Dr.Explain news: version 5.5 – HiDPI support, 64bit performance, new UI, and more

Dr. Explain

What’s new in Dr.Explain 5.5 (release notes)

  1. 64 Bit architecture
    Starting from version 5.5, Dr.Explain will run on 64 bit Windows OS exclusively so as to support bigger projects as well as to be more performant.
  2. Hi-DPI monitors support
    Dr.Explain now also supports high resolution (Hi-DPI) screens, such as 4K monitors, taking full advantage of fine pixeling for the clearest user interface and better user experience.
  3. New revamped and refreshed user interface
    The new clear and attractive interface will help you to work more efficiently and with greater comfort.
  4. The Import fucntion got more flexible
  5. The Export functions were optimized
  6. Many issues in different modules were fixed

 

Dr.Explain is based on a unique interface analysis and screen capture system. Thanks to this system, Dr.Explain can automatically analyze an application’s user interface, take screenshots of all controls and elements, and then add explanatory callouts to all images in the draft help system. After that, all one needs to do is add descriptions to the callouts, and save the result in the HTML, CHM, RTF, or PDF format.

 

With the Dr.Explain you can easily generate a complete array of end user help in various formats from a single source file. The Dr.Explain can make CHM help filescreate online help manuals and prepare printable manuals in RTF and PDF formats. Electronically distribute your help file with application; put it on your product website; or deliver it as a printed manual within the box.

Simple to use you can import your Word Documents allowing a technical writer to quickly have a manual and help file in one shot.

 

New Build 4 Now Available for Version 2.26 of ElevateDB from Elevate Software

ElevateDB

Elevate Software is  pleased to announce that build 4 for version 2.26 of ElevateDB is now available. The software release provides the following:

  1. Altering a Table in a Database with Dependent Views Can Result in a Table Checksum Mismatch
  2. COMPARE DATABASE Generating Incorrect Statement Terminators for ALTER Statements

If you own the subscription model or are looking for a database manager that works with Delphi this is the package to go with.

ElevateDB is licensed per-developer, and includes royalty-free distribution. License management isn’t required at all, and the money that you used to pay to the database engine vendor is now your profit to keep.

What does ElevateDB do ?

You don’t need to use a feature-crippled “free” product in order to avoid licensing fees anymore. With Elevate Software, you are backed by a company that has over a decade of experience in highly-distributed and pre-packaged database application software.

ElevateDB is designed to be included in a pre-packaged database application and can be installed very quickly and easily. The ElevateDB Server is a single EXE (~2MB), only requires a single INI text file for configuration, and can be run as an application or Windows service. Source code to the ElevateDB Server is included with every purchase, so it can be customized and re-branded, if necessary. The ElevateDB client-side code can be compiled directly into Delphi, C++Builder, and Lazarus applications, and consists of a single assembly (~2MB) for .Net applications. ElevateDB client code can also transparently switch between local, single-user and client/server, multi-user usage.

ElevateDB automatically creates all necessary files when they are needed. For example, you can distribute a single database catalog file with your application, and ElevateDB will automatically create the the table files as they are opened by sessions. In addition, ElevateDB provides reverse-engineering facilities that allow you to easily create creation and upgrade SQL scripts that can be run during installation to transparently create any necessary system or database objects.

Once installed, ElevateDB is not fragile and cannot be made inoperable by another application’s installation process. Many database engines are extremely sensitive to configuration changes and require constant attention by an administrator.

NYPD dropping Window Phone for iPhone

Phone

A New York Post report that one of Microsoft’s more celebrated U.S. business customers for Windows Phone is dumping the platform raises some interesting questions about Redmond’s future mobility plans.

The Post reported on August 28 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) is going to scrap the 36,000 Nokia phonesrunning the Windows Phone OS that it has been rolling out for the past two years.

