Delphi 7 purchasers are privy to a
sneak peek at the Delphi for .NET preview compiler, included as a separate CD in the Delphi 7 box.
This preview, as outlined in John Kaster's
article, gives us access to the Delphi for .NET command-line
compiler (DCCIL.exe). This allows us to, in a manner similar to DCC32.exe,
compile Delphi for .NET projects from an MS-DOS command-line. Creating
these project is left as an exercise for you, the reader, although the new
Delphi for .NET Preview Samples web
page has some excellent examples. The current release of
DLite, the Delphi "Lite" editor, now supports using the Delphi for .NET preview
compiler to create and build
your .NET projects, all in a familiar GUI environment.
Configuring DLite to use the Delphi for .NET
Before running DLite, ensure that
both Delphi 7 and the Delphi for .NET preview are installed on your machine. Run DLite, then choose the Environment Options selection from the Tools menu. The Compiler combo box should list "Delphi for .NET Preview" as one of its
items. Selecting this item will also cause an "Advanced..." button
to be displayed.
Pressing the Advanced button
displays the "Advanced Delphi for .NET Preview Setup" screen.
This screen allows you to configure
different aspects of the .NET support in DLite. Here you can specify any additional
command-line parameters to pass to DCCIL when DLite invokes it. You can
also configure the location of PEVerify.exe, and any additional command-line
parameters to pass to it. Configuring this allows you to verify your .NET
executables directly from the DLite IDE. Finally, you can configure where Reflector.exe is located. As mentioned in John Kaster's article
on the Delphi for .NET preview,
Reflector is an excellent .NET class browser written by Lutz Roeder. If properly configured, DLite can load your .NET executable into an invoked
instance of Reflector for analysis.
Compiling and verifying your .NET projects
Once the compiler has been properly
configured, it's time to build your .NET project. As an example, we will
work with Borland's ConvertIt sample downloaded from the .NET samples
web page. To correctly compile
the ConvertIt sample project, you will need to remove the "experimental;" tag
from the beginning of Borland.Vcl.Controls.pas. Once you have removed this
tag, simply load and build the project as you
would any Delphi project.
That's it! Now you can verify
your project using PEVerify, simply by pressing Shift+Ctrl+P, or by selecting
the "Verify with PEVerify" option from the Project menu. The output from PEVerify will be displayed in the Compiler results window.
You can also bring up your newly
built .NET executable in Reflector by pressing Shift+Ctrl+L, or by selecting the
"Open Executable in Reflector" option from the Project menu.
Finally, you can now run the .NET
application, displaying our favorite temperature converter.
About the Author
Martin Binder is
the founder of Software by Martin, a company dedicated to providing
quality tools and components to the Delphi community. He is proud to be a
Borland Technology partner and spends most of his spare time dedicated to
Delphi. For more information on DLite or the
WallCalendar component, you can contact Martin at
visit his Web site at