Delphi version 1 was launched at the Software Development Conference in San Francisco on February 14, 1995. I and other team members would travel around the world giving demonstrations of the IDE, Object Pascal language, VCL components, and database connectivity. When Delphi was released, one of the frequently asked questions was, “where is the Borland C++ version”. At that time we were shipping Borland C++ with its support for building C++ applications, using Object Windows Library (OWL), Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC), and other C++ libraries and code. Meanwhile, back at the Borland R&D department, a team was busy working on what would become C++Builder.
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Previews and a Release
At the Comdex expo in Las Vegas in November of 1996, in the Borland booth and in meetings, we started previewing a test version of C++Builder. Then in January 1997, we let the C++ development world know they could take part in a preview release of C++Builder. Finally, on February 26, 1997, a press release announced that C++Builder was finally available for purchase. Three editions of C++Builder were available: Standard, Professional, and Client-Server. C++Builder was (at that time) the only Rapid Application Development tool for C++ that combined visual component-based development with the power of the C++ language.
Some Steps Leading Up To C++Builder’s release
The release of C++Builder is built on top of IDE, compiler, runtime library, and database access development for both the C and C++ languages. Those products included:
- Turbo C for DOS
- Turbo C++ for DOS and Windows
- Borland C++ for DOS and Windows
- Delphi versions 1 and 2
Hitting the Road with C++Builder
After the release of C++Builder version 1, we hit the road to demonstrate C++Builder. Borland’s C and C++ developer community was finally able to take advantage of the power of the C++ language and visual component-based development to build console, desktop GUI, database, and Client/Server applications. C++Builder version 1 supported building applications that ran on Windows 95 and Windows NT. For the next 2.5+ decades, we continued to release new versions of C++Builder with ever-increasing language, library, component, and platform support.
The first demo we would show was a C++ version of the same first Delphi application that was shown at the launch of Delphi 1. The project contained a form with a button, edit box, and list box.
The event handler code for the button click event was to add the contents of the edit box to the items in the list box.
The IDE also supported integrated debugging with breakpoints, inspectors, and evaluators.
C++Builder Version 1: A Short YouTube Video
I’ve put together a short video (available on YouTube) that shows building this one-line C++ application using C++Builder version 1 Client Server edition running on Windows 95.
C++Builder Version 1 running on Windows 95 YouTube Video (2 minutes and 28 seconds)
The C++Builder Team Easter Egg inside the Help About Box
Just as in Delphi version 1, C++Builder 1 contained a team member easter egg in the Help About Box. Holding down the ALT key and typing the letters TEAM brought up a scrolling list of all of the team members that worked on the product including those from R&D, QA, Documentation, Localization, Product Management, Product Marketing, Marketing, Developer Support, and Developer Relations.
Here is a complete list of the names that appear in the Help About Box list:
|Abel Torres||Alan Ellis||Alastair Fyfe||Alex Zou|
|Amber Hein||Andreas Becker||Anduin Withers||Arlette Luccesi-Munoz|
|Art Davies||Beatrix Duhesme||Brian Falconner||Brian Scardina|
|Bruneau Babet||Cai Hong||Carolyn Wiegley||Celeste Crocker|
|Charlene McCormick||Charles Gallant||Charlie Calvert||Charlie Payne|
|Chris Benson||Chris Hesik||Christophe Dubourg||Cindy Clarke|
|Craig Farrell||Dale Anderson||Dana Jeffries||Daniel Thomas|
|Dave Marancik||David Barrios||David Intersimone||David Kelly|
|David Urbanic||David Veale||David Wilhelm||Debbie Carson|
|Dennis Lucey||Diane Rogers||Don Dornblaser||Douglas Ahlquist|
|Ed James Beckham||Edwin DeSouza||Eli Boling||Ellie Peters|
|Eric Uber||Erik Jakowitz||Erin Odenweller||Evan Scott|
|Gale Dembecki||George Cross||Glynne Davis||Herbert Czymontek|
|Hiroko Yarimoto||Holly MacLurie||Jean-Yves Denis||Jeff Brown|
|Jeff Cottingham||Jeff Peters||Jens Ole Lauridsen||Jesper Schultz|
|Jim Hall||Jody Bruner||Joe Overton||Joerg Weingarten|
|John Huang||John Kline||John McKloskey||John Phillips|
|John Stillman||John Thomas||John Wiegley||Jon Arthur|
|Jonah Perez||Joshua Delahunty||Jothy Rosenberg||Judi Heher|
|Judy Fitzgerald||Keimpe Bronkhorst||Kelly Rich||Kelvin Low|
|Kendyl Uppstrom||Kirt Iverson||Lee Cantey||Linda Jeffries|
|Linda Schuh||Lynda Greer||Lynn Flink||Mahmood Sheik|
|Makoto Dei||Marie Huwe||Mark De Visser||Matt Lawrence|
|Matt Stave||Maurice Barnum||Max Cedon||Merry Bolgere|
|Michael Cuff||Michel Gerin||Pat Madigan||Pat Williams|
|Peter Sollich||Peter Williams||Robert Sporleder||Robert West|
|Roland Fernandez||Sergio Cardoso||Shaji Thomas||Shane Hausle|
|Shea Anderson||Simon Thornhill||Spencer Kimball||Stacy Eggimann|
|Steve Sides||Steven Radecki||Stu Fulmer||Tamara Iverson|
|Taylor Hutt||Terri Bartos||Thomas Walijew||Tina Grubbe|
|Todd Howitt||Tom Burbage||Wade Evans|
Additional C++Builder 25th Anniversary Links
- C++Builder 25th Anniversary Landing Page
- Celebrating 25 Years of C++Builder by David Millington
- C++Builder: The Early Days by David Millington
- C++Builder Version 1.0 Original Press Release via the Internet Wayback Machine
- Free Download of C++Builder Version 1 Professional Edition
- C++Builder Today: Version 11 Alexandria
- CppReference.com’s list of C++ Compilers supporting the language