Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Go VCL.NET or go Winforms?

I know it is discussed before, but lately there is a lot going on in the VCL.NET world, which can influence your descision.

To name a few:
  1. The discovery of the TADONetconnector, which provides a bridge between a .net datatable and the VCL TDataset.
  2. The increased possibility for a VCL.NET/Compact Framework edition.
  3. Avalon
1. The discovery of the TADONetconnector
This component makes it possible to retreive data from a .net dataset in a VCL TDataSet component. This is a very important issue because a lot of data today is retreived from ASP.NET webservices, which of course returns a .net dataset.
It is obvious that if you have to retreive a dataset from a webservice you would choose winforms over VCL.NET, but knowing this component you could use VCL.NET instead!
For more information please view Dr Bob's article TADONETConnector: using ADO.NET in VCL for .NET

2. VCL.NET/Compact Framework edition
There is a lot cooking in the Compact Framework world. Danny Thorpe discusses the possibility of a VCL.NET/CF edition. This would be really great! Although the functionality of a VCL.NET for CF will not be same as the VCL as we know I think it is a great extension of the VCL family.
For more information please view Danny Thorps blog.

3. Avalon
With Avalon in Microsoft's pipeline, the future of Winforms is not good. This means that sometime in the future it might be that you will have to convert your winform application to Avalon. Will this be easy? Well some say it will, and some say it won't.

On the otherhand VCL has a great history of transitions from different platforms(Win16-> Win 32->CLX->VCL.NET) so there is a great possibility that the VCL will make it into an Avalon version. Will this be easy? Well some say it will, and some say it won't.

In my opinion VCL.NET is a great choice, but that of course is from a Delphi developer point of view.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

What about VCL for .NET on CF?

This is one of the questions Danny Thorpe asks hisself in his blogentry about Delphi for .net running on the Compact Framework.
Really encouraging to see the progress and it looks like in Delphi 2006 there will be support for the Compact Framework. Even VCL.NET for CF could be a possibility!!

Well that would really drive VCL.NET into a prominent place for .net framework development!

Updated 22-3-2005 20.00:
More info via Allen Bauers blog entry: VCL.NET on CF? We control the horizontal.....

Updated 22-3-2005 20.41:
Well it is cooking for VCL.NET/CF :-)
Danny Thorpe blog entry: WinForms, Compact Frameworks, and Outhouses

Thursday, March 17, 2005

VB.NET end of story?

There seems to be a lot going on in the VB and VB.NET scene.
About 100 VB MVP(Microsoft Most Valued Professionals) signed a petition because they don't like the future of VB aka VB.NET. (Via The Blah-Blah blog)
31-march-2005 official Microsoft support on VB6 stops, meaning that all applications written in VB are unsupported, which of course is not a good thing. (Considering the great amount of current VB applications)
Note: Porting VB6 applications to VB.NET is not as easy as porting a VCL application to VCL.NET.
They will end up with a winform application, which finally will be replaced with the upcoming Avalon thing. (And how will that go?)

Imo there is a great opportunity for Borland here to attract VB developers towards Delphi.
Steve Trefethen made an overview of resources for converting from VB to Delphi.

Well you can only conclude that Borland did a great job on VCL.NET.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Datamodule and .NET Framework

In Delphi we are used to place our dataset controls on a datamodule. This offered natural seperation between the GUI (the form) and the business logic. In .NET however there is no such thing as a datamodule. If you want to use the data components you must place them on your form.
Well that is now the one place where you don't want them to be!

Off course you could make your own class and code your way out, but I find it very usefull if you can visually design your data layer. On the other hand you could use VCL.NET and have full profit of the datamodule again. :-)

In Winforms however there is a very easy way to simulate the Delphi datamodule. It takes just two steps to get one:
(Open a new winform application)
The steps are for Delphi 8 and might be a bit different for Delphi 2005.

1. Choose File - New - Other, choose folder Delphi for .Net projects - New Files.
Choose: Component for Windowsforms
You will now have a component in your project which is a non visual container where you can place non visual components.
2. Drop BdpConnections and adatapters on the component and add the component to the uses of the form.

Off course this works also in Visual Studio 2003.

Well it maybe not the most elegant solution, but it works fine and gives you more control in seperation your GUI and data layer.

Delphi 2005 update 2 available

Delphi 2005 Update 2 is available for download at the Borland Developer Network.
Over 200 bugs has been fixed in this update, so it is a must have for Delphi 2005 users.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Using ADO.NET in VCL for .NET

In early posts I have mixed both worlds to enable use of ADO.NET in VCL.NET and vica versa.
Bob Swart has an article about TADONETConnector component which enables you to feed ADO.NET datasets to VCL for .NET clients.
I have not noticed this component before, but it seems to connect the ADO.NET world and VCL.NET world in a perfect way!
The article also describes a way to consume a ASP.NET webservice in a VLC for .NET client!

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The return of ActiveForms

According to an article on Chris Bensen's blog it seems that the ActiveForms will return in Delphi 2005 in update 2.

Could this be a sign that D2K5 update 2 is coming soon out the pipeline?

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

New BDS IDE (aka Delphi 2006 ??)

On the Borland Developer Network you can watch a video, which shows the new Borland Developer Studio IDE (Should be Delphi 2006).
The video demonstrates a C++ Builder project within Delphi. It also shows improved switching between the new docked IDE and the classic undocked IDE.

Enjoy!