Is There a Perfect Delphi Migration Tool?

Is There a Perfect Delphi Migration Tool?

The short answer to whether there is a perfect Delphi migration tool is indeed no. Migrating a Delphi application from any version prior to 2009 to a modern Delphi version can be complex and time-consuming, particularly due to significant changes in the programming language and development environment over the years.

Sometimes a Delphi migration is relatively simple. This depends greatly on the complexity of the application and the version of Delphi in which it was originally developed. For example, migrating from Delphi 2007 to Delphi 12 is often less complicated than migrating from much older versions, such as Delphi 5 to Delphi 12. This is because older versions like Delphi 5 often use outdated components and structures that are no longer supported in newer versions. As a result, much more code must be rewritten to be compatible with modern technologies and standards.

A specific example of a major challenge is the introduction of Unicode in Delphi. Embarcadero introduced full Unicode support in 2008 with RAD Studio. This update had significant implications for the data types commonly used in Delphi programs. Examples include the String, Char, and PChar datatypes, whose definitions were adjusted to support Unicode characters. This change requires existing applications that use these datatypes to be modified to function correctly in newer Delphi versions. This can lead to issues when migrating applications, libraries, and shared units originally written for a non-Unicode environment.

The migration challenges do not stop there. Modern Delphi versions, such as Delphi 10 and later, offer more advanced features and enhanced performance that make upgrading appealing, but they also require developers to become familiar with new IDE functionalities, component libraries, and language constructs. Additionally, security aspects, such as handling external APIs and integration with modern operating systems, can add further complications to the migration.

Therefore, it is crucial for organizations considering a Delphi migration to perform thorough planning and evaluation, and possibly invest in specialized tools or services to facilitate the transition. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, and the success of a migration project depends on a deep understanding of both the old and new systems.

GDK Duster

The Delphi programmers at GDK Software have migrated hundreds of existing Delphi applications. It turns out that about eighty to ninety percent of the code can be reused. The remaining ten to twenty percent must be rewritten. We often use our own migration tool to automatically rewrite older code. This migration tool is called GDK Duster. GDK Duster has more than 500 ready-made solutions available. GDK Duster uses the Delphi compiler to automatically compile programs, find errors, and adjust the code to fix these errors. A large portion of the errors can be automatically resolved. And the rest? With the handy built-in editor, you can easily add new solutions to the list yourself, so you only need to add each solution once.

See how Duster works in the video below:

Start Migrating Your Application?

Do you want to migrate your existing Delphi application? You can do it yourself with GDK Duster or you can contact us. We would be happy to discuss the possibilities with you. If you choose GDK Software, you will be supported by a strong team of specialists. We hope to see you soon!

Schedule a free online strategic session with GDK!