About Embarcadero C++ Builder

What is Embarcadero C++ Builder?

Embarcadero C++ Builder is a popular rapid application development (RAD) environment produced by Borland for writing programs in the C++ programming language. It bears close resemblance to Delphi, and as a result many consider it to be a C++ version of Delphi. Most components developed in Delphi can be used in C++ Builder with no modification, although the reverse is not true.

Embarcadero C++ Builder includes tools that allow true drag-and-drop visual development, making programming easier by incorporating a WYSIWYG GUI builder into its IDE.

Development environment

Embarcadero C++ Builder combines the Pascal Visual Component Library and visual IDE as found in Delphi with the aforementioned C++ compiler. The release cycle is such that Delphi gets major enhancements first, with C++ Builder following and adding a few extras of its own. That means most of the new features in C++ Builder 5 can already be found in Delphi 5, although this counts for little if you are a C++ developer. The Pascal is more or less invisible, unless you need to delve into the library source code.

There is a host of new features in C++ Builder. Top of the list is support for ADO, Microsoft's current data access standard. ADO is important because it is used as the data access application program interface (API) for Active Server Pages (ASP), Microsoft's popular extension to Internet Information Server. Another advantage is that some native ADO drivers, such as that for Microsoft Access, have more features and perform better than ODBC or DAO equivalents. ADO does not require the Borland Database Engine, and nor does Interbase Express, a set of components that give direct access to the Interbase API.

Available Editions

There are three versions of Embarcadero C++ Builder. The Standard edition has no database features or web components. For most users, these limitations are too great to make it usable. Professional has old-style database support through the Borland Database Engine (BDE), and multi-tier Com support, but no SQL Links drivers for client-server data access, and no ADO components either, although these are available as add-ons. Buy the Enterprise and you get all those plus the XML-based Midas tools, multi-tier Corba support, Teamsource and the Translation Suite.

In 2003 Borland introduced the successor to C++ Builder, C++ Builder X, which was written using the same framework as JBuilder and bore little resemblance to either C++ Builder or Delphi. This product was aimed at developing large programs for enterprises. However, it did not have much commercial success. As a result, Borland announced at the end of 2004 that the next version of C++ Builder will be part of Delphi.




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