Why Win Matters

If you read most of the IT press, follow blogs, or attend to conferences, it looks that only the latest technology (and the latest fad) are worth working on and everything else is either dead of dying away. This is far from true.

From COBOL development to mainframes, from AS/400 computers to DBF databases, there is a ton of legacy technology that's not only maintained but sees significant new investment. It might be for compatibility reasons, but it is also because companies prefer having a proven and reliable technology for their core business rather than risking their business over the most-recently hyped technology.

This doesn't mean, of course, that following trends, providing higher quality, and empowering users is not important. Quite the opposite. If you can keep delivering additional value on a solid foundations, you have a win-win situation. Looking at the Windows side of things, for example, Microsoft has certainly created a lot of value with its growing set of libraries and architectures based on the solid foundation of the .NET framework. On the other hand it is true that, despite the robustness and stability of the core, targeting the latest and best .NET technologies is like focusing on a fast moving target, which is not exactly the best thing when you need to build your client/server application that will take a couple of years to create and you hope will last at least for the next ten years or so.

The other extreme is that of Micro ISV, small tools vendors, shareware developers, Internet utility builders. They are in the situation of short life span products and could certainly benefit for staying on the edge... but even they cannot rely on a large and even changing framework for deploying their applications. They need something that works on each and every Windows box out there. This is a situation in which Delphi shines in comparison to most other solutions. The only real exception is Visual C++, but (if you've never tried to do so) developing in it is not a RAD and OOP experience like .NET and VCL development are.

Visual C++ MFC library is only a thin layer on top of the Windows API, while Delphi provides what has been called a platform, with memory management and runtime services, a pretty large class library with lots of insight into user interface creation, Internet support, and database connectivity, to name only the most noticeable areas of the product.

Delphi does such a good job of producing native looking Windows applications such as Skype that there is rarely any visible sign that an application has been developed with Delphi.

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