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WinLab Reviews
Borland C++Builder
Borland Brings RAD to C++

-- by Martin Heller

For a long time, I've toyed with the idea of using Borland Delphi for my programming projects, and each time I've sighed and gone back to C++. I don't need to sigh anymore. Borland's new C++Builder is a hybrid of Delphi and Borland C++ that largely combines the best of both worlds.

Delphi is attractive because of its elegant visual design environment, its good selection of prebuilt components, its form inheritance, its lightning-fast compiler and its two-way tools, which synchronize source code and visual design.

The general development paradigm in C++Builder is just like Delphi's: Drag components from the palette onto the Form Designer, set their properties with the Object Inspector, then double-click on components to add event handlers. Typically, the code you write in event handlers makes extensive use of component objects' methods and properties, which is a mixed blessing. You don't have much code to write, but it tends to have a lot of pointers. For instance, to add the contents of an edit box to a list box when a button is pressed, you can type the code ListBox1-Items-Add(Edit1-Text); into the Button1Click method of the Tform1 object.

C++Builder generates C++ code when you do visual design, but it compiles both C++ and Object Pascal, giving you the ability to leverage any existing Delphi applications.

This is the environment I want to use for my next Windows application programming project. It replaces Microsoft's Visual C++ 4.0 on our Recommended List.

Borland C++Builder
Price: Standard, $99; Professional, $799; Client/Server, $1,999
Platforms: 3x, 95, NT
Pros: Good visual environment; broad component set; fast speed
Cons: Resource hungry
Disk Space: 195MB (Client/Server)
RAM: 16MB (24MB recommended)
Borland International
800-233-2444, 408-431-1000
Circle #645 or visit Winfo Online

Windows Magazine, April 1997, page 144.

[ Go to April 1997 Table of Contents ]