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Understand Delphi Versions and Pick your Delphi of Choice

Flavors of Delphi: what to pick: 2009, 2007 or 2006 / TurboDelphi


Updated November 17, 2008

In short, Delphi is a programming language one can use to create Windows (and even Linux) applications (software programs).

S'cuse me, What is Delphi?

CodeGear Delphi is an object-oriented, visual programming environment. Delphi is a complete environment for the visual design, compilation, and debugging of Windows applications. Programs can be targeted for Win32 and Microsoft .NET applications using a common source code base.

Delphi was originally envisioned as a next-generation visual development environment for Windows based on Borland's Object Pascal programming language and building upon the success of the popular Turbo Pascal IDE. At the intersection of RAD and client-server development trends, the original Delphi combined a leading-edge visual environment and visual component library (VCL) with superior database access features. Source: CodeGear.com.

Delphi's roots lie in Pascal - a strongly typed language invented decades ago. Read the Delphi History article to find out how Delphi evolved in the last 12 years.

What's the latest Delphi version?

The latest Delphi version is Delphi 2009. If you are to count Delphi versions from Delphi 1 (way back in 1995) up to today - you'll find out that Delphi 2009 is version number 12. Up to Delphi 8, every Delphi had a version number in its name. With Delphi 2005 (that is Delphi 9) the naming has changed.

What is CodeGear RAD Studio 2009?

Latest version. RAD solution for native Windows and .NET. Includes Delphi 2009, C++Builder 2009, and Delphi Prism 2009.

What is Delphi Prism 2009?

Delphi Prism is the new .NET development solution from CodeGear / Embarcadero Technologies. In this Visual Studio based solution you’ll be able to use your existing Delphi programming skills to build .NET applications, taking advantage of the latest and greatest .NET technologies such as WinForms, WPF, Silverlight, ASP.NET and LINQ.

What is CodeGear Developer Studio 2007?

Delphi 2007 revitalized Win32 development by combining Delphi's proven visual RAD approach for accelerated Win32 development with support for Windows Vista, AJAX, and streamlined database connectivity.

What is Borland Developer Studio 2006?

Borland Developer Studio is an integrated development environment for building Delphi (for Win32), Delphi for .NET, C# (C Sharp), and C++ applications.

That's right, you can use Delphi 2006 / 2007 / 2009 to program in Delphi, C++ and even in C#. What's more you can even open up Visual Basic code.

When you are using 2006 / 2007 to code in Delphi you are using "Delphi personality", when coding in C++ you are coding under "C++ Builder personality".

Thus, "Delphi" IDE is a "multi-personality" IDE - you use only one IDE to program in 4 different* programming languages: Delphi for Win32, Delphi for .NET, C++ for Win32, C# for .Net.

But what is "Delphi 2006/2007"?

Borland/CodeGear Develper Studio 2006/2007 is sometimes referred to as "Delphi 2006" or "Delphi 2007" - only because Delphi is the most commonly used personality in BDS.

The thing is that, if you are talking to a (long time) Delphi developer he/she will say "I'm developing in Delphi 2009" not "I'm developing in Rad Studio 2009". Your next question to this developer might ne "what personality?". The answer will be either "Win32" or ".Net".

Uh-oh, What is "Turbo Delphi"?

If I was to answer this question first, I will be in trouble! Since now you know what BDS is, the answer is much more simpler.

Turbo Delphi line of products - two products to be precise: Turbo Delphi (for Win32) and Turbo Delphi for .Net is BDS 2006 BUT with only one personality!

"Turbos" are single language, single platform solutions that are aimed at hobbyist developers, part-time professionals, and individual professional developers.

BDS is a multi-language, multi-platform development environment supporting C++, C#, and Delphi languages and both Windows native and Windows .NET application development.

Read the The Turbo Editions FAQ to get a better understanding of the Turbo line of products.

:) I got it now! Time to learn Delphi!

Never mind what Delphi version you pick, if you want to lern how to create Windows applications using Delphi, make sure not to miss: A Beginner's Guide to Delphi [choose topic: games, shell, database applications, .NET, COM, ...]!
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