IntraWeb Archive

IntraWeb and .NET

IntraWeb and .NET

Another Chad’s post about IntraWeb and .NET.”For many years I’ve been using IW as a user, as well as providing the directions for IW. One area that consistently has dogged me is .NET. The systems I have to work with have .NET back ends. However I want to use IW for the front ends. Talking to .NET is an issue and has become a major problem in using IW.

I have repeatedly look at this problem over the last 5 years. We have looked at many solutions, including web services, TCP, RemObjects/Hydra, SQLCLR, COM callable wrappers, and many others. Each has too many drawbacks.

Delphi.NET of course is dead, as I predicted many years ago. I have also repeatedly advised Borland/CG/Embarcadero to do interop, but now that Delphi.NET is dead, it seems even more so that they never will.

Delphi should be able to consume .NET assemblies very much like it does packages, or VS does assemblies, in a manner how VS consumes web services. Point Delphi at an ASM, pick the classes you want to talk to and bingo Delphi wrappers get created. If they change, just regenerate.

COM is not an option because COM uses the lowest denominators, is a horrible mess, and the COM stuff in Delphi has always been for many years problematic. COM also requires dumbing everything down to match is base types and requires lots and lots of marshaling. COM also requires lots of permissions in server environments, registration, registry hacking, and so on. Contrary to some claims, I know COM very well, too well in fact. IW 1-2 was written using COM. MS knows COM too, and the “dirty” secret is that is why they made .NET. COM was really nothing but C++ exports that worked great of course for C++ users, but not well for others.

My proposal is to divert from IW work for approximately 1 month and develop the ability to integrate Delphi as a caller to .NET code in a near native manner. While not a core feature of IW, this would give IW quite a boost and allow us to further move forward with other plans I had regarding IW 11. We would include this ability with IW and likely spin it off as another product as well.

I have held off on this, mostly because of hopes that CG/EMBT would do it, or that if we started they would then announce they were doing it. But it appears not.

Comments please.”


Chad Hower

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