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10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE

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1. Download the latest C++ Builder 11 (RAD Studio 11) Community Edition / Professional / Architect / Enterprise

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C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building everything from simple to professional applications on the Windows, macOS, and iOS operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files and LSP support for code. C++ Builder comes with Rapid Application Development Studio, also known as RAD Studio. RAD Studio’s C++ Builder version comes with the award-winning VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs. There is a free C++ Builder Community Edition for students, beginners and startups.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE RAD Studio IDE screenshot

C++ Builder includes compilers for Win32, Win64, Android (32bit) and iOS. C++Builder has both the CLANG Enhanced C/C++ Compiler and a Borland C/C++ Compiler. It also features a modern, high-productivity RAD Studio IDE, debugger tools, and enterprise connectivity for to accelerate cross-platform UI development. You can develop GUI based applications easily with the VCL framework for high-performance native Windows apps and the powerful FireMonkey (FMX) framework for cross-platform UIs.

You can download the C++ Builder Community Edition (CE) here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.
Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. You can download and use a trial version as well if you would like to try out the full set of features available. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

See What’s New in RAD Studio 11

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2. Create a new C++ Builder VCL or multi-device FMX project

C++ Builder VCL Applications are tightly focused on high-quality professional native Windows-based applications. C++ Builder FireMonkey (FMX) Applications are Multi-Device Applications for Windows and for other operating systems such as those mobile devices. Here are the main parts of the C++ Builder IDE.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE the areas of the RAD Studio IDE

– Open C++ Builder or the RAD Studio IDE
– Create a new MultiDevice Application in C++ Builder from File menu
– Save all units and project files with “HelloWorld_” prefix in a HelloWorld folder.

If you need more help please check this post below,

3. Add visual components to your mobile or desktop app design using easy drag and drop

Many of the component properties and methods are same in VCL and FMX projects. If you are a beginner, we highly recommend you watch this Introduction To C++ Windows Development With C++Builder video to get yourself up to speed on the C++ Builder / RAD Studio IDE interface and some basic mechanisms. This video introduces you to the steps to create some simple C++ Builder projects. C++ Builder comes with many modern components. You can easily add them by dragging them from the Palette window to your application’s design view window. For example, you can:

– Add a memo (TMemo) and a button (TButton) from the component palette to your form.
– Double click on the button to create an OnClick event, and inside that Button1Click event write C++ lines that you want to run when user clicks on the button.

If you need examples for some basic components, we have a quick look at components post series on the LearnCPlusPlus.org site. Please check them for more details about basic components. Here is part 1.

When you first start to learn C++, console applications might be the easiest to start with to learn some basics of the C and C++ programming languages. In Modern C++, it is best to develop your apps with an IDE which has a visual designer. C++ Builder has and award-winning Visual Designer using the C++Builder VCL and FireMonkey frameworks for maximum productivity.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE - the themes

Developers should be able to design fast, cross-platform native apps rapidly with the development IDE. C++ Builder supports an included comprehensive set of modern components which encapsulate all sorts of common functionality to reduce the amount of code you have to write to the bare minimum. It also has Live Bindings which provide the ability to link the on-screen controls automatically to data fields and records in a wide range of databases and other sources of information. C++ Builder benefits from agile early design feedback across a range of devices using live preview powered by real, live, data, both on device and in the IDE. This simplifies the design process, allows developers to prototype faster and deploy to more platforms as quickly as possible.

4. Use Modern Visuals (Skins, Styles) in Design Time and Run Time

C++ IDE should support the latest Windows UI visuals, In addition, it should support custom UI designs (Skins or Styles). Using styles on your new projects should be very easy, they should be easily removed which allows your visuals in standard visuals of windows. You should be able to design your application view in normal ways with buttons, labels, edit boxes, memos, trackbars, panels, switches, etc. You should be able to set one style to all of your components or you can choose different styles on different forms or different components. In addition, users should easily install and uninstall these kinds of styles, skins via IDE tools.

