September 18th, 2013, 11:10 AM
Upgrade from Delphi 5 or new program lang all together??
I work for a small company that has written a very large program in Delphi 5. We use Delphi 5 still today and the database is foxpro (.dbf, .cdx and .fpt files).
An outside, we'll say programming assistant, is trying to convince the powers at be to move away from Delphi completely. For 1, we do need to upgrade at least from delphi 5 badly. Our programs looks straight out of the 90's...
Is this a good idea? Why wouldn't we just attempt to upgrade to the latest version of Delphi instead?
They also suggest moving away from the Foxpro database. I don't like this idea since
1. foxpro is easy and free for our customers
2. we would need to convert to a new db for existing customers (avg db sizes range from 3 - 30gb in size).
I know we use hundreds of 'Components' (I believe they call them...) that are very old and lots of things with .bpl (sorry i'm not a developer and not too knowledge of our delphi 5 env.)
All thoughts/comments/ideas/etc.. are very much needed and welcomed!! Thanks in advance!!
September 18th, 2013, 12:15 PM
Probably the hardest part of upgrading your application written in Delphi is finding qualified Delphi programmers to work on your project. Still a few of us around, but not mainstream. If you do decide to stay with Delphi, and upgrade to the latest version, then the next step is to review which 3rd party components you used, whether they are still available, or if there is an adequate alternative, or even if you really need it at all.
As for the database, I would have to agree, and highly recommend that you move on from a "desktop" database, and move to a centralized RDBMS. As far as keeping costs down for your user, there are several free, open source, fully production ready databases you can move to. Postgre, Firebird, and possibly even MySQL (read the license agreement to see if the free community version can be used). Also, since your current application is written in D5, more than likely you would have used the Borland Database Engine (BDE). Those components have since been depricated, and you should not use them going forward, so you'd need to either use their new db connection suite or another 3rd party db connection component. Some are free, others commercial.
As for the swap over from Foxpro to the new database...depending on how complex your database is, it may just be a simple transfer of data, but it could also be a major problem. Make sure you have a good database expert to look at the issue and develop a strategy to do the migration. You don't want your customers to loose any of their data, but you certainly want to take the opportunity to fix any problems you've had in the database design now, rather than keep living with them.