Microsoft dropped support for Windows Mobile 8.1 in July 2017. But the two handset models the NYPD purchased, the Lumia 640XL and Lumia 830, both were among the Windows Phones that were upgradable to Windows 10 Mobile. (Of these two, only the newer 640XL will also be eligible for the coming Fall Windows 10 Mobile update, however.)

As of October 2016, the NYPD was planning ot migrate to Windows Phones running Windows 10 Mobile. But the New York Post is reporting that the NYPD, instead, is likely to move to iPhones by the end of this calendar year.

Microsoft has been working to get out of the phone business for the past couple of years. The company is not currently manufacturing any new Windows Phones. And Windows Phones that are still being used won’t get the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update coming out later this year. Instead, some subset of existing models will only get something internally known as “Feature 2,” which is believed to be a dead-end branch of Windows 10 Mobile.

So if NYPD does not share Microsoft’s mobile productivity as well as the other features, is there any point in keeping the Windows Phone alive and compete against Android and iPhone ?

At the moment the Windows Phone user base sold since 2016 is less than .5 percent while 99.6 percent are purchasing Android and iPhones.  Maybe the writing is on the wall that this is a dead product and time to put it to rest.

Expert Delphi by Paweł Głowacki

 

Expert

After reading the latest book from Author Pawel Glowacki the feeling of fresh FireMonkey Delphi material left an excellent karma.  It should be part of anyone’s Delphi Library since it has great reference material.  The book was written by Pawel Glowacki whom is Embarcadero’s European Technical Lead for Developer Tools.

The book begins with a basic primer on Delphi helping you get accustomed to the IDE and the Object Pascal language.  It quickly moves into advanced concepts dealing with FireMonkey.  You should be able to build server-side services, create new Internet of Things (IOT) and integrate your applet with web services to deploy them to market.

As always the pricing from PackT is on the mark.  The writing is very clear at 506 pages and does come with the eBook Format for those wanting that instead of print.

Pawel touches FireDAC which is the database component to gain access to various databases.  DataSnap as well as Rad Server which allows your software to request data from a secured environment.  Finally the pieces alone on FireMonkey are well worth the price.  It takes you from installing, preparing and developing a smart phone applet.  There is a section on deployment to the various platforms.

FireMonkey is RAD

Working with Delphi VCL and FireMonkey provide any software developer to quickly build a solution for either clients or market.  The Delphi library on the FireMonkey side is growing and with the ability of building Linux server command line applications it is opening new doors.

You can visit the Embarcadro web site for additional information pertaining to either the C++ or Delphi or Rad Studio which includes both compilers.  The other thing to know that you will need the enterprise addition to create Linux applications as well as DataSnap.

You can visit the Packt web site to check the table of contents but Baron Software highly recommends to purchase a copy.

The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap

The 2017 Microsoft Product Roadmap has been updated and released for the public to view what is going to be coming this year.  One large item is the MS SQL Server release for Linux.  This alone may open the doors for Microsoft to take over the Linux market from MYSQL who has been the center piece on Linux for years.   This year’s product roadmap looks to be a bit less crowded, though major changes are on tap for Microsoft’s productivity solutions, while Windows 10 is poised for another landmark update.  https://rcpmag.com/articles/2011/02/01/the-2011-microsoft-product-roadmap.aspx

Microsoft is attacking the Linux arena at this point giving Windows developers the necessary tools to work with MS Code to build Python applications or access a SQL server.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2017

Another major release will be Visual Studio 2017 that will:

  • Enhancements to productivity: Visual Studio 2017 features new filtering capabilities in IntelliSense, improvements to navigation and debugging, live code analysis and editing, and the ability to access files without projects.
  • Greater mobile development support: Developers can build iOS, Windows and Android apps using JavaScript, C# and C++. Visual Studio 2017 also comes with a mobile test recorder for application testing purposes.
  • More streamlined development for the cloud: “Visual Studio 2017 RC improves DevOps workflows from Git-based version control to making it much simpler to create continuous integration and continuous deployment pipelines,” according to Montgomery.
  • Speed and performance improvements: Visual Studio 2017 is faster to install and start up, has a smaller memory footprint, and loads solutions between two to four times faster than its predecessor.

