UniDAC – the Definitive Solution to Data Access in Delphi

Using a library of components that provides direct access to various databases from Delphi may be beneficial for many reasons:

  • It can save time and effort: Using a library of components can simplify connecting to and interacting with a database. You don’t have to write the code to establish a connection or execute queries from scratch. Instead, the components provided by the library can be used to perform these tasks.
  • It can improve the performance of your application: The components in a database library are often optimized for performance and can execute database operations more efficiently than if you were to write the code yourself.
  • Consistent interface for interacting with different types of databases. Сonsistent interface makes it easier to switch between different databases or incorporate multiple databases into your application.
  • It can reduce the risk of errors: Using a library of components can help reduce the risk of errors in your code by providing a tested and reliable way to access and interact with a database.

It is difficult to determine a single “definitive” solution for data access in Delphi, as the best answer will depend on your project’s specific needs and requirements. However, several options are commonly used for data access in Delphi, such as UniDAC which supports a variety of databases, or dbExpress which defines a standard interface for fast access to databases from Delphi and C++Builder. 

Some specialists prefer ADO (ActiveX Data Objects). It provides a way to access data from various sources uniformly. It can be used to access databases and other data sources such as spreadsheets and text files. 

The other option is DataSnap, a multi-tier middleware technology that allows you to create scalable, secure, and flexible distributed applications. It includes various components for working with databases, including client/server database connectivity, database access, and more.

Ultimately, the best solution for data access in Delphi will depend on your project’s specific needs and requirements. However, the experience of many developers around the globe shows that UniDAC includes most of the needed features. So let’s review in detail how it works. 

What is UniDAC?

Universal Data Access Components (UniDAC) is a third-party library that provides similar functionality to DAC, but with additional features and support for additional databases. UniDAC is a library of components that provides direct access to multiple databases from Delphi, C++Builder, and Lazarus (Free Pascal). It can be used to improve work in Delphi by providing a unified interface for accessing different databases.

Here are some ways in which UniDAC may help to improve work in Delphi:

  1. Connect to multiple databases: UniDAC allows you to connect to various databases, including Oracle, MySQL, MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, InterBase, Firebird, and more, using a single set of components. This makes it easier to work with multiple databases in a single Delphi application.
  2. High performance: UniDAC uses advanced data access algorithms and helps to increase the application’s performance.
  3. Easy to use: UniDAC includes a lot of helpful components and methods that make it easy to work with databases in Delphi.
  4. Cross-platform support: UniDAC is available for multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, and Linux, making it easy to develop cross-platform applications.
  5. Customizable: UniDAC allows you to customize the behavior of the components to fit your specific needs.

Overall, UniDAC can improve work in Delphi by providing a powerful and easy-to-use solution for accessing and working with databases in Delphi applications.

UniDAC features that can ease your work

Here are some of the critical features of UniDAC:

  • Secure connection: You can use UniDAC with SecureBridge components to embed an SSL, SSH, or HTTP/HTTPS protocols into your application developed in Delphi, C++Builder, Lazarus, or Free Pascal for establishing a secure connection to the server.
  • Data manipulation: UniDAC provides a variety of components for manipulating data, including TUniQuery, TUniTable, TUniStoredProc, and more.
  • Data export and import: UniDAC includes components for exporting and importing data from/to various formats, such as MS Excel, MS Word, HTML, XML, and more.
  • Data visualization: UniDAC includes components for visualizing data, such as TUniVerticalGrid, TUniDBGrid, and more.

The features above distinguishes it from all other libraries, though there is far more to explore! UniDAC includes a wide range of features that can help to ease your work when accessing and working with databases in Delphi applications.

What Is The Difference Between Universal Data Access Components Editions?

There are several editions of UniDAC available, each with a different set of features and capabilities. The main difference between the editions is the number of supported database servers and the inclusion of additional components and tools.

You can choose between such UniDAC editions:

  • Express Edition: This edition supports access to 10 database servers (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL, InterBase, Firebird, PostgreSQL, SQLite, DB2, Microsoft Access, and Advantage Database Server). It includes the main UniDAC components for connecting to databases, executing queries, and working with data.
  • Standard Edition: This includes support for three additional database servers (Adaptive Server Enterprise, Google BigQuery, and Salesforce). It also has additional components and tools, such as a Data Pump tool for transferring data between databases, a Data Generator tool for creating test data, and a Query Builder tool for creating SQL queries visually.
  • Professional Edition supports all the features and components of the Standard Edition, as well as additional tools and components for working with data, such as a Data Comparison tool for comparing data in databases, a Data Editor tool for editing data directly in the dataset, and a Data Export tool for exporting data to various formats.

Why Customers Choose UniDAC?

Providing personal opinions or individual user feedback on a product might not be appropriate. However, based on general rate, UniDAC has generally received positive reviews and is widely used by developers.

UniDAC is a popular choice for database access in Delphi, C++Builder, and Lazarus because it provides a unified interface for accessing multiple database servers, making it easy to switch between different database platforms. It also includes various components and tools for working with data, such as data pump, data generator, query builder, data comparison, data editor, and data export.

Users have reported that UniDAC is easy to use and provides good performance and stability. Many users have also appreciated the detailed documentation and technical support provided by Devart, the company that develops UniDAC.

As one of the examples, UniDAC was used in the Derelict and Ownerless mines project to make switching between different database engines easier. The result was impressive! UniDAC helped to complete a seemingly impossible task of processing the volume of seismic data involved. The initial MATLAB program could process only the seismic data for one building in a run. The program, which was built using parallel processing techniques and UniDAC drivers to interface with PostgreSQL, processed the seismic data of 18000 buildings in 4 hours, 36 minutes.

Another great case was when Fox Computer Service improved the functionality of launched software with UniDAC for Delphi. The company faced the challenge of rewriting the products to SQL-based methods. The business owner needed stable working components to guarantee meeting the following demands:

  • Support for different Delphi versions, including old ones, such as BDS 2006;
  • Support for Lazarus, as the company wants to migrate to this IDE in the nearest future;
  • Independence from Embarcadero.

Thanks to the UniDAC solution, the launched software became much more functional in data browsing and analysis.

Of course, like any product, UniDAC may not be the best fit for every situation, and some users may have had negative experiences with it. However, overall, UniDAC has a good reputation and is widely used by developers for database access in Delphi, C++Builder, and Lazarus.

Have You Already Found the Definitive Solution to Data Access in Delphi?

Some of the benefits of using UniDAC:

  • Support for more databases.
  • UniDAC allows you to connect to a database using various options.
  • It includes several features designed to improve the performance of your database applications, such as data caching, connection pooling, and more.
  • Improved UI components that make it easy to build user interfaces for your database applications, including data-aware grid and treeview controls.

To sum up, UniDAC can be a valuable tool for Delphi developers who need to connect to and work with different databases in their applications. It provides a convenient, high-performance way to access and manipulate data from multiple sources.


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