How hard is it to get my OWL application to compile with C++Builder 5?

By: Vincent Drake

Abstract: Describes some of the steps involved with working with the, now unsupported, OWL library.


We need to compile a Borland C++ 5 program using OWL under C++ Builder 5. What is the procedure for getting an OWL program running under C++ Builder 5?


Unfortunately, Borland has been phasing out support for the OWL for the last couple years and C++Builder 5 does not have any native support for the OWL. That is to say, BCB 5 does not ship with the OWL and does not contain any wizards to create OWL projects.

Support for OWL has been taken up by a user group named OWLNext. They periodically release patches to the OWL and have a version of OWL that does work with BCB 5. Check out their website here:

There are two basic challenges you must address in getting your application to compile with BCB 5:

  1. Get the OWL installed on the system. This may involve building OWL runtimes or libraries. This depends on OWLNext's installation procedure.
  2. Re-create your project file in BCB 5 format. The Borland C++ 5 project file format is not supported by BCB 5. If your project is simply a makefile, you may be able to use the BCB 5 command line compiler, but if you want to compile in the IDE, you will need to create a BCB 5 project and add your OWL source code to it. You should also make sure your project contains include and library path information for the OWL.

Customers have reported that OWLNext has done a great job in carrying OWL and making sure it is compatable with many different versions of BCB. With a little persisence and patience, you OWL project can be built with BCB.

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