The roadmap looks pretty strong with the different avenues that developers can grow new products and possibly get additional business / profits from.  Microsoft also will be delivering a new XBox as well as the Surface Pro 5 so 2017 seems to be a strong Microsoft year to come.

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan for your database (SQL)

Idera

 

Idera recently had a fantastic webinar that went over the creation of a disaster recovery plan concerning your databases.  This should be a high critical piece of work usually done by DBAs within a company.  Let’s go over a simple set of plans that depending on the type of company you are dealing with, can be done either large or small.

  1. Backups.  All backups should be done with incremental or full backups of your database.  There should be a protected network folder that contains the incremental in one and the full backups (usually done once a week) in a separate folder.  An incremental is a backup that contains only a snapshot of transactions that are done during a day while a full backup contains the entire database.
  2. Data model.  A data model provides a visual as well as a detailed layout of each database / table that provides a method for someone to read and understand how the data is stored.  It can be noted as a roadmap that contains the relationships between the tables within the database as well as the keys / indexes that work with the tables.
  3. User security profiles.  Each DBA should have a listing of the usernames / passwords in a safe area.  In the event a fellow member leaves but they had the password on a specific database you now possibly have the way in.  There are numerous companies that tend to not have that and during the exit interviews it becomes lost.
  4. Contact listing of people.  The contact list contains the individuals that have to be notified if a database is corrupted and has to be repaired or restored from the backups.  You can set the priority of each person as well.
  5. Checklist. By having a checklist of what to do in the event of a DRP it will keep you focus on getting everything back up and running.  One missed step could push you back thus delaying the recovery.
  6. Backup life cycles.  Each company is different and whether the backups are taken off site for now long and when are they removed / erased.  You have to plan this out and the usually lifecycle is between 3 months to a year.

These are only minor steps but at least they do enforce a DRP that any DBA needs to have in place prior to the disaster happening.

Baron Software

Code Analysis what does it do for your application ?

When developing an application you want to provide the best solution for your clients.  This means you need to evaluate current or possible future defects in your source code.  This is a reality during the development stage and is highly recommend that this is implemented in all cases.

Necessary steps to do during the code analysis

  • Identify potential errors and oddities.
  • Identify from the produce warnings on why and how you can remove them.
  • Check your code for coding convention compliance.
  • Team code review.

There are numerous packages that can be purchased to do simple to deep analysis.  Some packages are installed with the IDE you are using or are external but all have the similar need.  They have to have access to the source code to review it.

What is static analysis?

Analyzing code without executing it. Generally used to find bugs or ensure conformance to coding guidelines. Static analysis tools should be used when they help maintain code quality.

Two common pathologies occur when using static analysis tools:

  1. The tools produces spurious warnings/errors that the developers cannot silence.  The source code must be compiled cleanly without the failure.  By ignoring compiler warnings, the compile phase will eventually be filled with warning nobody ever pays attention to with the possibility it leading into issues later.
  2. The tools take too long to run and developers never bother to run them.

For the Delphi IDE the recommendation for tools can be TMS Fixinsight, Code Healer, etc.

For the Visual Studio it has a built in code analysis which can be accessed from the menu.

Using a code analysis application or from the menu such as the case in Visual Studio provides you with the possibility of stopping future bugs occurring.   It is highly recommended to compile cleanly, have a code review and finally allow QA to test the application before going to market.

 

Embarcadero Logo

<h1>Embarcadero Webinar – Useful C++ Features You Should be Using</h1>

The Embarcadero webinar are usually excellent and short providing you insight on the latest features for C++ Builder.  Even if you do not use the product there is a possibility that you will pick up some new clue on how to use C++.

