Using CData’s Excel Connector in C++ Builder

Problem: How to use the Excel FireDAC Enterprise Connector

Environment
– C++Builder 10.3.1
– FireDac Excel Enterprise Connector
Build 19.0.7075
– Windows 10

CData is a company that makes drivers for databases. Although this may sound like a useful but prosaic product, CData has a clever twist. Their mantra is “See the world as a database” and their products take this to heart. They allow you to view many things that aren’t databases as if they were. Examples include accessing sites such as eBay, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail; working with programs like QuickBooks, Google Sheets, Microsoft Office 365; and manipulating data that is in generic formats, such as JSON, XML and CSV.

Embarcadero teamed up with CData to access the latter’s technology through enterprise connectors. These are versions of CData’s SQL connections that come as Delphi/Builder components. I’ve blogged about the connector for reading CSV files (CSV means comma-separated value) and the connector for accessing GMail . Both of those posts have more background on the general concept of enterprise connectors than you’ll find here. Today’s post is about using an enterprise connector to access Excel spreadsheets, so if you’re interested in that, read on!

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Setting the default and startup layouts in RAD Studio 10.3

Problem: Setting default layouts is different than in previous IDE versions

Solution tested on RAD Studio 10.3

An Integrated Development Environment (IDE) desktop layout is a file that records the positions, sizes, contents and visibility of the IDE windows. RAD Studio should let you do basic things with layouts, such as saving them, renaming or deleting them, and setting default layouts to use when the IDE starts up or is debugging, etc. Unfortunately, RAD Studio 10.2 did not let you fully manipulate layouts. I discussed a solution to the problem in this post and am happy to report that things have gotten better in RAD Studio 10.3 .

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CodeRage 2018

Embarcadero’s annual coding event, CodeRage, starts tomorrow. It’s a series of events about Delphi and C++ Builder. There are talks by Embarcadero employees, software vendors with products for RAD Studio, Delphi and Builder and users. CodeRage 2018 lasts for three days and you can see the schedule here. Best of all, it’s free and open to the public. To register, go to CodeRage 2018.

Some C++ topics this year are:

  • An interview with Bjarne Stroustrup!
  • Game development for beginners
  • C++ 17 in Builder 10.3
  • Working with databases in C++

Using CData’s Gmail connector in C++ Builder

Problem: How to use the Gmail FireDAC Enterprise Connector

Test Environment
– C++Builder 10.3.1
– FireDac Gmail Enterprise Connector – Build 19.0.7045.0

CData is a company with a clever idea. It writes drivers that connect to various technologies and make them appear as if they were databases. Thus, knowing only SQL, you can read a CVS file, use Google’s Gmail, search with Microsoft’s Bing, link in to LinkedIn, and do many other things. CData and Embarcadero have partnered to create wrappers for these drivers in the form of components that you can use in both VCL and FireMonkey programs. Embarcadero calls these Enterprise Connectors. The rest of this post is a demonstration of how to use the Gmail enterprise connector in a VCL program. If you’d rather just see a summary of tips for using the connector, scroll down to the end of this post. If you’d like more background on enterprise connectors, see this post. If you’d like to try the Gmail connector, read on!

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Using CData’s CSV Connector in C++ Builder

Problem: How to use the CSV FireDAC Enterprise Connector

Test Environment
– C++Builder 10.3.1
– FireDac CSV Enterprise Connector – Build 19.0.7075.0

CData is a company that makes drivers for databases. Although this may sound like a useful but prosaic product, CData has a clever twist. Their mantra is “See the world as a database” and their products take this to heart. They allow you to view many things that aren’t databases as if they were. Examples include accessing sites such as eBay, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Gmail; working with programs like QuickBooks, Google Sheets, Microsoft Office 365; and manipulating data that is in generic formats, such as JSON, XML and CSV. The idea is that by using just SQL you can now accomplish a lot more than querying databases. Well, that’s nice, but what does it have to do with Builder?

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Setting the default and startup layouts in RAD Studio 10.2

Problem: IDE won’t let you set certain default layouts

Solution tested on RAD Studio 10.2

An IDE desktop layout is a file that records the positions, sizes, contents and visibility of IDE windows. In the RAD Studio main menu bar, selecting View and then Desktops produces a sub-menu of operations related to IDE desktop layouts. One item is Set Debug Desktop, which lets you save the desktop layout that the IDE will use during run-time, i.e., when you’re running a program that you launched from within the IDE. Unfortunately, there are no similar provisions for setting the startup layout or the default layout. Here is how you can do it though.

The procedure  below is for setting the default layout. You can set the startup layout by using an analogous method.

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