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The 5 Best C++ Build Tools For Windows App Development

The 5 Best C++ Build Tools For Windows App Development

The C++ Compiler and C++ IDE features really evolved from the early and auspicious beginnings of Turbo C, C++ and Borland C++. Today we have a wide array of capabilities supporting a rich and diverse amount of OS platforms running on many thousands of types of devices encompassing everything from cell phones, watches, cars to a broad collection of IoT (internet of things) specialized hardware. If we look, the C and C++ programming languages have more than 33 percent share in programming language choices overall. Together C and C++ are still the most popular programming languages worldwide by a quite significant margin. It is really amazing to see the ways in which humanity is benefitting from the advances in technology that have accompanied the evolution of our beloved programming language.

Generally, a C++ compiler also compiles C language-specific commands. Most of the standard C++ commands like for(), while(), printf() come from the C language. One of the biggest differences between C and C++ programming languages is C++ is an Object Oriented Programming (OOP) language that supports using Classes.

C and C++ Compilers are great tools to develop software, especially when they are together with a professional C++ IDE. Sometimes you need the support of a full-fledged IDE to speed up and enhance your application development. Components, database connections along with many other useful tools and features are important to develop professionally awesome applications.

In this post we will list the best 5 C++ Build tools for Windows Program Development.

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

cbuilder_11_512x5121x-6842885-6973897

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android 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. C++ Builder is one of the most professional IDE’s that work under RAD Studio. It is the oldest IDE (it began as Borland TurboC in 1990 and was later renamed Borland C++ Builder). Under the Embarcadero brand, it comes with new versions, features, updates, and support. 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.

The 5 Best C++ Build Tools For Windows App Development. Screenshot showing responsive design.

In 2021, Embarcadero announced the General Availability of RAD Studio 11. This release introduces several new features, enhancements, and quality updates in key areas including:   

  • Provision apps for Windows 11
  • Compile for Android API 30
  • Compile for macOS M-series (Apple Silicon) processors
  • Design on high-DPI 4k+ screens
  • View VCL Styles in design time
  • New & modernized VCL components  
  • Use enhanced remote desktop support to collaborate remotely 
The 5 Best C++ Build Tools For Windows App Development. C++ Builder IDE.

Please check this post about the RADS 11 for more details;https://learncplusplus.org/see-whats-new-in-c-builder-11-and-delphi-11-just-released/


You can download the free C++ Builder Community Edition here: https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder/starter.
Professional developers can use the Professional, Architect or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder. Please visit https://www.embarcadero.com/products/cbuilder.

2. Get-It Package Manager and Components

In Modern C++ we mostly refer to a lot of libraries and other tools that helps us to modernize our applications. They also help to save time, and have special code editor features to reduce the amount of unnecessary lines of code we see on the screen so we can focus on those areas which are really important. One of the strongest parts 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.

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.

Full download lists of of components can be found here and these can be installed to C++ Builder from the Get It Package Manager in C++ Builder. For more please the following article:

3. REST Debugger (Connections with REST API’s )

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 REST Debugger Tool in RAD Studio – either C++ Builder or Delphi – it works with both.

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

4. InterBase Database for C++ Apps

InterBase is a powerful database developed and supported by Idera / Embarcadero. It has a zero-administration, small-footprint database engine that can power your server and even run on your mobile devices as an embedded database. The InterBase 2020 release adds a number of new features, including tablespaces support for InterBase, allowing for better performance on servers with multiple data-storage options.

InterBase 2020 is a ultrafast, scalable, embeddable SQL database with commercial-grade data security, disaster recovery and change synchronization abilities. InterBase 2020 expands the OS platform support. Embedded InterBase (IBLite and IBToGo) is now available for Android 64-bit and macOS 64-bit. This allows RAD Studio developers to build InterBase enabled 64-bit Delphi applications and target both the Google Play Store and macOS App Store. The full list of supported InterBase 2020 IBLite and IBToGo platforms include Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS. Supported platforms for InterBase 2020 Server Edition include Windows and Linux. More information can be found in their official web page here and free trial version of latest InterBase can be downloaded from here.

In C++ Builder, it is easy to connect this database and InterBase Express (IBX) version comes with the latest C++ Builder 10.4. To use InterBase database be sure that it is installed before or you can install it from Tools -> Manage Platforms -> Addational Options Tab. Both IBX Components and InterBase 2020 Developer Editions should be checked. Latest InterBase installation is explained well here if you need more details.

