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DataSnap Server Method Stream Parameters

Author: Jim T1392

This is a continuation of my posts on DataSnap server method parameters and return types.  This post is about  TStream and TDBXStreamValue.    The sample client and server projects that go with this post can be downloaded here: http://cc.embarcadero.com/item/26854

See my earlier posts on “Basic” and “Basic DBXValue” types.   I’ve yet to post about TDBXConnection, TDBXConnectionValue, TDBXReader, TParams, and TDataSet.  However, TDataSet is demonstrated in the sample projects.


Basic DBXValue



  • AnsiString

  • Boolean

  • Currency

  • TDateTime

  • TDBXDate

  • TDBXTime

  • Double

  • Int64

  • Integer

  • LongInt

  • OleVariant

  • Single

  • SmallInt

  • WideString

  • TDBXAnsiStringValue

  • TDBXAnsiCharsValue

  • TDBXBcdValue

  • TDBXBooleanValue

  • TDBXDateValue

  • TDBXDoubleValue

  • TDBXInt16Value

  • TDBXInt32Value

  • TDBXInt64Value

  • TDBXSingleValue

  • TDBXStringValue

  • TDBXTimeStampValue

  • TDBXTimeValue

  • TDBXWideCharsValue

  • TDBXWideStringValue

  • TDBXReader

  • TDataSet

  • TParams

  • TStream

Collection DBXValue

  • TDBXReaderValue

  • TDBXStreamValue

  • TDBXConnection

Connection DBXValue

  • TDBXConnectionValue

The following table summarizes differences between TStream and TDBXStreamValue types:


Supports null values


Accessing Values

Proxy generator

Default parameter direction

Other parameter directions

function result type






in/out: use var keyword out: use out keyword


lhs := AParameter

AParameter := rhs







AParameter.IsNull lhs:=AParameter.GetStream(InstanceOwner)

AParameter.SetNull AParameter.SetStream(rhs, InstanceOwner)


Supports null values

The TDBXStreamValue type has an IsNull property and a SetNull method.   Use this type instead of TStream a parameter value can be null/nil, in some cases.


The var and out keywords can’t be used to specify the parameter direction of a TDBXStreamValue parameter.  The direction is always in/out. A TDBXStreamValue type can’t be used as a function result.

Proxy Generator

The RAD Studio 2007 client proxy generator does not work properly for server methods with TDBXStreamValue parameters. So you will need to hand code the client code or correct the generated proxy. The sample client has hand corrected proxy methods that look like this.

This client method works with a server method declared as follows:

Calling a server method with a TDBXStreamValue parameter is the same as calling a server method with an TStream parameter, except that you can use SetNull and IsNull methods to work with null values.

For example, compare the following server method declaration and client method implementation to the previous example:

Accessing Values

The GetStream and SetStream methods have an InstanceOwner parameter.  Passing True indicates that DBX owns the stream and will free it.  Passing False indicates that the caller owns the stream.  To control how the generated proxy classes call SetStream and GetStream, there is an AInstanceOwner parameter on the proxy class constructor:

The other constructor is equivalent to passing AInstanceOwner as True.


Sample Client And Server Applications

The sample server has a few simple server methods for passing values (including null).

The sample client tests the server methods by calling them with sample values and verifying the results (e.g; comparing streams). TMemoryStream is used to pass short streams and TFileStream to pass long streams.  Here is a screen shot of the running server and client:

The following table shows the parameter types and return types demonstrated in the sample client and server:








X (in/out)





X (in)





Stream Usage

Check  “Log Stream Usage” to show TStream sizes, type names, creates, destroys, and reads.  The results from 4 different test cases are displayed after “Call Server Methods” is clicked. 

The screen shot below shows the result from a test case with longer streams.  I’ve added highlighting to illustrate these points:

  1. When the server reads a longer stream passed from the client, round trips are made to the client.  This makes it possible to send very large streams to the server without consuming lots of memory.

  • When the client reads a longer stream passed from the server, round trips are made to the server.  This makes it possible to return very large streams to the client without consuming lots of memory.

  • The TStream objects that represent longer client and server streams have a Size of –1, meaning the size is unknown.  Rely on the return value of TStream.Read to detect the end of the stream.  Also note that some DBX streams such as TDBXStreamReaderStream do not fully support Seek.

That’s all for now.

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