Delphi vs. the other options
: I'm new to developing database applications, and I'm trying to figure out
: a good development package to use. Based on what I've been reading and
: hearing, Delphi seems to be getting very good reviews.
: My question centers on why I should use Delphi versus something like
: Visual dBASE, Visual FoxPro, Access, and/or Visual Basic to develop my
: application. What can Delphi offer that the others can't? What
: tradeoffs will I have to encounter?
All of the packages you cited have (or will soon have) roughly compar-
able capabilities in data access. The Borland products mentioned all
include native support for a number of local and SQL table types, and
can also support numerous other table types via ODBC.
But the single biggest difference is that only one of the above products
produces a true compiled application. Only one is not an interpreted
environment. And that one is Delphi. Of those products you asked about,
only Delphi provides that speed and efficiency of a true compiled
And, unlike some of the packages, Delphi is truly object-oriented, not
just object capable. That means true object-oriented programming, the
best way to program in the event-driven Windows environment. That
encompasses inheritance (although not multiple inheritance), poly-
morphism, and encapsulation.
: This is really not a client-server application I'm trying to make, just
: some local PC-based application to manage a small amount of data (a few
: hundred records.) The ability to compile to a standalone program is
: important, because I would want to distribute this in the organization
: without anybody tampering with the data or the program itself.
All of the programs mentioned would allow you to distribute an appl-
ication such that the source code for the application is unavailable
or inaccessible to the end-user. Depending on which is used, the end-
user may or may not need the parent software package to run the appl-
ication (applies to Paradox, dBASE, and Access, but not to Delphi or
Visual Basic apps). For those that cannot produce true stand-alone
applications, a run-time version of the parent package serves as a
substitute for distribution of an application, but entails the burden
of run-time library files.
: Should I use a database package with its own programming language, or
: should I use something like Delphi that can handle databases?
This is an open-ended question, one for which you would get as many
different answers as there are developers. Which direction you
should take in this depends on a number of factors. Is speed import-
ant? Are you already intimately familiar with a particular xbase
language? Are you familiar with Pascal, or do you have the time and
patience to learn a new language? What are the redistribution req-
uirements (may vary from application to application)?
: Also, does anybody have any recommendations on a reference for "proper"
: design of a database for the rank novice?
_/ Steve Koterski _/ The opinions expressed here are _/