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Building a Better Databinding Ecosystem for Delphi

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2016 | 2 comment(s)

The IDataProvider interface for .NET has enabled many features that are not available for all of the other platforms so far. Most importantly, it brings multiple report containers and nested tables. For C++, we've included a sample in LL21. This is sadly missing in Delphi. In addition, the current Delphi data-binding engine still works against the BDE, a technology that has been deprecated quite a while ago by Embarcadero.

As there is a huge number of Delphi developers out there using List & Label, we're looking to modernize our Delphi support. We've started to write the necessary COM interface wrappers to provide the IDataProvider interface in Delphi a while ago, including abstract base classes where all you have to do is write implementations for the diverse database systems. FireDAC is a very handy abstraction layer that removes the burden to implement each database system separately. If we had a descent implementation for TFDQuery data sources we'd be almost done.

Data provider for Delphi

So this is a call for support from the Delphi community! combit has a long standing tradition of fostering community projects. Like the preview support for Xbase++ or our cooperations for DataFlex, Clarion, Progress or dBASE PLUS, we'd be more than willing to support a community effort here. We have open sourced the (very raw) implementation we have so far on GitHub.

If you'd like to join the project, we'd be happy to sponsor your usage of List & Label in turn by providing you with the necessary license. If you maintain an active subscription of our reporting tool, we'd be happy to sponsor your renewal in return for your commitment once we've finished the provider. We're looking for developers with very good FireDAC skills to grind the edges and implement things like sorting, re-iterating (or cloning) queries, filtering etc.

I would be very happy if we could get this project up and running – I started my own professional coding career some twenty-five years ago with Object Pascal. It absolutely ruled at that time and Delphi is still a great choice for developers.

Author: Jochen Bartlau
Head of Development List & Label

Jochen Bartlau leads the development at combit as Managing Director. He's a Microsoft .NET enthusiast driving innovation & agile project management. The mobile devices geek who used to be a physicist in his first life loves to spend his spare time with his family.


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