WRITING WEB-BASED APPLICATIONS IN DELPHI
Half of the world's programmers have moved to program for the Internet. Web-based applications gain popularity due to zero-installation cost, cross-platform availability, access anywhere in the world on any devices, zero-maintenance costs to the user, etc.
Not all applications are well suited to migrate on-line. It may work great for on-line banking. But less so for spreadsheets. It works great for software that people are not sure they want to use. It works less for heavy-use applications. Even users of SuperMemo fall into those who prefer on-line SuperMemo (accessibility, sharing material, etc.) and those who prefer handheld or desktop SuperMemo (speed, heavy use, incremental reading, etc.).
Scripting languages such as Perl or PHP are very popular for writing web-based applications; however, RAD environments such as Delphi are equally suitable and user-friendly. This collection focuses on writing ISAPI applications in Delphi.
Programming for the web in Delphi differs little from programming for the desktop as soon as the basics are mastered (1-2 day effort). Instead of an OnClick method, the user may define an ActionItem (i.e. response of the program to a given user click). HTML templates can easily be used to fill out portions of web pages that change depending on the context. Cookies can be used to identify individual users. Standard database tools can be used on the server. Setting up a web server able to execute programs written in Delphi is also quite easy. For example, Windows 2000 comes with the Internet Information Server 5.0 (IIS). All you need to do is a permanent IP address (e.g. on a PC connected to the Internet via a DSL or cable modem) and your program in the form of a DLL placed in the scripts folder of IIS. With these two, you can announce your application to the world.
The presented short SuperMemo collection provides the basics you may want to memorize before you start your own web-based application. Although, there is no explanatory material, you can easily find it in Delphi help or on the web. It is a matter of days before your first application is up and running!