RAD Studio (Common)
What's New in RAD Studio (Delphi for Microsoft .NET 2007)

RAD Studio provides key new features for developing Delphi for Microsoft .NET applications.

The following key features are new or significantly changed:

  • This release includes a new .NET personality that provides full support for ASP.NET and VCL.NET, as well as inline updates for Delphi 2007 for Win32 and C++Builder 2007.
  • Generics (also known as parameterized types) are now supported by the Delphi for .NET compiler. Generics allow you to define a class or record without specifying all the data types to be used within it. You then supply the unspecified types as parameters when you create an instance of the generic type. You can create and consume generics in Delphi for .NET, although the debugger does not evaluate generics. For more information, see Overview of Generics.
  • For C#, functionality has been rolled back to match that for Visual Basic for .NET. That is, you can open, edit, compile, and do basic debugging of C# applications. However, the IDE does not offer design-time support for C#.
  • Refactorings for Delphi for .NET will not support generics, and Delphi does not support refactoring C# code.
  • Template libraries (“starter kits”) enable you to add your own project types to the New Items gallery. A template library lets you declare how your project will look. Sample template libraries are included in RAD Studio, including:
    • A template library for creating an ASP.NET project that uses ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions 1.0. This template library is further described under the ASP.NET heading in this topic.
    • A template library that supports inserting HTML/CSS layouts such as 3-column, 2-column, header, footer, and so on. For more information about template libraries, see Template Libraries Overview.
  • Live Templates support ASP.NET controls. For more information, see Using Live Templates.
  • Your projects can have a Project Page, which is an HTML file that contains a description of the project, along with various other notes and information that you want to add. The project page is displayed when you open the project in the IDE. You set the Project Page by selecting ProjectProject Page Options.
  • Windows forms are no longer supported in RAD Studio.

This implementation supports .NET 2.0.  

You can create both ASP.NET 2.0 applications, and ASP.NET-based Web Services application. ASP.NET supports the Code-Behind model only. 

The Designer provides MasterPages and design-time support for all standard ASP.NET 2.0 controls. 

You can drag and drop data connections from the Data Explorer to the WebForms Designer. 

Site navigation tools will be provided, such as sitemaps, sitemap paths, and sitemap menus.  

User controls are supported. 

Also supported is login functionality – membership, roles, and associated providers.  

ECO support is included for ASP.NET. 

An AJAX template library now appears in the FileNew dialog box. The AJAX library is called AJAX-Enabled ASP.NET Web Application. Use this gallery item to create a new ASP.NET project that is set up for use with ASP.NET 2.0 AJAX Extensions 1.0. For more information about Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX technology, see http://www.asp.net/ajax/

You can use both the Cassini web server and the IIS webserver while developing your project and you can run your application using F9 when using Cassini. 

RAD Studio also provides a DBX4 implementation of the ASP.NET Provider model, which allows you to use a DBX4 database for storing membership, roles, session information, and so forth.

The following key features are new or significantly changed:

  • You can specify whether Microsoft Managed Debug Assistants (MDAs) will display notifications in the event log. For more information, see Event Log Options.
  • The debugger can now handle components and classes that contain the new generic types but cannot evaluate generics. For more information about generics, see Overview of Generics.
  • The Debug Inspector has a new context menu command, Bind to Object, which binds the Inspector to the specific object. For more information, see Debug Inspector.

Support for the Together modeling tool has the following new features:

  • Together modeling features have been updated to sujpport generic types in Delphi for .NET.
  • Refactorings that depend on Together will not work for code that contains generic types.

Many changes have been made to improve support for database application development in RAD Studio.

Active Query Builder

The SQL window available from the context menu of the Data Explorer is now a separate product, Active Query Builder, which provides a full set of visual query-building features. For documentation on the Active Query Builder, see http://www.activequerybuilder.com/hs15.html.


dbExpress has the following new features:

  • dbExpress has been entirely rewritten in Delphi.
  • A new API is available. This allows you to connect to databases. It also provides a framework for writing dbExpress drivers.
  • The dbExpress VCL component's implementation has changed with minimal change to the API. Most applications are not affected by changes to the dbExpress VCL. However, there are some new methods, properties, events, constants, and enums.
For more information about changes in dbExpress, see dbExpress 4 New Feaure Overview.

dbExpress Metadata Improvements

The DBX3 metadata was not rich enough for database tooling and did not support all of the metadata types expected from an ADO.NET 2.0 driver. A new MetaData providers architecture provides much greater capability.

  • New metadata providers for 9 different database backends are available.
  • Each provider is composed of a separate metadata reader and writer implementation.
  • The MetaData providers are detached from the driver so that one metadata provider can be used for multiple driver implementations.
  • A new unit DBXMetaDataNames provides classes to describe and provide access to metadata.
  • dbExpress exposes a DbxMetaDataProvider class to write metadata.

ADODbx Client

This implements the ADO.NET 2.0 interface. It replaces BDP.NET, based on ADO.NET 1.1, which is being deprecated. AdoDbx Client exposes any existing dbExpress 4 driver as an ADO.NET 2.0 provider.  

Instructions on connecting and deploying this provider have been included in the summary documentation at the top of the Borland.Data.AdoDbxClientProvider.pas unit as well as in the product documentation.

DBXClient Driver

DBXClient is a DBX4 driver that remotes the DBX4 framework interface over a pluggable network based transport. In this release, a TCP/IP transport is supported.  

In this release, DBXClient can only connect to Blackfish SQL.

Blackfish SQL

Blackfish SQL is the Delphi for .NET version of JBuilder's JDataStore. Blackfish SQL is a high-performance transactional database for the .NET platform, and also supports the .NET Compact Framework. Blackfish SQL will hook to ADO.NET 2.0, and to any DBX4 driver. 

Blackfish SQL exposes an API that is documented in a companion help volume. For a high-level summary, see Blackfish SQL Overview

The implementation is in the unit Borland.Data.DataStore

Blackfish SQL is written entirely in C# and provides the following features and benefits:

  • Support for industry standards
  • Transaction management
  • Support for use of managed code in stored procedures, user-defined functions (UDFs), and triggers
  • Simple deployment
  • Database portability
  • High performance and reliability
  • Developer tool integration


ASP.NET Provider

These providers implement the ASP.NET provider model in dbExpress 4 and Blackfish SQL and provide support for management of machine.config and web.config for updating the provider assemblies. They also provide tooling for creating a new instance of the provider database for a website.

DBXProvider and Blackfish SQLProvider

These providers implement the ASP.NET provider model in DBX4 and SQLDataStore and will provide support for management of machine.config and web.config for updating the provider assemblies. They also provide tooling for creating a new instance of the provider database for a website.

New features:

  • Support for .NET 2.0 and 64-bit managed components.
  • Support for components, classes, methods, and properties that are compatible with the look and feel of the Microsoft Vista operating system.
New VCL components: The following new classes have been added to the Visual Component Library:
  • TDBXConnectionEx
  • TDBXCursorValue
  • TDBXMemoryConnectionFactory
  • TDBXMetaDatabaseColumnNames
  • TDBXMetaDataCommandsEx
  • TDBXMetaDataCommands
  • TDBXMetaDataTableTypesEx
  • TDBXPropertyNames
  • TDBXPropertyNamesEx
  • TDBXStreamReader
  • TDBXByteStreamReader
  • TDBXLookAheadStreamReader
  • TDBXValueTypeFlagsEx
  • TDBXWideStringValueEx
  • TDBXDatabaseMetaDataEx

ECO now supports VCL.NET in addition to ASP.NET.  

ECO online help is now separate from RAD Studio online help.

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