What are Delphi and Pascal?

What are Delphi and Pascal?

Delphi is the software development environment (the IDE) for the Pascal programming language. The history of Delphi thus begins with Pascal and is practically the visual extension of the programming language. So one cannot exist without the other. And it also has an interesting bit of history attached to it. Curious?

In the beginning

In the 1980s, Turbo Pascal was a widely used programming language. It was easy to learn and very powerful to use. Around 1995, Turbo Pascal moved from MS-DOS to Windows. Software company Borland wanted more focus on object-oriented capabilities and therefore developed the IDE called Delphi, implementing Object Pascal as a language.

The very first version of Delphi dates from 1995. Delphi 1 appeared for Windows 3.1 and was one of the first Rapid Application Development tools. Partly due to the success of Windows 3.1, Delphi 1 was a success. Delphi 2 was a 32-bit version for Windows 95. This software appeared in 1996. Despite the switch to Windows 95, it was not a big step for developers as the graphical toolset remained the same.

In 1997, Delphi 3 was released. This version was much more stable than Delphi 2 and introduced packages for components, integration with COM for interfaces, WebBroker technology, DecisionCube and TeeChart components and DLL debugging.


Delphi 4 and 5

In 1998, Inprise released Borland Delphi 4. Its IDE came with a new editor, which is easy to dock. An ADO (ActiveX Data Objects) interface was added with databases in addition to the BDE (Borland Database Engine). VCL added support for ActionLists, anchors and constraints and for the new Oracle8d database server. Read more about all the improvements to Delphi 4.

A year after Delphi 4, Delphi 5 was released. This version was again a lot more stable than the previous version and offered even more new features, such as the ability to use frames and parallel development.


In need of renewal

If your application is still running on Delphi 1, 2, 3 or 4, it means it is now over 25 years old and (often) in need of replacement. This is because these versions are not easy to upgrade. As a developer, you are therefore likely to run into the limits of the development environment. Fortunately, we at GDK Software have a solution for that.

Delphi today offers Object Pascal with compilers and components for Windows, macOS, Android and Linux. There have been many new language extensions, making Delphi an object-oriented language which is easy for developers to read, learn and use.


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