5. TwineCompile by JomiTech

TwineCompile is a good solution to speed up and radically reduce the time it takes to compiler your code in C++ Builder. TwineCompile’s developer says it may improve your compile time up to 50 times. It integrates directly into the C++Builder IDE, where it drastically reduces the compile/make/build times by employing techniques such as multi-threading, file caching and automatic background compiling. If you want to read more on this site about the excellent

Features:

  • Advanced compile system uses multi-threading technology and caching techniques to make C++ compiles 50x faster!
  • Automatic background compiling engine ensures that files are compiled as fast as they are saved!
  • Tuned pre-compiled header handling system automatically maximizes simultaneous use of pre-compiled headers between multiple threads!
  • Seamless integration into the C++Builder IDE. Supports all versions including C++Builder 11.0!
  • Theme support for all IDE themes providing a unified workspace!
  • Full support for 32-bit and 64-bit compilers!
  • Parallel project build support compiles multiple projects in parallel, drastically reducing the time to build complex project groups!
  • FinalBuilder integration provided out of the box!

TwineCompile click on this dynamic search link to see a list of articles: https://learncplusplus.org/?s=twinecompile. More details can be found in their official web page here and please check this useful video about TwineCompile,

What other C++ Build tool downloads are there?

Embarcadero Dev-C++ (Free)

devcpplogo-8129691-8883440

Embarcadero Dev-C++ is free, and is a fast, portable and simple C/C++ IDE for Windows. The free version is great for beginners. If you want to develop professionally it is highly recommended you start with C++ Builder CE version.

Embarcadero Dev-C++ is a new and improved fork (sponsored by Embarcadero) of Bloodshed Dev-C++ and Orwell Dev-C++. It is a full-featured Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and code editor for the C/C++ programming language. It uses the MinGW port of GCC (GNU Compiler Collection) as its compiler. Embarcadero Dev-C++ can also be used in combination with Cygwin or any other GCC-based compiler. Embarcadero Dev-C++ is built using the latest version of Embarcadero Delphi. Embarcadero Dev-C++ also has a low memory footprint because it is a native Windows application and does not use Electron. If you are a beginner and you want to learn and develop great C++ projects you can use Dev-C++.

The latest free version of Dev-C++ can be downloaded from here

Embarcadero C/C++ Compiler (Free)

Embarcadero C++ Compiler is a free C and C++ compiler for Windows. This package has a compiler and linker, but does not include an IDE. You will need to use an editor to edit codes, and use Command Prompt or PowerShell to run and debug your codes. C++Builder includes C11 language support, the Dinkumware STL (Standard Template Library) framework, and the complete Embarcadero C/C++ Runtime Library (RTL). In this free version, you’ll also find a number of C/C++ command-line tools, such as the high-performance linker and resource compiler.

This free C++ compiler can be downloaded from Embarcadero’s Official Web Page: https://www.embarcadero.com/free-tools/ccompiler.

Borland C++ Compiler (Free)

Borland C++ is another free C and C++ Compiler for Windows. This package has compiler binaries, including libraries, but lacks an IDE, which means you will need to use an editor and shell commands. This compiler is updated with the free Embarcadero C++ Compiler. It could be described as the old version of the Embarcadero C++ Compiler, but it still works well on Windows 98, XP, 7, 8, Vista, and 10.

This free Embarcadero C++ Compiler can be downloaded from Embarcadero’s Official Web Page : https://www.embarcadero.com/free-tools/ccompiler. If you are editing old code that is giving you compatibility problems on this new compiler, you can refer to this article to download Borland C++ https://edn.embarcadero.com/article/20633.

CPP Check

Cppcheck is a free and open-source static analysis tool for C/C++ code. It provides unique code analysis to detect bugs and focuses on detecting undefined behavior and dangerous coding constructs. CppCheck works with C++Builder, Dev-C++ and any other C/C++ tool, to analyze your C/C++ code even if it has non-standard syntax (as found in embedded projects). You can download CppCheck from here.

FireMonkey (FMX) Stencils

FireMonkey (FMX) Stencils are available for designers working with developers using RAD Studio, Delphi, or C++Builder to build multi-device applications. They provide enhanced communication between designers and developers, making it even easier to take advantage of the infinite design possibilities provided by the UI components and styles in the FMX Framework. Please check The FMX Stencils pack to use in in your C++ application development.:

cbuilder_11_512x5121x-6842885-6973897

C++ Builder is the easiest and fastest C and C++ IDE for building simple or professional applications on the Windows, MacOS, iOS & Android operating systems. It is also easy for beginners to learn with its wide range of samples, tutorials, help files, and LSP support for code. 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; it can be downloaded from here. For professional developers, there are Professional, Architect, or Enterprise versions of C++ Builder and there is a trial version you can download from here.


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About author

Dr. Yilmaz Yoru has 33+ years of coding with more than 30+ programming languages, mostly C++ on Windows, Android, Mac-OS, iOS, Linux, and other operating systems. He was born in 1974, Eskisehir-Turkey. He graduated from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Eskisehir Osmangazi University in 1997. One year later, he started to work in the same university as an assistant. He received his MSc and Ph.D. degrees from the same department of the same university. Since 2012, he is the founder and CEO of Esenja LLC Company. Some of his interests are Programming, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, and Artificial Intelligence. He also likes the graphical 2D & 3D design and high-end innovations. He has married, and he is a father of a son.
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