David Millington knowledge on the product line is a breathe of fresh air and hopefully puts this compiler on a better path for getting updates or upgrades.  The future of the product will be for Linux server application development by the fall.  In comparison with Visual Studio, Rad Studio does cost money but the product is superior in usage and application development.  You can use Visual Studio Community which is free but it is at times confusing and very misleading on the development side.

The features you will view are from the Berlin release which is the latest in the future for the Embarcadero C++ Builder and Delphi.  Baron Software strongly recommends you to watch and see whether Berlin fits your application development team.  Each license can be renewed on a yearly basis but this provides you with any major upgrade done during the year which is very cost effective.

Learn about the latest features of C++11 that you can take advantage of today in C++Builder 10.1 Berlin.

David Millington, Embarcadero’s new C++Builder Product Manager, will show cool C++11 code in the IDE that can be compiled for Windows, macOS, iOS and Android using the Clang-enhanced compiler.

C++11 language features covered will include:

  • Auto typed variables
  • Variadic templates
  • Lambda expressions
  • Atomic operations

Unrestricted unions and more, Click here to register for the webinar

FixInsight joins TMS Software

TMS is a company with main office in Belgium and offices in Brazil and Uruguay. The company TMS was founded in 1995 by Bruno Fierens to focus on the development of components for a Delphi IDE for all kinds of technical areas and now they have announced that they will include FixInsight into the TMS realm.

FixInsight seamlessly integrates into your Delphi IDE and outputs its messages in the familiar Messages window.
You can integrate FixInsight (Pro version only) with your build process using the command-line tool and have several options that will let you run analysis automatically during the build process.

Baron Software have used FixInsight from the first version and the analysis that is performed on possible coding issues reduces the overall software support cost in the long run.

FixInsight

Feature overview

FixInsight performs static code analysis to help you find bugs early in the development process:

  • Identify potential errors and oddities
  • Produce a list of warnings when issues are found
  • Check your code for coding convention compliance (list of code patterns handled by FixInsight can be found in the documentation)
  • Exclude specific units from analysis by entering their names in the Settings window
  • Suppress particular warnings

Benefits

  • Reduce the number of bugs early in the development stage
  • Reduce overall costs of development, maintenance and support
  • Improve application reliability and quality

Fixinsight

Fixinsight for Delphi 2016.03 released!

What’s New

  • Introduced rule W529 (“Should be ‘raise’ instead of ‘raise object’?”)
  • Rule O802 now works in entire project scope
  • Added buttons ‘Save as Default’ and ‘Load Defaults’ to FixInsight Settings window
  • Improved parser
  • Minor fixes

When working with software there will be software bugs that slow the process but if you find the bugs during the development stage it is clearly less overhead to fix them instead of when the software is released to the public.  The cost involved to fix a bug at the end of the project rises since the release has been held as well. The software was designed strictly for the Delphi platform helps the software developer to reduce the amount of bugs or chances of a bug by providing the developer a view of possible issues.

The static code analysis performed helps the developer in finding bugs early during the development process.  Developers are able to identify potential errors and oddities based on the various analysis that Fixinsight executes. Think of the software as a compiler extension that lets you instantly find issues in your code which you would spend hours debugging otherwise.  Using the Fixinsight analysis is done whenever the developer has decided to run the tests.  Fixinsight installation is simple and becomes part of the Delphi IDE.  In the IDE the developer clicks on the Fixinsight menu option and the various analysis provides the user an idea where a potential bug can be hidden during the development stage.

In addition to producing a list of warnings when issues are found, the tool also checks your code for coding convention compliance. You can find a full list of code patterns handled by FixInsight in documentation. You even can run the tests during your build cycle using the command-line tool, it has a whole set of options that will let you run analysis automatically.  Fixinsight does not bust the budget but instead enhances the company.

Please feel free to post any feedback or you can email/contact them on the web site.