This is the final entry in the Enterprise Article challenge. We’ve had some great submissions from all kinds of developers who are using RAD Studio with Delphi and C++ Builder for Windows app development as well as a whole host of cross-platform apps for Android and iOS too. I am so grateful to you all for taking part. All the authors of the published articles will be contacted shortly, and we will also be announcing the winners too here on this blog and also directly by email. The winners will be chosen by a panel of Embarcadero PMs and management.
This article is from Surendra Siddhi Bajracharya. Surendra’s submission is perhaps the most fitting one I could have chosen to round things off since it reads almost as much as a love story as it does a description of enterprise development of banking applications. As we will see, Surendra has been with us from those heady days of Borland and DBase as far back as the mid 1980s and, through all sorts of innovations and company changes, he’s still an avid user of Delphi to this day. Things may have moved on a lot, but Surendra still uses RAD Studio to be his tool of choice to meet the demands of modern software development where he produces apps which work on Windows, iOS and Android, things that were not even a twinkle in even the most optimistic futurist’s eye in the 1980s.
Table of Contents
Hello Surendra, can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am Surendra Siddhi Bajracharya from Kathmandu, Nepal. I am almost 70 years and still active in developing mission-critical application software using Delphi. Almost all my software is developed for banks, financial institutions and life insurance companies. Delphi allowed me to adopt new technologies as it changes over time and upgrade my software accordingly. From the thick client, and client-server software development using Delphi 5 to thin client, micro-services and APIs using the latest version of Delphi. It enabled me to create APIs and mobile apps along with desktop solutions in record time. I have been working with Delphi since its initial release, and I have no doubt that I have chosen the right tool for all my application development. I find myself very lucky that I am associated with Delphi. As a Delphi developer, I am constantly impressed by its ease of use, robust libraries, strong community support, third-party components and excellent productivity, I consider myself a true fan of Delphi. I am always excited to explore new ways to harness its capabilities to build innovative and high-quality software solutions using Delphi.
Software Development using dBase III, IV and Clipper 5.
How did you start out as a software developer?
I started my career in computer programming with Borland dBase III, IV, V, FoxPro, and Paradox starting in 1983. The software I developed was Point of Sales, Inventory Control and bookkeeping for small to medium business houses including department stores. Later those dBase programs were compiled with Clipper 5.3, (a compiler for the dBase programming language) and released in the market. These tools and platforms provided me with a solid foundation in database management, which would eventually lead to the development of a Core Banking System and Life Insurance Management System in Delphi. All of them developed in Delphi are in use by many banks and financial institutions and Life Insurance companies in Nepal today. Thanks to the late MR Bill Millar, the owner of Data Systems Pvt. Ltd., where I learned the programming and foundation of computer literacy for three years in early 80s.
What other types of development did you do?
I got the assignment of developing a database application for local business houses, travel agencies, restaurants, hotels, and departmental stores, which I developed and delivered on record time. I quickly realized the potential of dBase III combined with Clipper 5 compiler for developing and managing large amounts of data and providing useful information to users. Over time, I upgraded my skills to include dBase IV and dBase V, which provided more advanced features and capabilities.
How did you get into writing apps for banks?
As I continued to work with these platforms and tools, in 1985, I had a chance to join the company named Mercantile Office Systems (P) Ltd. to conduct computer training to the general public. In 1986 I got an opportunity to develop a Core Banking system that would be used by Nepal Arab Bank Ltd. later named Nabil Bank Ltd. in Nepal. This was a challenging project, as there were no banking systems available at the time and no bank has been computerized yet.
How did you begin the development process?
In order to develop the Core Banking System, I formed a team with my two friends and two staff from the bank. We developed and delivered the first banking software of Nepal and named NABSYS Core Banking Software within a year in 1989 using dBase IV, we also utilized novel network technology for multi-user functionality.
The Core Banking system we developed was well-received by the banking community in Nepal. It provided an efficient and effective way to manage financial data, and it quickly became the preferred system for banks throughout the country. Today, almost all banks in Nepal use the Core Banking system that we developed, and it remains one of the most popular and widely used systems in the country.