One of the most important parts is seeing visuals in design time and when coding, so developers may design their best UI forms during development. In addition to Windows visuals, users should be able to easily switch to other operating systems to compare different UI visuals in different operating systems. Thus, users may develop their Windows apps well under other OS visuals and standards.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE - examples of the themes

Styles are sets of graphical details that define the look and feel of a application visually and they are one of most beautiful and useful UI feature of RAD Studio, that makes your UI elements skinned with professionally designed with different Styles. Official Styles are designed by Embarcadero’s Designers and other there are other 3rd party Styles, also users may generate their own styles. Styles are similar to themes in Windows or skins of applications. Styles are being modernized with RAD Studio, C++ Builder and Delphi since the first XE versions (2010), currently C++ Builder11 has many improvements on Styles. There are more than 50 different styles. You can see some of officila ones here on GetIt.

5. Use Live Bindings / Data Bindings

Live Bindings and Data Bindings are based on relational expressions, called binding expressions, that can be either unidirectional or bidirectional. LiveBindings is also about control objects and source objects. By means of binding expressions, any object can be bound to any other object, simply by defining a binding expression involving one or more properties of the objects you want to bind together. For example, you can bind a TEdit control to a TLabel so that, when the text changes in the edit box, the caption of the label is automatically adjusted to the value evaluated by your binding expression. Another example is binding a track bar control to a progress bar so that the progress rises or lowers as you move the track bar.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE - using LIve Bindings

We can connect to dataset fields, alter one or more properties of different objects, and so on. Because LiveBindings propagate, we can even alter properties of objects that are connected to other objects that are bound to a control object.

In C++ Builder, you can easily use visual components of the VCL Visual Component Library framework for Windows apps or FMX FireMonkey framework for Multidevice applications.

6. Use Modern Data Connection Wizards and Components

Modern applications, use modern databases with modern data connections and data bindings. If you are developing a modern app, your database should be modern too. We highly recommend you online and modern databases as much as possible, while your app may be an offline app. Because you may move your app to online or some of your codes in another online app.

C++ Builder has a great official database component, the FireDAC component pack. FireDAC is one of the great components for database connections that comes with RAD Studio, C++ Builder and Delphi. FireDAC is a Universal Data Access library for developing applications for multiple devices, connected to enterprise databases. With its powerful universal architecture, FireDAC enables native high-speed direct access from Delphi and C++Builder to InterBase, SQLite, MySQL, SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, DB2, SQL Anywhere, Advantage DB, Firebird, Access, Informix, DataSnap and more, including the NoSQL Database MongoDB.

FireDAC is a Universal Enterprise Data Connectivity

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE the FireDAC layout

To use FireDAC with C++ Builder, be sure that your RAD Studio, C++ Builder version has support for this component. We highly recommend here C++ Builder 10.x or above because of improvements on database connections. If you don’t have this component in your version there is a Trial version of FireDAC that you can test and then you can purchase if it meets your needs. In a new C++ Builder Project, VCL or FMX) you can drag and use its components on your forms. Most experienced programmers prefer to add a new DataModule to their project.

Some database posts about how to connect your C++ apps to modern databases like Interbase, PosgreSQL, MySQL and others are here: https://learncplusplus.org/category/database/

7. Use TwineCompile – A Parallel Compilation IDE Component – , Compile Your C++ Project Faster and Run!

In C++ Builder, you can easily compile your project and run your application.

– Run project by hitting F9 or click to Run with Debugging
– If there is error, please check your lines
– If all is fine then save all project
– if you check your header file you will see all your objects (Memo, Button etc. ) are automatically defined as below. You don’t need to change anything here

Here is a simple “Hello World” example in C++

If you don’t need visual UI elements and you just want to see results in console, you need to create Console Application Project. Here is an example how to create a console application and compile in C++ Builder.

One of the greatest component is TwineCompile, which is a good solution to speed up your compile times. The developer says it may improve your compile time up to 50 times. It integrates directly into the C++Builder IDE, where drastically reduces the compile/make/build times by employing techniques such as multi-threading, file caching and automatic background compiling. Here is a post about how to use TwineCompile;

8. Use Debugging Features to Find Your Runtime Errors

Be sure that your IDE has built-in Debugging tools that allow you to debug on any device. You should able to build and debug apps with local/embedded capabilities. The Debug Inspector enables you to examine various data types such as arrays, classes, constants, functions, pointers, scalar variables, and interfaces.

