TRANSFORM Overview

By: Objective Software Technology Pty  09-Dec-2011
Keywords: Free, Bugs, Software Engineering

TRANSFORM is a Delphi IDE Expert that lets you convert entire forms including form properties and events, into a single component that can be reused inside other forms.

Functional Overview

TRANSFORM is a tool for creating reusable groups of components or "aggregate components". These allow you to encapsulate the function of a related set of components and selectively publish properties, methods and events relating to the group.

The aggregate component can be installed in Delphi's component palette and reused without having to recreate each individual component.

Aggregate components are most often used as business components to encapsulate business logic and user interface controls; to create complex user interface controls such as toolbars and editors; and as a tool for increasing productivity and object reuse on larger projects.

TRANSFORM revolutionises the creation of complex visual components in Delphi, by allowing complete component development in Delphi forms. That’s right - aggregate components can be developed using the full power of Delphi’s excellent visual IDE. This can deliver between 2 and 10 times faster component development.

How TRANSFORM Works

TRANSFORM installs into the Delphi Help menu and is easy to use. Only 5 simple parameters are needed to run the expert.

The output of TRANSFORM includes a log showing details of the conversion process and a view of the input and output details. The code generator reports differences in the input/output code, highlighting exactly what was changed by the expert.

Your component is automatically converted in an instant and can be sent direct to Delphi for compiling and testing. The component can be developed iteratively, by using a development project containing the component source and another test project that uses the component.

Technical Overview

TRANSFORM uses unique parser technology, code generation and container classes to convert Delphi forms into aggregate components.

Our form parser processes Delphi *.pas and *.dfm files. It identifies all properties and events of the form and the contained components.

The code generator converts these into a new component class. The new component inherits from a container control which you specify. This could be one of our container classes, TPanel or any other control your specify.

Properties and events of the form are converted into corresponding properties and events in the container class. By using our special container classes, over 80% of all form properties and events can be converted. This includes events like OnCreate, OnShow, OnActivate, OnDestroy etc. which don't normally exist in controls other than forms.

Sample Components

We enjoyed using TRANSFORM so much we included some great demonstration components to show you the power of this expert:

  • Dropdown panel - ideal for saving space on crowded forms;
  • Notepad - encapsulates a text editor for files up to 32k, including a toolbar, popup menu and full file/edit/search functionality;
  • Numeric edit - includes an edit field and dropdown calculator;
  • Filename edit - with built in open/save dialogs;
  • Dual listbox for from/to list item selection;
  • Database panel that automatically configures itself to display any database table with edit fields;
  • Name and Address component illustrating user interface encapsulation for business objects.
Purchased separately, these components by themselves could cost as much as our tool. However we’ve included them for free, along with source code and notes on the development steps used to create each component.

System Requirements

Our current release Version 6.0.0 supports Delphi 6.0.

License includes prior versions support for Delphi 1-5.

Minimum installation is 500kB.

Full installation requires 4MB and includes:

  • Professional installation, including registry support and automatic uninstall
  • Expert DCU files and packages
  • Full source code
  • Help file
  • 12 Tutorial and example component projects, including detailed construction notes
  • RTF soft copy of user's guide, tutorial and reference manual
 

Keywords: Aggregate Components, Bugs, Code Generator, Components, Debugging, Exception Handling, Free, Navigator Panel, Programs, Software Engineering,

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