Book Image

Delphi GUI Programming with FireMonkey

By : Andrea Magni
4 (1)
Book Image

Delphi GUI Programming with FireMonkey

4 (1)
By: Andrea Magni

Overview of this book

FireMonkey (FMX) is a cross-platform application framework that allows developers to create exciting user interfaces and deliver applications on multiple operating systems (OS). This book will help you learn visual programming with Delphi and FMX. Starting with an overview of the FMX framework, including a general discussion of the underlying philosophy and approach, you’ll then move on to the fundamentals and architectural details of FMX. You’ll also cover a significant comparison between Delphi and the Visual Component Library (VCL). Next, you’ll focus on the main FMX components, data access/data binding, and style concepts, in addition to understanding how to deliver visually responsive UIs. To address modern application development, the book takes you through topics such as animations and effects, and provides you with a general introduction to parallel programming, specifically targeting UI-related aspects, including application responsiveness. Later, you’ll explore the most important cross-platform services in the FMX framework, which are essential for delivering your application on multiple platforms while retaining the single codebase approach. Finally, you’ll learn about FMX’s built-in 3D functionalities. By the end of this book, you’ll be familiar with the FMX framework and be able to build effective cross-platform apps.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Section 1: Delphi GUI Programming Frameworks
Section 2: The FMX Framework in Depth
Section 3: Pushing to The Top: Advanced Topics

What this book covers

Chapter 1, Introducing the FireMonkey Framework, provides a general overview of the FMX framework, including fundamental aspects, architecture details, and general aims of the framework.

Chapter 2, Exploring Similarities and Differences with VCL, discusses cross-platform development. Many Delphi developers are experienced VCL users and are now looking to FMX in order to achieve the main promise of the FMX framework: cross-platform development. FMX is a brand-new application framework, while VCL has always been the framework for Delphi.

Chapter 3, Mastering Basic Components, explains how some of the most widely used UI components can be used in a real application. After gaining confidence with each component, we will see how to combine them to build a consistent UI.

Chapter 4, Discovering Lists and Advanced Components, covers the various kinds of list controls available in FMX and explains how to efficiently use and customize their appearances. Every application manages data, but on mobile platforms the natural way to present data is by using lists. You'll also learn about using container components to properly organize your UI elements.

Chapter 5, Using FireDAC in FMX Applications, explains that when building data-centric applications, FireDAC is the best companion included in RAD Studio. As a rich-featured Data Access Component library, it provides access to many RDBMSes and data sources through a unified programming interface. Also, even when an external data source (an RDBMS or similar) is not involved, FireDAC provides data storage and manipulation for every Delphi application through powerful in-memory dataset capabilities and local persistence features.

Chapter 6, Implementing Data Binding, helps you understand the new data binding approach (which is different from the traditional TDataSource approach) is essential for leveraging Delphi's RAD capabilities and delivering your application more quickly. Data presentation is done through data binding techniques and technologies such as LiveBindings, a powerful element in the Delphi toolset.

Chapter 7, Understanding FMX Style Concept, helps you understand that the concept of style is fundamental for every FMX developer, and it is at the root of the framework's ability to build cross-platform applications by abstracting the visual aspects of each component from its behavior. Each FMX visual component is built from two separate angles: behavior and representation. The first is built by the code, while the second is built through styles.

Chapter 8, Divide and Conquer with TFrameStand, focuses on the TFrameStand component. TFrameStand is an open source component for FMX that enables developers to modularize the UI of an application and achieve visual continuity in the entire application. It combines the power of the standard TFrame component with the flexibility of FMX styles to let developers concentrate on the content and how it is presented. A twin component (TFormStand) is discussed to achieve the same results when dealing with TForm elements.

Chapter 9, Building Responsive UIs, helps you understand one of the most important aspects of a modern UI, which is the ability to adapt to different screen resolutions. The FMX framework has some interesting features in this area, but the two most effective ones are the alignment models of the components and the ability to use layouts (and, eventually, nested layouts) to achieve a relative alignment of visual components in each view.

Chapter 10, Orchestrating Transitions and Animations, helps you master modern UI animations and transitions to enrich the UX of an application. A deep explanation of the built-in animation model will enable you to properly take advantage of the various types of animation and the functionalities provided.

Chapter 11, Building Responsive Applications, covers responsiveness. The responsiveness of the UI is by far the most coveted feature of every app and, at the same time, one of the most difficult achievements for a developer. While parallel programming can be used to achieve responsiveness, it has some implications regarding the UI implementation.

Chapter 12, Exploring Cross-Platform Services, helps you understand that FMX is much more than just a visual framework. Important aspects of applications are conveniently wrapped into FMX services, and this is a crucial element of retaining a single code base while delivering cross-platform applications.

Chapter 13, Learning about FMX 3D Capabilities, covers the FMX 3D functionality that can be combined with 2D functionality. In this chapter, you will find an overview of FMX 3D functionality, including the ability to deal with third-party 3D models.