These are important parts of debugging,

  • Stepping – Step by Step Debugging Through Code
  • Evaluate/Modify – Investigate Expressions
  • Breakpoints – Pause and Check
  • Watches – Tracking Values
  • Exceptions – Displaying the stack trace

9. Use IDE Tools For More Rapid Developing Skills

In modern C++, modern programming or in other ways in professional programming we mostly refer to a lot of libraries and other tools that helps us to modernize our applications. They also help to save time, to save us to see a lot of code lines, to save us to learn and focus on more areas. One of the most strong part of C++ Builder is its components and libraries, plus it supports 3rd party components and libraries. GetIt also a good place for developers who wants release these kind of libraries and tools.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE - The GetIt package manager

The GetIt Package Manager, is an official tool (a window form) of RAD Studio IDE that comes with C++ Builder and/or Delphi. GetIt Package Manager lets you search and browse available packages (C++ or Delphi Components, Libraries, Components for IoT, Styles, Sample Projects, Tools, IDE Plugins, Patches, Trails, …). From this window you can install, uninstall, update, or subscribe to these packages. Currently it has about 300 components, all are in up to date, and able to run on the latest RADS version. With these more than 300 of included components, you can easily enhance your apps and you can reduce development cycles and time spend.

In RAD Studio there is a superbly useful tool called the REST Debugger. It comes included with RAD Studio C++ Builder. It is very useful to test REST Requests such as “Gets” and “Posts” to see what effect they have and view their results. It is very easy to automatically set up the REST components with their parameters, which can then be pasted or copied into your source code – potentially saving you hours of coding. We can easily set up the components by using the REST Debugger Tool in RAD Studio – either C++ Builder or Delphi – it works with both.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE the REST debugger

You can launch the REST Debugger from the Tools menu of RAD Studio. The Embarcadero REST Debugger empowers developers to explore, test, and ultimately understand how a RESTful web service works. You can dive right into REST data with filterable JSON blobs, streamlined OAuth 1.0/2.0 authentication, and configurable request/resource parameters. You can directly copy and paste REST components from the REST Debugger to the RAD Studio, Delphi, or C++Builder IDE. This enables the configuration and consumption of REST services in Delphi or C++Builder apps with just a few clicks.

The REST Debugger allows you to test your connections REALLY easily and you can easily see how to reach or transfer your data. There is also a free version that can be used by other REST tools and it can be downloaded from RESTDebugger.

10. Deploy Your App to App Stores Easily

All development cycle requires a lot of steps. At the end, you need a release version of your application. And your application may require additional files, dlls, images, sounds, databases. At the final stage, all should be packed and they should have Provisioning options and developer should easily deploy his application to the appropriate operating systems or its application store.

RAD Studio has great deployment options for Multi-Device FMX projects, not only for Windows apps but also for the Android, and iOS apps. There are options to change icons, splash screen and more specific deployment options can be handled via project options.

Professional application deployment is very important to setup packages safely for the operating system. For example, Windows needs MSIX deployment package for Windows Store of Microsoft, and Android apps needs deployment packages for Google Play and İOS apps needs deployment packages for the App Store of Apple.

RAD Studio directly supports creating MSIX packaging for both your Delphi and C++ Builder apps directly via the RAD Studio IDE It is easy to create a new MSIX package for your own programs so that they are professional, modern packages. If you would like to release your VCL or FMX framework-based Windows C++ applications in MSIX package form, you should know how to create a MSIX package in C++ Builder.

MSIX is modern file installation package for Windows applications. Windows apps packaged with MSIX can be uploaded to the Windows Store to make is easier for your users to install your apps whether you decide to charge for them or not. It is a Windows app package format that provides a modern packaging experience to all Windows apps. The MSIX package format preserves the functionality of existing app packages and/or install files in addition to enabling new, modern packaging and deployment features to Win32, WPF, and Windows Forms apps.

10 Tips to Rapid Development With A C++ IDE - Provisioning screen

RAD Studio 10.4.2 release and above, including the Latest RAD Studio 11, has support for MSIX packaging of Windows applications, for Microsoft Store and Enterprise deployment. Please read this post to create a MSIX Package,

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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 35+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and some other operating systems. He graduated and received his MSc and PhD degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University. He is the founder and CEO of ESENJA LLC Company. His interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Artificial Intelligence, 2D & 3D Designs, and high-end innovations.

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