Friday, 8 March 2013

More on FireDAC

I’ve yet to pull down and start playing with FireDAC, but it was featured in an Embarcadero event in London yesterday (Thursday). Some points with it were clarified by DavidI, which I thought were quite enlightening:

  • As well as Embarcadero acquiring the intellectual property and all that goes with AnyDAC from DASoft, the original AnyDAC developer, Dmitriy Arefief, is now on a very long-term contract with Embarcadero to keep the development of the product moving forwards.
  • FireDAC is intended as the replacement for dbExpress (DBX). Ultimately dbExpress will be deprecated, but doubtless will still be available for many versions to come (after all, WebSnap is still shipped in the box and hasn’t been focused on for a long time).
  • DataSnap currently relies on dbExpress and Indy. Over time DataSnap will be worked on to make use of FireDAC instead of DBX.
  • FireDAC was attractive to Embarcadero as it covers a much wider range of databases when compared with DBX: Oracle, DB2, SQL Server, InterBase/Firebird, PostgreSQL, MySQL, SQLite, Sybase SQL Anywhere, Advantage DB and Access, along with support for ODBC and dbExpress drivers. It also has a number of useful features, including a performance monitor (ADMonitor), a database explorer (ADExplorer) and a migration tool to convert BDE apps to use FireDAC components.

Additionally, I see in the FireDAC FAQ that if you are not yet an XE3 user you can still make use of FireDAC in older IDEs by installing it with a particular command-line parameter. According to Marco Cantù the command-line for installation into XE2 is /IDE:DXE2. However I’m not sure how many versions back are supported.

[ Edit: there is now a support article showing how to install into any IDE using the installer’s /showide command-line switch ]

Another change with the AnyDAC –> FireDAC transition is the dropping of support for Lazarus/Free Pascal Compiler, so Linux targeting is now out of the question. If you’re a Delphi customer, this is unlikely to ruffle your feathers, but I guess Lazarus users might be more rightfully irked.