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Shoreline Software, a Transdominion Company, is shipping add-on tools for Delphi. The App Enhancement Component Pack or VisualPROS-1 is Shoreline's first product to ship in the VisualPROS line. VisualPROS-1, written in Delphi of course, will decrease development time and give applications that PROfessional look and feel.

After installation of VisualPROS-1, you get a new page in the Component Palette, showing the ten new components. From left to right: ProgBar, TileBack, LedText, HelpCloud, PromptExt, ExpandEdit, ButtonExt, MenuExt, RegIni and IniOutLine.

ProgBar can be used to provide a graphical status to the user. ProgBars can be solid fill, or led with multi-color segments. A bitmap may be used for the progress bar as well (see the second screenshot). TileBack is used to provide "tiled" form background bitmap support. LedText can be used to provide a digital display. HelpCloud offers an enhanced form of the Delphi hint functionality with a real cloud appearance. TileBack, MenuExt or HlpCloud components are form-wide; you should only need to put one of them on each form. PromptExt is a container class for prompts, with multilanguage support. ExpandEdit is derived from a standard edit box control, but when it gets focus or is clicked on with the right mouse button, it expands (or contracts) to a specified width. ButtonExt is an enhanced bitmap button that can also be resized to the size of a bitmap (or vice versa). MenuExt allows "tear-off" menus. The MenuExt component requires the use of a DLL as MenuExt traps Windows system calls and needs to have its callback code fixed in memory. The name of the (free distributable) DLL which is needed for MenuExt is SLHOOK.DLL. This DLL was written in Delphi, but source code will not be included when you purchase the source for the components! RegIni provides a nice interface to Windows INI files, and is already Win32 "register database"-aware, so it might help to prepare your code to be ported to Win32 later. IniOutLine is derived from TOutline, but has two new methods that allow the control to interact with a RegIni control at run or design time.

There is also a nice little demo program supplied, in MDIDEMO.ZIP (full source included), that shows the new VCL controls in action (here the ProgBar in several different shapes):

Shoreline is constantly working on new products for Delphi including several new components packs for the VisualPROS line. The installation used for VisualPROS-1, for example, was developed with the soon to be released InstallPRO. Further, VisualPROS-2 is also released, which incorporates Visual Video Widgets.

The people at Shoreline used ForeHelp to create the VisualPROS-1 help files. The current version of ForeHelp is unable to support the indexing mechanism Delphi needs to fully integrate 3rd party help files, and therefore Shoreline has created a Program Manager icon for each component's help file. An update for these helpfiles, which fully integrate into Delphi, is available in the Delphi forum on CompuServe.

Latest News: Raize Software has purchased the rights of VisualPRO-1, which is now integrated with the latest versions of Raize Components.

(Bob Swart)

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