ITDevCon 2011, recap

Last Friday ended the third edition of ITDevCon, the European Conference on Delphi and its related technologies.
ITDevCon this year was even bigger and funny.
There have been more present, more sponsors, more speakers, more topics and a lot of people with the desire to learn new things and improve their every day work.

A special thanks goes to all the speakers who participated and the sponsors who have contributed their support to make this conference a major event for the European community Delphi.

I hope that the content and the organization is liked to you at least half of how much it is liked to me.
We are organizing slides, videos and examples for each speech to put it all on-line available to participants at the conference as soon as possible. You will receive an email informing you of how to download all the material available.
In the coming days, on the conference website (www.itdevcon.it) we will post all the pictures we have done in these three days.

If you have any photos that you want to see published, send them to me, we’ll publish it on the official website.

Some friends (and speakers) already blogged about the conference:

DavidI
http://blogs.embarcadero.com/davidi/2011/10/24/41413

Paweł Głowacki
http://blogs.embarcadero.com/pawelglowacki/2011/10/30/39392

Primoz Gabrijelcic
http://www.thedelphigeek.com/2011/10/itdevcon-2011recap.html

Marco Cantù
http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/itdevcon2011_summary.html

And now, Daniele Teti :-)

ASAP I’ll publish the slides of every speeches.

If you want to see the tweet about the conference, you can go here.

Here’s some photos from the conference.

During the “Country Evening” some of us have been singing with the good “Tex Roses” friend (an italian country band). Probably there are at least 15 video documenting my “performance”!

Here’s the video recorded by Primož (the Delphi Geek)

I thank again all those who have spoken and all those who have attended to ITDevCon.
See you next year.

– Daniele

ITDevCon 2011 Time Table

Yes, it is a bit late, but this year has been really difficult to choose between all the speeches proposals arrived from all over the world.
The new Delphi XE2 version (and the RAD Studio XE2 Suite too) are really full of new cool features and many of the best delphi developers want to show what can be done in Delphi XE2. Great situation!

However, also this year, there will be many talks and many speakers. For the first time there will be 2 plenary sessions with more than one speaker in the main TObject hall. During these sessions all the attendants will be in the same hall and I’m sure that there will be very interesting Q&A time at the end of the sessions.
As usual there will be english and italian speeches. In every time frame you will find a suitable talk for your language.

This year we are glad to have DavidI as a conference speaker. Thanks to be with us David!

As you can see from the time table, there will be many topics, but if you are particulary interested in Firemonkey, LiveBindings, DataSnap and Mobile, you will find a specific sets of speeches about these topics.

In particular:

  • DavidI and Pavel Glowacky will show all the cool stuff available in Delphi XE2
  • Marco Cantù will held an interesting session about Firemonkey development
  • Bruno Fierens will held a 2 parts session about Firemonkey cross-platform component development.
  • I’ll hold 2 sessions about LiveBindings and how to use them with the most popular Data Access Design Patterns
  • Debora Mizzoni (web) and Luca Giacalone (android) will talk about mobile development with RadPHP
  • Salvatore Sparacino will show how to use the datasnap mobile connectors to develop a real-world app
  • and many others on many others topics

This year we’ll have also a “Conference App” very similar to the Google I/O one. With this app you will be able to:

  • Read the time table
  • Set you preferred speeches
  • Read infos about the speakers
  • Comment on speeches
  • Share you comments about itdevcon on facebook and twitter
  • Read infos about our sponsors

This app has been developed using Delphi and the datasnap mobile connectors (for the backend) and an Android device for the frontend. ASAP the app will be published on the Android Market. Here’s some screen shots from the “ITDevCon2011” android app.

The home screen
The time table with all the speeches infos. The starred ones are your preferred speeches.
Speaker's details

The principal developer of this app (Salvatore Sparacino) will explain all parts (datasnap, the connectors, and the android development) in a specific talk. Are you interested in mobile development using Delphi as backend? If yes, you cannot miss his talk!

The time table is available here.
The complete speakers list is available here.

You can register for the event here.

