By: Tim DelChiaro
Abstract: How to convert VCL Windows applications to cross-platform FireMonkey applications
As you may have seen, you can get the Mida Basic edition free with purchase of RAD Studio XE3, Delphi XE3 or C++Builder XE3 until September 28, 2012 as part of the RAD XE3 Bonus Pack.
The Mida Converter can save you a lot of time and often get you most of the way from a VCL application to a FireMonkey application automatically. Other Mida editions are also available that convert an even larger percentage of your applications. This article includes some info on Mida as well as other things to keep in mind when converting applications from VCL to FireMonkey.
The content below comes from the Delphi and C++Builder XE3 online documentation. Links in the article will take you to the RAD Studio doc wiki.
The VCL (Visual Component Library) supports only Windows-based development—both the Win32 and the Win64 platforms. FireMonkey components, on the other hand, have been customized for use on all the supported platforms, including the OS X (Mac) platform.
FireMonkey is somewhat similar to the VCL library; FireMonkey and VCL share ancestry from TObject to TComponent, but they diverge beyond TComponent. If you are familiar with the VCL, some of the classes, components, controls, and functions in FireMonkey will be familiar. However, FireMonkey is a new framework that offers vector-based dynamic controls, and other features that the VCL does not offer. For example, FireMonkey has sophisticated 2D and 3D graphics, and special effects such as filters.
Although there is no direct migration path between the VCL and FireMonkey, you can convert an existing VCL application by creating a new HD FireMonkey Application, then modifying-cutting-pasting the existing VCL application, essentially refactoring the VCL application so that it is a FireMonkey application, which can run cross-platform.
The Mida Converter is a third-party product that automates some aspects of converting VCL controls into FireMonkey controls. Mida installs as a plug-in to the Tools menu in the RAD Studio IDE.
Several versions of Mida are available:
The Mida pack enables support for button images like the VCL TBitBtn component.
The Mida home page offers more information, including blogs, FAQs, and product orders: http://www.midaconverter.com/
Also see Importing or Migrating Existing Projects into XE2 and Migrating VCL Applications to Cross-Platform.
Although FMX is designed to have some superficial similarity with VCL, numerous small differences can trip up someone that is familiar with VCL. These include, in no particular order:
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