Use the VCL Scanner Web Service - Earn a chance to Win Product!

By: Anders Ohlsson

Abstract: Run the VCL Scanner utility on your applications and learn which classes you use the most.

VCL Scanner 2002

Introduction and Download

VCL Scanner is a utility and survey project that will aid the Borland RAD Tools development team in future projects. The VCL Scanner will generate a VCL class usage report based on the Delphi and C++Builder executables, DLLs and packages it finds on your Windows system. Most importantly, it will allow you to send the report back to Borland.

As a dedicated Delphi or C++Builder developer, your homework assignment - so to speak - is to generate a class usage report with VCL Scanner and to send the report back to the development team (before March 15th, 2002 to be eligible to win prizes). While most will be eager to send the development team their feedback, we understand that some may be apprehensive to run a "scanner" on their systems. With this in mind we have taken great care to ensure that this utility and the generated reports are both benign and anonymous (though you do have the option of turning anonymity off). The utility is read-only and does not send any information that could be used to identify applications or users unless you instruct it to do so. Reports are also never transmitted back to us until you have first had a chance to see exactly what will be sent. We've even included the source code to VCL Scanner so that you that you can feel secure knowing that VCL Scanner isn't doing anything unkind to your PC or looking at anything you wouldn't want it to.

Download the VCL Scanner now, and show us how you use the VCL, and earn a chance to win some products!

Run the VCL Scanner utility and learn which classes you use the most. Then take a few extra seconds to let us know as well. You'll be helping our R&D team to take VCL and CLX further into the future.

Feel free to use VCL Scanner on its own outside of its intended survey purposes for whatever reasons you choose. If anything, it's a strangely fun utility to run just to see which applications installed on your system are developed in Delphi or C++Builder.

Win Cool Products!

As an added incentive for you to scan all your apps (and all your friends' apps as well) we're giving away 2 copies of an Enterprise product, and 3 copies of a Professional product! The five lucky winners will be drawn at random from the collected names at the end of the survey period (March 15, 2002). As a winner, you can choose what product you want - Delphi, C++Builder, Kylix or JBuilder. Your "sweepstakes entry" is in no way connected with any other data that you sent us.

When the VCL Scanner finishes its scan of your applications, it will ask you for your name and your email address. This information will be used *only* to contact you, should you win. It will not be used for any other purposes whatsoever. After the winners have been picked, the database of "sweepstakes entries" will be destroyed.

Under the hood

Some of you might remember that the original VCL Scanner used an SMTP server to send email back to the survey server. This meant that you had to find an SMTP server, and then in some cases you had to try to figure out why it wouldn't work.

But that was before the advent of the exciting technology known as Web Services! When I was asked to "revive" the VCL Scanner, I decided that I wanted to get rid of what caused me the most headaches last time - the emailing of the results. But, given the time constraints, I decided that everything else was good enough. All I had to do was cut out the code that did the emailing, and replace it with a call to my web service. My web service does exactly what the email harvesting app did before, it simply saves the results from you as text files on the server. Then I reuse all the text file processing apps I had before to give the survey results in condensed form to Product Management.

I literally did this in two hours. To give you an idea how simple it is, take a look at the source code. The only other thing the server does is to take a "sweepstakes entry" from you as your chance to win cool products.

Aside from saving me immense headaches and lots of time, the best outcome of the decision of going with a web service, was that I was able to completely remove any identifying information from the survey results you send us. No need for any SMTP server (or the authentication that some of those require).

Source code

Without further ado, here's the source code for the VCL Scanner and its server side piece.

Thank you!

Have fun and thanks for being a Borland developer!

Note: The VCL scanner is unsupported. However, if you do have trouble running VCL Scanner you can join the discussion on our Community newsgroup.

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