Migration of CBS written in dBase IV to Delphi 5
As technology continued to evolve, I saw an opportunity to further improve the Core Banking system we had developed. When Windows was released, I need a tool for migrating the DOS-based CBS. So I searched for the solution and found CA-Visual Objects and Delphi 3. I tried CA Visual Object first as the codes are similar to Clipper but it did not work out for me. When I tried Delphi 3, I found it amazing and easy for windows application development even though I do not know Pascal language. Finally, I decided to convert the system to a Windows version, using Delphi 5 as the development tool. Started self-learning Delphi and also trained a team for this assignment. Delphi is a powerful development tool that allowed me to create a user-friendly interface and take advantage of the latest advancements in computer technology..
Was it difficult to convert the legacy app to Delphi?
The conversion process was a major undertaking, but we were able to successfully migrate the system from dBase IV to the Windows operating system, using Delphi 5 for MS SQL Server 6.5. The result was a Core Banking system that was even more efficient and user-friendly, and that could take advantage of the latest features and capabilities of Windows Server and Windows 98 client. The first windows version of CBS was released in 2001 with the name of Pumori Plus.
How was the creation of the Windows app with Delphi received by the bank’s management?
The conversion to Windows OS was a major milestone for the Core Banking system, and it further solidified its position as one of the leading systems in the Nepalese banking industry. The system continued to evolve and improve over time, and it remains an essential CBS for many banks in Nepal today.
What other software have you created with Delphi?
In 2008, I got another assignment for the development of software for a Life Insurance company. Within 6 months I was able to deliver the software using Delphi 5 and MS SQL Server 2008R2. Now I have developed lots of APIs using the latest version of Delphi to process third-party software and payment processing, and report generation. This software is also rocking in the Nepalese market and has a very good market share in Nepal including one installation in Myanmar.
Is that correct you won an award for your Delphi application?
CIO magazine USA presented us with Banking CIO outlook’s top 10 core banking solution providers in 2016. It was published in August 2016.
Why do you use Delphi?
Delphi 1 was first released in 1995. Delphi 2 was released in 1996, and Delphi 3 was released in 1997. Delphi 3 introduced a number of new features and improvements. Delphi 5 was released in 1998. Delphi 5 introduced a number of new features and improvements, including support for the Windows 98 operating system, support for the Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) standard, and improved support for the Internet Protocol (IP) version 6.
Delphi has continued to be updated and improved over the years, with the latest version, Delphi RAD Studio 10.4, being released in 2021. Now I am using Delphi RAD 10.4.
Overall, my experience with Delphi 5 was a positive one, and it allowed me to further improve the Core Banking system I had developed using dBase III, IV, and V, and Clipper 5. Delphi 5 was a powerful development tool that gave me the ability to create a modern, user-friendly interface and take advantage of the latest advancements in computer technology..
What is your main reason for using RAD Studio with Delphi for your application development?
There are several reasons why I consider using Delphi as our development tool. My reason for considering Delphi are:
- Speed: Delphi is built on top of the Object Pascal programming language, which is known for its fast execution and low overhead. This makes Delphi a great choice for developing high-performance applications that need to run quickly and smoothly.
- Efficiency: The Delphi IDE is intuitive and easy to use, with a variety of tools and features that make it easier for developers to write, debug, and deploy their code. This helps developers save time and effort, and allows them to focus on building high-quality applications.
- Versatility: Delphi can be used to develop a wide range of applications, including desktop, mobile, and web-based applications. It also supports a number of different platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android, making it a great choice for cross-platform development.
- Community: Delphi has a large and active community of developers who are always willing to help each other out and share their knowledge.
- Third-Party Software: There are many third-party components, libraries, tools, utilities, and frameworks available for Delphi from many vendors which allow developers to create applications quickly and efficiently. When it comes to third-party software Delphi has a large community of developers who have created a wide range of components, libraries, and tools that can be used to extend the functionality of Delphi applications. I think the availability of third-party software for Delhi is one of the factors that makes it a popular choice for software development.
Do you have any final thoughts on your long career?
In conclusion, my experience with dBase III, dBase IV, dBase v, and Clipper 5 was instrumental in my development as a software developer. These tools and platforms provided me with a solid foundation in database management, and they allowed me to create a Core Banking system that is still widely used by banks in Nepal today. Delphi gave me the ability to efficiently develop software with a powerful and intuitive programming language, as well as a robust and user-friendly IDE. Delphi also provides a large library of components and tools that allow for faster and easier software development, enabling me to focus on creating a high-quality and feature-rich application.
This article was submitted as part of our Enterprise Article Showcase. If you have a success story to tell about a project which makes use of RAD Studio with Delphi or C++ Builder, or any of our other great enterprise products please get in touch. Read all about it here: Enterprise Article Showcase