Borland C++Builder Unleashed
by Charlie Calvert


See Also:

Borland C++Builder Unleashed
Charlie Calvert
1288 pages (CD-ROM)

Borland C++Builder 3 Unleashed

Charlie Calvert is working for Inprise at Developer Relations. He's been working, writing and demonstrating Delphi, JBuilder and C++Builder all over the world. He knowns Borland C++Builder like no other, and what started out as a few example programs designed to highlight the programming environment, turned out to be a massive book. Actually, those of you who read Delphi Unleashed or the next volumn Delphi 2 Unleashed will probably know that there isn't a Delphi 3 Unleashed, so it seems the sequel is called C++Builder Unleashed instead!
The book contains a complete treatment of Borland C++Builder and its accompanying tools. Since the scope is so large, Charlie is both discussing introduction and more advanced techniques in this book. And it is certainly one of the most advanced C++Builder books I've read so far.
The introduction sections form a solid foundation for Borland C++Builder and C++. The advanced sections present ways to extend Borland C++Builder and our way of working with C++Builder and Databases.
The Book consists of six parts. The first part of the book ("Getting Started") is the introduction to Borland C++Builder's programming environment, the VCL and the general structure of a Borland C++Builder program, and a bit about the relationship of Delphi and C++Builder.
The second and third part are the tutorial on Relational resp. Client/Server Databases. I've yet to see a C++Builder book that covers database programming in more detail; very worthwhile! Charlie treats introducionary topics like Database Basics, the BDE, TTable, TDataSet, and moves on to more advanced topics like SQL and Relational Databases, InterBase, reporting (with Quick Reports) and even some case tools.
The fourth part of the book is about "Creating Components" in C++Builder. While the VCL "core" source code is still ObjectPascal, Charlie shows how we can create our own components in C++, starting with the coverage of OOP first (as just about every book).
The fifth part contains some chapters that have been published on Charlie's website, namely using WININET to create FTP applications, ISAPI Web Server extensions and Distributed COM. At times the listings get a bit boring (some go on for several pages), especially since everything is already on the CD-ROM (I feel at least a good hundred pages could have been "saved" if Charlie had cut down on listings).
The last part of the book is all about Win32 and Multimedia (DirectX, to be specific). These chapters are especially worthwhile for people who're interested in game development.
The accompanying CD-ROM contains source code from the book, a fully indexed electronic version of Delphi 2 Unleashed (the "predecessor" of this book) and other nice third-party tools.

Whether you need a solid introduction to Borland C++ or just want a some very good and detailed database coverage, or some basic internet or multimedia (game) topics, this book will be right for you!

(Bob Swart)

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