“I started programming in Delphi with Delphi 1 sometime at the end of 1995. And with Delphi came the seriousness to do something serious. It was really easy to get started with and actually get things done. I should add that before starting Delphi, I had programmed a bit in TurboC++ with the use of the TurboVision library and had also created a few components in TurboVision. But really, I started to understand OOP better when I started to use Delphi – the need, the use, and the usefulness of OOP.
My first major project with Delphi, which I wrote along with my cousin, was with Delphi 1 and was a store keeping software for my father’s machine tool manufacturing company. This was in 1996.
It did a lot more than just inventory management. It even assisted with production planning as it kept the bill of materials of the products manufactured and generated complete reports on what raw materials to procure based on a given customer order for the product the company was making. The users, the store keepers, really liked it.
Then with my friend I did several projects for different companies.
Among these projects was a customer management system, a help desk management system and a medical laboratory management system.
All these projects were built in Delphi 3.
The projects came on their own. We didn’t go looking for them.
Towards the end of these projects, I developed a set of data aware lookup controls with all the advanced features such as auto-complete, multi column drop down and much more.
The product was called gplookup pack and it was my first commercially available component set.
A little later, one of the customers for whom my friend and I had built a crm system, wanted to be able to send out reports by email to their field staff around the country.
The requirement was that the reports should be viewable without having to install any additional software.
This I’m talking 1999 and converting the report to HTML came up as the choice.
We used QuickReport at the time for reports. I looked at the export capability of QuickReport and saw that it really did not produce a useable HTML file of even simple reports, and we had reports which had multiple grouping levels.
I decided to write one and there begins the history of the company and what we work on now.
I wrote an export filter for QuickReport to convert to HTML and it produced a WYSIWYG output of the report.
The customer was happy. They could now email reports to their field staff.
I realised this converter is a component that every Delphi developer using QuickReport will need. Spent about 3 (continuous) days, rolled it into a proper component with properties to configure the output. Wrote a user manual, put up the component on my site, announced in the newsgroup and went to bed. Wake up in the morning and there’s a sale for it.
So, documents became the area the company I founded would work on.
To fast forward the story… Wrote a new product after that that include PDF and many other formats. Then we did bigger products in that area to arrive at where we are now.
We now have Gnostice Document Studio for Delphi, which support VCL and FireMonkey and does a lot of what the earlier products did and more.
So, Delphi really helped me find a business line in software and found a company. We have diversified since then, but continue to support and love working on our Delphi products.”
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