There are interesting discounts for groups, students and for whom will buy RAD Studio XE2 in these days. If you are interested, contact directly our sales office at dir_comm at bittime.it.

See you in Verona!

In the core of LiveBindings expressions of RAD Studio XE2

WARNING! I’ve been authorized by EMBARCADERO to write about RAD Studio XE2.

RAD Studio XE2 is full of nice and exciting features. One of the most awaited of them is the LiveBindings.

The LiveBindings is available to the VCL and the new FireMonkey framework and allows to connect a property object to another using an expression and a set of observers.
Let’s say Edit1.Text “is binded to” Person1.Name also in a bidirectional way. The “link” between a property (or a group of properties) and another property can also be very complex.

The following is an example of a complex bind expression that return a value:

"This is a full name: " + Trim(ToUpperCase(FirstName)) + ", " + Trim(ToUpperCase(LastName))

I’ve waited LiveBindings for ages and now they are here!

So, let’s look a deep inside to the core of livebindings expression evaluator,
the TBindingExpression.

The TBindingExpression is an abstract class that allows to evaluate an expression. But, what’s an expression? An expression is a string that return, or not return, a value. You could see an expression as a little function or procedure.
To explain the concept, I’ve build a simple expression interpreter using an XE2 beta version.

It is very simple but shows the power of expression engine.
This is the scriptengine while evaluates a simple arithmetic expression.

The expression engine is not only a “static” evaluator. Using the powerful Delphi RTTI introduced in Delphi 2010, you can also allows the expression to “read” and “call” property and method of your Delphi objects!!

So, now, some code is needed.

As you can see, you can “register” some association between a real object and an alias in the expression. So, if my object are declared as the following:

I can use a expression as the following:

Going further, you can call methods in your expression!

So, if you have methods declared as following:

You can use the following expression:

Obviously, when you link a property to another you should not use dialogs in the expressions, but this feature is VERY powerful.
You can create different expression and use them as a custom calculator for specific business rules. The expressions are strings, so you can store them in a file or in a database and use them as needed. The expression engine is not a complete scripting language, but it can be used (and abused) in a very broad range of situations.

For complex business rules, I hate the classic chain

Data->TDataSet->DBAware

so I usually use a DomainModel that use datasets only to read data.

The LiveBinding allows me to use (for complex business rules) the following chain

Data->ORM->DataObjects->Bindings->VisualControls

This is only an introduction to the LiveBingind engine. ASAP I’ll post other articles about it.

I’ll talk about the livebinding engine at the ITDevCon2011 conference. Will be you there?

RAD Studio XE2 will be officially presented all over the world during the “RADStudio XE2 World Tour”.
You can find the list of all launch events in the RADStudio XE2 World Tour page.

I’ll be a presenter at 3 launch events in Italy and United Arab Emitates.
These are the events where I’ll be (click to register):

  • 19th Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • 21nd Milan, Italy
  • 22nd Rome, Italy

Stay tuned.

DataSnap Mobile Connectors in RAD Studio XE2

WARNING! I’ve been authorized by EMBARCADERO to write about RAD Studio XE2.

RAD Studio XE2 is full of nice and exciting features. One of the most interesting IMHO is the DataSnap extension called “Mobile Connectors”.

In the past, I’ve talked about connecting and using your datasnap REST service with Android, creating ad-hoc json messages and manually parsing the returned json messages. With RAD Studio XE2 this is no longer needed. If you have a DataSnap REST service, you can automatically generate the proxy connector for the major mobile platforms. Yes, just like you have been doing with Delphi or C++ since Delphi 2010.

DataSnap XE2 version supports 4 mobile platforms:

  • Android (Using Java)
  • BlackBerry (Using Java)
  • Windows Phone (Using C#)
  • iOS 4.2 (Using ObjectiveC)

If you want to enable your DataSnap server for the Mobile Connectors you have to explicitely check the feature in the “New DataSnap Server” wizard.

The generated proxies support all the standard Delphi types and maps them to the native target language. Some of the most used Delphi types (e.g. TStream, TDBXReader and so on) have been rewritten in the target language to allows a greater compatibility and a simpler programming interface. The functionalities of the various Delphi classes are not-one-to-one with the Delphi version, but  similar.

