Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The day after...more options?

Ok, CodeGear drops Winforms. It is now clear that I belong to an exclusive group of Delphi .NET Winforms developers out there. That sounds cool, but they now have a little problem, driving their applications into the future. I am not happy about this affaire, but live goes on. Time to sort out my options.

What was I thinking, doing Winforms development in Delphi .NET?
As I told you before I use(d) Delphi .NET Winforms for only few applications belonging to the same project.
This project is a VCL Win32 project, built up in a couple of modules (read seperate applications) which I started two years ago. Why VCL Win32? Simple Delphi is VCL
The last two modules needed Gauges and Charts. At first I builded this in VCL Win32 with TMS Software's Instrumentation workshop, however my client came up with the Dundas Gauges and Charts. And he was right, these are a class on their own.
Of course this were .NET components, which I could not use in Delphi Win32. So a decision had to be made. Basically there were two options Delphi for .NET Winforms, or VS C#. (I tried to wrap them into VCL.NET, but that did not work)
Although the controls were built for VS.NET (and supported), I choose for Delphi .NET for the simple fact that I could reuse my coreclasses by sharing them between my Win32 and .NET projects.

Bringing my Delphi for .NET Winforms apps into the future
No panic, however at some point in time I probably have to upgrade my applications to 'something else' (Or I will have to install BDS2006, and .NET 1.1 framework, for the rest of my life ;-))

At this point I think that my only option is to bring the projects over into VS C#.

More options?


Kyle A. Miller said...

You are not alone. I, too, developed some Delphi.NET Winforms applications. I am not happy about the dropping of Winforms support.

Jason Sweby said...

Makes me glad I haven't made the jump yet. How can MS seriously push .NET as the future when each major release breaks the previous one. It'd be like Delphi 2008 dropping TForm - madness.

Anonymous said...

Definitely you are not alone!
About what to do I have an idea (to be tested).
1 - Using VS (a low end SKU should be sufficient) create one or more C# assemblies containing only the forms and the designer generated code. Component visibility should be set to family (that is protected).
2 - Reference the assemblies from Delphi, subclass the required forms and add whatever fields, properties and methods you require. All the components are accessible as they are protected.
3 - Add whatever event handler you require and link them to the components inside the form constructor.

Fritz Klein said...

If I understand this issue correctly, by CodeGear dropping WinForms, that locks out the use in Delphi .NET of many many superb 3rd party tools that have been written for .NET. If that is indeed so then that is essentially a show stopper for us.

Fritz Klein

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