Building Internet Applications with Delphi 2
by Davis Chapman

Building Internet Applications with Delphi 2
Davis Chapman et al
This book assumes to know your way around Delphi, and is in fact only about INTERNET and not just about Delphi (a similar book called "Building Internet Applications with C++" has been published by QUE as well). This is a welcome fact, since we now have a book that will focus on the 'other' part, instead of introducing properties and the object inspector once again.

The contents of this book include just about everything there is to know about the internet. From TCP/IP, WinSock, RFC, FTP, e-mail, news, uuencoding and also the highly populair world-wide-web and HTML-pages of course. You'll learn how to write Delphi software that supports all these features, including CGI apps that generate HTML pages on the fly, and calling the Netscape APIs.

The book is divided into four parts, including one part with five appendices.

The first part, "Introduction to Internet Application Programming", is both the introduction and the foundation. You may skip this part (if you're not interested or are in a hurry to get to part three), but I found it at least very interesting to read.

The second part, "Building Basic Internet Applications" is about building internet (standard) applications, such as an FTP client and server, SMPT and POP e-mail clients and an internet news reader. There is also a chapter on uuencoding/uudecoding, but I found that one to be more complex than needed (I prefer my own implementation - see TDM #5)

The third part, "World Wide Web Programming" is probably what most readers turn to first. In this part, we learn all about the web - http, HTML etc. The book shows how to write CGI in Delphi, and how to use a database (BDE) in a CGI application. Note that CGI depends on the Web Server used, and in this case the server used is WebSite 1.0o from O'Reilly. I found a few things that needed to be changed for the Information Server from NT.
The chapters that follow deal with topics such as how to write a web robot that verifies your links, and even how to write your own web server. I didn't really try that one, but it's interesting to read. There's also a chapter on internet security, and finally one about using the Netscape Browser and Server APIs using DDE and OLE (this is of course only needed if you know your browser and/or server will be Netscape).

I consider this book to be a valuable and very complete source of information for anyone who likes to write his own internet applications using Delphi! If you don't want to step over to Java, or just want to add e-mail capabilities to your application, then this book will be a good place to start. For CGI programming it's important to know that your CGI app will be dependend on the Web Server that you use, but that's the only compatibility issue I found in this book.

The book can be used with both Delphi 1 and 2 by the way, not only Delphi 2 (yet another publisher who couldn't resist to change the title).

(Bob Swart)

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