From a remote (or local) machine you can download the generated proxy and all the required files using a tool called “Win32ProxyDownloader.exe” which is in the bin folder of your RAD Studio installation. In my FieldTest version, this tool called without parameters, shows its help.

As usual you should have the RAD Studio bin folder in your PATH environment variable, so you can change your current directory to where you want the proxy and write this command in a commandprompt window:

Win32ProxyDownloader -language java_android -host localhost:8080

The proxy and all the needed files are ready in the current directory.

Mat DeLong wrote a very nice Eclipse plugin to use the proxy downloader directly from Android or BlackBerry development environment. You can find this plugin here.

You know that Android is my preferred mobile platform, don’t you?

So, let’s go with an Android example.

To use the generated java proxy, in an Android client application I can write something like this:

//Create the connection
connection = new DSRESTConnection();
connection.setHost("10.0.0.2");
connection.setPort(8080);
connection.setProtocol("http");
//Create the proxy
proxy = new DSProxy.TServerMethods1(connection);
//Use a simple remote method
int sum = proxy.Sum(1,4));
//Use a complex remote method
TStream inStream = null;
TStream outStream = null;
String s = "abc";
inStream = new TStream(s.getBytes());
outStream = proxy.DoSomethigWithATStream(inStream, sum, "Hello DataSnap Mobile Connectors");
//here I can use the java TStream type

All the custom Delphi types (e.g. TPerson) are mapped on the target platform as TJSONObject. All the TJSONValue hierarchy has been ported, with a very similar interface, to the target platform as a wrapper of the native JSON classes.

So, you can write code as the following (Java on Android):

TJSONObject jobj = new TJSONObject();
jobj.addPairs("firstname", "Daniele");
jobj.addPairs("lastname", "Teti");
jobj.addPairs("age", 31);
jobj.addPairs(new TJSONPair("nickname", new TJSONString("Spiderman")));
if (jobj.has("firstname"))
  doSomethingWithFirstName(jobj.getString("firstname"));
doSomethingWithAge(jobj.getDouble("age").intValue());

All the proxies work in a similar way except for the Windows Phone one. Indeed, the WP proxy is asynchronous because Microsoft does not allow a sinchronous http request in the main thread. All the proxies are thread safe.

The proxies are generated on the fly by a set of specialized writers. The TDSProxyGenerator component is in charge of generate the actual proxy code in the target language/platform using one of the specialized generators.

In the next figure you can see all the available proxy generators. Some of them are there since Delphi XE but all the mobile platforms have been added in XE2.

That’s all for now.

RAD Studio XE2 will be officially presented all over the world during the “RADStudio XE2 World Tour”.

You can find the list of all launch events in the RADStudio XE2 World Tour page.

I’ll be a presenter at 3 launch events in Italy and United Arab Emitates.

These are the events where I’ll be (click to register):

RAD Studio XE2 had a lot of new features. This is really the BEST ever Delphi version since version 1.

I’ll blog about other XE2 features mostly Delphi related (as usual) so stay tuned.

ITDevCon 2010

Last Friday ended the second edition of ITDevCon, the European Conference on Delphi and its related technologies.
ITDevCon This year was even bigger.
There have been more present, more sponsors, more speakers, more topics and a lot of people with the desire to learn new things and improve their every day work.
In addition to a large group of Italian and European speakers, we had speakers from all over the world. From the coast of the U.S. Ovest to Russia. The participants who came from all over Europe. The most intrepid of them even came from Australia to follow the Mobile Boost on Android and the 2-day conference. Congratulations!
A special thanks goes to all the speakers who participated and the sponsors who have contributed their support to make this conference a major event for the European community Delphi.
I hope that the content and the organization is liked to you at least half of how much it is liked to me.
We are organizing slides, videos and examples for each speech to put it all on-line available to participants at the conference as soon as possible. You will receive an email informing you of how to download all the material available.
In the coming days, on the conference website (www.itdevcon.it) we will post all the pictures we have done in these three days. If you have any photos that you want to see published, send them to me, we’ll publish it on the official website.

