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Micha Somers - First Officer
 Book Review: Delphi COM Programming
See Also: Dr.Bob's Programming Books for Delphi & C++Builder books co-authored by Bob Swart
Delphi COM Programming
Eric Harmon
Macmillan Technical Publishing
500 pages (no CD-ROM)

A lot of books about Delphi also have a few chapters about using Microsoft's Component Object Model (COM). But if you seriously want to develop COM solutions with Delphi this might not be enough.
Delphi COM Programming is a book that is meant for the experienced Delphi programmer, especially the Delphi programmer who wants to start working with COM. As Delphi COM Programming covers a broad range of COM topics, this book might also be very useful for Delphi programmers with some COM experience who want to know more about particular COM topics.
Delphi COM Programming is a well-structured and easy-to-read book (510 pages). It starts with a very good chapter about interfaces followed by topics like:

Although this list is quite impressive there are some COM topics that are not covered in this book such as DirectX, and ASP.
The book contains a lot of simple but effective examples that illustrate how different aspects of COM can be used in Delphi. The source code that is shown in this book, can be downloaded (zipfile) from the site The zipfile is quite big (6.1 MB) as it also contains the executables and DLLs. However, a few examples that use the components TPropertySet and TDCPTrayIcon will not compile because the source code of these components is not included. As all the source code is printed out in the book, you will need to type over the source code of these components as shown in the book in order to try these examples.
Almost all source code should work with Delphi 3, 4 and 5. However, not all printed source code is error-free so you may need to make some changes to the code if you do not use the downloaded source code.
Generally, the chapters are handled detailed enough except for the chapter about ActiveForms. This chapter is a bit dissappointing as it does not show much except for a lot of (generated) source code.
The chapter about configuration and installation of DCOM servers focusses strongly on the Windows NT Server platform. So, for those who use windows NT Server, this chapter will be useful. However, those who work with Windows 95/98 will not find enough information but will be pointed to websites that do cover these topics for Windows 95/98.

Summarized, Delphi COM Programming is a book that helps to quickly start with COM programming. It covers a lot of interesting topics that will be useful for everyone who want to start with or want to know more about COM programming with Delphi.

(Micha Somers)

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