Migrating to RAD Server
All about moving existing Delphi VCL "fat client" database applications to scalable client/server architectures with Embarcadero RAD Server. Over last few days I was preparing for today's Embarcadero developer "Migrating to RAD Server" webinar. The objective was to take an existing app and move it to modern, scalable, cloud-based REST API architectures!
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As Delphi consultant, with many years of experience, I was involved in many serious migration projects, so there were many observations and best practices accumulated in my mind over time.
Let's consider a well known "Marine Adventures" demo. It has been shipping with many versions of RAD Studio and is a good example of a traditional database project with VCL forms, data-aware controls, data source components and a centralised data module.
How do you start with such a migration project? What about dividing it into phases?
In my example today there were five distinct phases: analyze, plan, refactor, build and deploy.
Before acting, you want to know what is the project in hand. What is the UI technology? Is it VCL or maybe cross-platform FireMonkey? What is the database? Is it InterBase, Oracle, SQL Server or maybe MySQL? What about database access framework? In RAD Studio you could be using the latest, and the most powerful, FireDAC, or maybe DBExpress, IBX, ADO or even BDE? What about clearly separated application tiers? Ideally you would like to see super-thin user interface layer with as little logic as possible and all database access code clearly isolated.
Here is the screenshot from whiteboard in my office.
There is no one "golden" rule how to migrate to RAD Server. Every application is different. The key is "layered" architecture, typically with a "layer" would be in a separate unit of code, probably in a different class.
Browsing through demos and youtube videos, I have found Delphi Product Manager, Marco Cantu, developer skill sprint episode from 2014 that was good inspiration for live demos today. Using "TEMSProvider" and "TEMSFireDACClient" component for updatable, master-detail data access with almost no code is very powerful.
The recording from my "Migrating to RAD Server" webinar today is available on YouTube. Enjoy!
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