Many speakers already blogged about the conference:

Paweł Głowacki
http://blogs.embarcadero.com/pawelglowacki/2010/11/22/39140

Marco Cantù
http://blog.marcocantu.com/blog/itdevcon2010_report.html

José León Serna
http://www.joseleon.es/2010/11/22/itdevcon-2010-conclusions/

Bruno Fierens
http://www.tmssoftware.com/site/blog.asp?post=185

Primoz Gabrijelcic
http://www.thedelphigeek.com/2010/11/itdevcon-2010.html

And now, Daniele Teti 🙂

If you want to see the tweet about the conference, you can go here.

I thank again all those who have spoken and all those who have attended to ITDevCon.
See you next year.

— Daniele

Back from Brazil (all slides and code from the Brasilian Delphi Conference)

Last week I returned from Brazil where I had been to speak to the Delphi Conference.
The conference was held in St. Paul who, like many Brazilians will be able to confirm, is not a typical Brazilian city.

The warmth of local people has been exemplary. Andreano Lanusse has organized all in a really valuable way.

Besides the excellent food, I was surprised by the number of Delphi developers found: 550! In addition, over 150 people
have not had time to register and were placed on a waiting list. Fantastic.

After the inevitable David and his keynote, there were four simultaneous tracks during the day.

My talk was translated from English to Portuguese.

As imagined, the argument Android and seem to raise much interest in the Delphi community.

It was very nice to have confirmation in the first person to what is present and the large Brazilian community Delphi.

Here you can find all the slides and in my GoogleCode svn repository you can find all the DEMO code.

If you live in italy or can speak in italian language, you might be interested in the “ITDEVCON MOBILE BOOST” (http://www.itdevcon.it/).

Stay tuned.

*VERY* busy time! RADSTUDIO XE, ITDevCon and other stuff

This is a very busy time.

Some news:

  • RAD STUDIO XE is out
  • The ITDevCon time table will be published ASAP. This year I’m working to create a Time Table even more interesting than the last year (not simple!). The speakers will talk about DELPHI XE, RADPHP XE and a*LOT* of DataSnap. Complete list of topic are available in the conference web site home page.
  • The italian RADSTUDIO XE events will be held in September, Tuesday 21 ROME and Wednesday 22 MILAN
  • Busy time also for this blog… I’m planning some really interesting stuff that I working on:
    • Nice stuff with the Delphi Language
    • MVC framework with scripting engine for web development in Delphi
    • DORM, the Delphi ORM
    • Some real-world samples for the new RAD STUDIO XE

What other to say?

Stay tuned

Delphi Day 2010

Also this year I was at Delphi Day with many others bit Time co-workers.
This year I did a speech about Continuous Integration and Unit Test with Delphi.

I showed some of the methodologies and tools that we used in bitTime for long and for whom we also offer training.

Many Delphi programmers and companies should consider adoption of this tecnique for do more and better with the same effort (and the same money).

The event was interesting and was also an opportunity to meet some of the Italian Delphi programmers with which to meet and exchange ideas.

Marco wrote a nice summary of the event in his blog.

Swimming World Championships: Delphi Software swim in it

From July 17th to August 2nd, The Foro Italico (in Rome) will be the heart of the 13th FINA World Championships Roma 2009, for swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo. Four permanents pools and two temporary pools will be the set of the competitions for the four competitive disciplines, and all the venue will turn into a village that will host and entertain all night long over 400.000 people during 17 days of contests.

2009 Swimming World Championships

Now you are thinking: where is Delphi ?

Delphi is used (as usual) without knowing you are using it.

A software built with Delphi is used to manage the opening ceremony.
This software is designed to do the very complex attendee placement in the audience and to automate the invitation process.
The attendees will be VIP from Italy and international countries, starting from the italian president, the highest authority in Italy.

Cerimoniere
Cerimoniere

 

You can have a look at the software CERIMONIERE here (but the site is in Italian, sorry)

I actively participated in the design and development of this software, and now that I see it in action, in a so important and internationally well known event, I’m very proud of it, and I’m sure any member of the great Delphi community will be as well.