Android Push Notification Support with Firebase, Delphi Linux FireMonkey GUI Application Support, Delphi Android 64-bit support, macOS Catalina (Delphi) and iOS 13 support, RAD Server Docker support
- Delphi 10.3.3 Rio (Rio Update 3) - February 2020 - Delphi Android 64-bit support, Delphi iOS 13 and macOS Catalina support, RAD Server Docker deployment, Improved App Tethering stability, Improved iOS push notification support, Debugger improvements
- Delphi 10.4 Sydney - May 2020 - Language Server Protocol (LSP), Enhanced Windows 10 native features, managed records, parallel library enhancements
- Delphi 10.4.1 Sydney (Sydney Update 1) - September 2020 - Addressed key customer requests, 850+ enhancements and fixes, Windows Server 2019 support, Multi-monitor and 4k scaling improvements, Parallel programming component updates
Embarcadero publishes "roadmaps" describing their future development plans. The most recent one was published in November 2020.
RAD Studio is both the formal name for the IDE and a product suite that contains both Delphi and C++Builder. The benefit of RAD Studio is it makes it easy to integrate Delphi's Object Pascal and C++ together giving access to more integrations with third party libraries and the combined features of both languages. Previous versions of RAD Studio also included HTML5 Builder and other bundled products. The Enterprise and Architect editions of RAD Studio currently include Aqua Data Studio and Ext JS.
It is also technically accurate to refer to the IDE as the Delphi IDE.
- Borland Enterprise Studio, a precursor to RAD Studio, is a software development suite that includes support for multiple languages. Borland Enterprise Studio for Windows supports Delphi.
- Borland Kylix: Similar to Delphi, but for Linux, released in 2001. This was the first attempt to add Linux support in the Delphi product family. Kylix used the new CLX cross-platform framework (based on QT), instead of Delphi's VCL. Kylix was discontinued after version 3. Today Linux support is integrated into the main Delphi product and uses the FireMonkey cross platform framework.
- InterBase is an embeddable SQL database that integrates natively to Delphi and C++Builder for client/server or embedded development. It's distinguishing features reduced administration requirements, commercial-grade data security, disaster recovery, and change synchronization. It is also accessible by all major languages and platforms in the market with database connection protocols like ODBC, ADO, ADO.NET and even with Java by JDBC/ODBC Bridge or Java type 4 connectors.
- JBuilder was a tool for Java development based on Eclipse since version JBuilder 2007.
- RadPHP (later replaced with HTML5 Builder) was an IDE for PHP that provided true RAD functionality. It has a form designer similar to that of Delphi or Visual Basic, and an integrated debugger based on the Apache web server. It also includes a VCL library ported to PHP. Unlike other IDEs it supports Web 2.0 features such as AJAX. Delphi for PHP was announced on March 20, 2007, renamed on October 2010 to RadPHP, and is based on Qadram Q studio. Embarcadero acquired Qadram in January 2011.
- Delphi Prism (later known as Embarcadero Prism) derived from the Oxygene programming language (previously known as Chrome) from RemObjects. It ran in the Microsoft Visual Studio IDE rather than RAD Studio. It was licensed and re-branded by Embarcadero to replace Delphi.NET when that product was discontinued.
- Free Pascal is an open-source Pascal cross-platform cross-compiler that supports most of Delphi's Object Pascal code. Free Pascal also has its own language extensions, multiple compiler [language syntax] modes, and supports 18+ operating systems and 9+ processor architectures. Lazarus is a cross-platform RAD IDE that uses the Free Pascal compiler.
Notable third-party libraries
- FastCode – Enhanced runtime libraries and memory manager.
- OpenWire (library) – Data flow, events, and state synchronization component library.
- Project Jedi (Joint Endeavor of Delphi Innovators) – A collaborative open-source effort by the Delphi developer community to provide translations of Windows API interfaces, additional components and controls, and algorithms and data structures.
- Teechart – Charting library.
- Devexpress VCL Enhanced component library
- "RAD Studio 10.4.1 Has Been Released". Retrieved 2020-09-05.
- "Installation Notes - Operating System Requirements". Retrieved 2020-09-05.
- William Buchanan (4 February 2003). Mastering Delphi Programming. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 10–. ISBN 978-1-137-17356-0.
- "Performance Comparison from Delphi 2010 to XE6 (Part 2)". Riversoft AVG. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "The Delphi Geek: Built For Speed". Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Discussion on Hacker News about Delphi being alive". Hacker News. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "Recollections About the Development of Pascal" (PDF).
- Lingfeng Wang; Kay CHen Tan (20 January 2006). Modern Industrial Automation Software Design. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-471-77627-7.
- "List of Delphi language features and version in which they were introduced/deprecated". Stack Overflow. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder 2009". docs.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
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- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE2". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE3". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE4". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE5". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE6". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE7". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Delphi and C++Builder XE8". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New in Seattle". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What Was New in Berlin". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.2 Tokyo - Release 1". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.2 Tokyo - Release 2". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.2 Tokyo - Release 3". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.3 Rio - Release 1". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.3 Rio - Release 2". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.3 Rio - Release 3". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "What's New". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "10.4 Sydney - Release 1". docwiki.embarcadero.com. Embarcadero Technologies. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- "RAD Studio November 2020 Roadmap PM Commentary". blogs.embarcadero.com. Retrieved 2020-11-27.
- "RAD Studio Product Editions RAD Studio Product Editions RAD Studio is available in 3 editions – Professional, Enterprise and Architect. Learn more". Embarcadero Website. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
- "Borland Enterprise Studio". Archived from the original on 2002-02-05. Retrieved 2002-02-05.
- "Kylix is here!". Retrieved 2020-09-05.
- "Free Pascal Homepage". freepascal.org. Retrieved 2016-04-27.