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 TurboPower Essentials vol 1.
See Also: more tool reviews for Delphi, C++Builder and JBuilder

I'm the proud owner of many of the TurboPower libraries, and every now and then I collect my findings and write a little review about of one of these libraries or collection of components. The one I'm going to review today is a rather old one, called TurboPower Essentials vol.1 (version 1.08)

Essentials Vol.1
This collection consists of 13 components for Delphi (and C++Builder). The so-called missing (or essential) components. Well, that was certainly true when the package first shipped, around 1997 (shortly after Delphi 3 shipped), and to be honest, even now that some time has passed, there are still certain components inside the Essentials collection that I prefer over others.

Let's have a look at the individual components from Essentials Vol.1. My personal favourite is the Calendar (TEsCalendar), which is much nicer (and more flexible) than the built-in TCalendar you get with Delphi. The Calendar is most effective when used together with the Date Edit (TEsDateEdit) who can actually use the Calendar as pop-up dialog. And of course there is a data-aware edition of Date Edit (TEsDbDateEdit) to make the threesome complete. Another useful edit component is the Number Edit (TEsNumberEdit) and the data-aware edition of Number Edit (TEsDbNumberEdit).
The number edits can use (pop-up) the following component, namely the Calculator (TEsCalculator), but I must admit I don't use that one often, and neither do I have much use of the Color ComboBox (TEsColorComboBox) or the Gradient component (TEsGradient).
The Label component (TEsLabel), on the other hand, has some features that I like, such as the ability to give it shades, have it floating, a 3D effect and more. Probably pretty basic to make yourself, but you don't have to if you have Essentials Vol.1 (plus you always get the source code, so you can actually look for yourself how everything is done). Then there's the Scrolling Marquee (a scrolling text - like a stock ticker), which I have yet to use, but it does inherit all the possible Label styles, so if you're looking for a scrolling text, then this is a nice one.
On to the Menu Button (TEsMenuButton), which just shows a pop-up menu when you click on it. Although I've never used it, it may be useful for ActiveForms (where you don't have pull-down menus).
A fancy but seldom used (by me) component is the Roll Up (TEsRollUp) that you can use to allow your form to be rolled up and down (nice effect, but not standard, and my end-users quickly get bored with the effect anyway). The final component is the Tiled Bitmap (TEsTile), that you can use to fill the client area of a component with a nice background bitmap for example.

I use no more than about half of these components on a regular basis (Label, Calendar and Data Edit or data-aware Date Edit most often, but also the Number Edits), the others are "nice to have", but seldom used. Nevertheless, I consider this a useful package - maybe not exactly essential, but a good value for its money (considering that you get full source code, a printed manual and support).
As most of its products, TurboPower has a try-before-you buy version of Essentials Vol.1, which is fully functional - you only need a running version of Delphi or C++Builder to be able to run the applications you build with it.

(Bob Swart)

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