Delphi & C++Builder are used to create high quality applications that are used by millions of users around the world every day. As Delphi / C++Builder has evolved (with new language features and components) there has been a high consideration to backward compatibility to allow code just to open up and compile in the new versions. Despite some of the best backward compatibility on the market, some changes have needed breaking changes (e.g. jumping to Unicode).

The Upgrade and Migration Center is here to help you navigate your migration from older editions!

In summary: Your source code and forms will import, compile and execute in the current Delphi/C++Builder versions, but you may need to re-compile 3rd party libraries, make Unicode changes, and change Data Access Components if these apply.

“If you do not modernize your app, you may become extinct quicker than you think”

Fortune 100 Company


Unicode support was added to RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder starting with the 2009 version. Many migration resources were developed at that time but are still useful today if upgrading from a pre-Unicode (2007 or earlier) version.

Delphi has made migration over the decades relatively painless, however, this doesn’t mean it’s always effortless and Unicode is one area where some attention may be required!

First, some good news, is many cases legacy Delphi applications that convert to the current Delphi version do so with few or no modifications. If you are working primarily with VCL components (whose support for Unicode has in most cases been considered carefully), or components from third-party vendors who have taken the time to understand the implications of Unicode support, you have an advantage.

Don’t panic if you use “millions of strings” in your application, it does NOT mean you have to change any code at all


What determines the need to make any Unicode changes is how you’re using strings and for what purposes. If you’re not doing heavy text processing or manipulations and stick to the standard string operations, mostly likely your code will simply just work. Additionally, just because you have lots of string literals in your code that also doesn’t necessarily mean you have to make any code changes. The most common things that you do have to watch for is file I/O and interfacing with external non-Delphi libraries and/or DLLs.


As a start, look at these great white papers, technical articles, videos and migration tools to help you out with Delphi and Migration to Unicode:

Delphi and Unicode This white paper has been written to help developers that are using versions of Delphi or RAD Studio that were released previous to the launch of Delphi 2009. Read this paper if you are looking for more information on why and how to Unicode-enable a codebase that has been developed using a pre-Unicode enabled version.



Whether you are in the early planning stages of migrating an existing application to Unicode-enabled RAD Studio, or in the midst of the process, Delphi Unicode Migration for Mere Mortals can help. Written with input from many of the leaders in the RAD Studio community, this white paper provides you with valuable techniques and advice that will smooth the way.



Cary Jensen has worked with Delphi developers around the world – including noted authors, leading third-party vendors, and front line developers – to learn how they approached their Unicode conversions, what challenges they faced, and what solutions they employed. Learn best practices for migration to Unicode in this informative webinar.



EMB_TEXT_DR_BOB_S_UNICODE_PAGE_AND_8_UN – Covers Unicode format and different string types


Popular Unicode article in the online documentation at DocWiki discusses "EMB_TEXT_UNICODE_IN_RAD_STUDIO"


EMB_TEXT_UNICODE_STATISTICS_TOOL on your Delphi application and check if any Unicode changes are needed.

This Unicode Statistics Tool will assist you in collecting useful statistics for the time and effort needed to migrate your Delphi applications to Unicode.

The tool reviews your code and tells you where and what you will most likely have to change. This will at least give you an estimate of how many lines need to be reviewed.

NOTE: The Unicode Statistics Tool does not know if any of your lines of code really needs to be modified or replaced at all. It does tell you have at least some number of lines you should take a quick glance at. It could be as little as 0 changes needed. It really all depends on how you are using Strings and Chars in your application.

The result is Delphi is 100% Unicode. The migration is easy, the Visual Component Library (VCL) and the compiler handle many things.

The tool lists all used units, including Delphi units (and how many times each one was used), number of files, number of lines, and number of instances of String, Read, Write, SizeOf, etc.


Craig Chapman covers a range of migration topics including

  • Cross platform migration
  • Windows 64bit
  • Unicode migration


Ever since Delphi XE2, it has been possible to generate Delphi 64bit applications from the same code base as your traditional Windows 32bit Delphi code. The business case for 64-bit for business is covered in this tech paper EMB_TEXT_THE_IMPACT_OF_64_BIT_APPLICATI

On the whole moving to 64bit (on Windows, but also iOS) is beautifully simple to achieve! It can be just as simple as adding the 64bit target platform in the project manager and rebuilding the project. This is a massive benefit over other languages that need different types declared to resolve the difference between the two platforms.



Overview of how to build 64-bit Delphi applications with this short tutorial.



Delphi 64bit Code by Stephen Ball covering what is the same, what is different, predefine conditional compiler options and using assembler code.



The Borland Database Engine (BDE) has been deprecated, and beginning with version XE8 the BDE has been removed from the Delphi installation, but is still available as a separate download from EMB_TEXT_CODE_CENTRAL. All applications using the BDE are recommended to be EMB_TEXT_MIGRATED_TO_FIREDAC. If you are new to FireDAC Data Access Components, start here and look at the EMB_TEXT_FIRST_STEPS_AND_GETTING_STARTE.

dbExpress is also in maintenance only mode and users should look to migrate to FireDAC which offers more databases, is faster and provides more features.


FireDAC Skill Sprints - Migrating BDE applications to FireDAC and InterBase - David I


Using reFind you can convert your code automatically from BDE to FireDAC, including updating uses clauses, field definitions.



This article provides a tutorial showing how to migrate a simple client-server application using dbExpress data access components, such as TSQLConnection, TSQLQuery, TSQLTable, to FireDAC


An alternative to reFind, a Free Evaluation Edition of The Automatic Migration Scripting Wizard For Converting Legacy Delphi BDE Code to FireDAC

FireDAC Skill Sprints is a series of 12 x 20minute videos teaching you the advanced features of FireDAC



What 3rd party libraries (components) are you using in your older Delphi?

The 3rd party plug-ins (libraries) need to be rebuilt in the current Delphi version. Having the source code makes this easier. You will need to re-compile your 3rd party components / libraries from older Delphi using the current Delphi 10.1 version so the components and libraries can be used in current Delphi projects.

Any 3rd party components / libraries without the source code may need updated versions for the current Delphi 10.1 version.


The current Delphi includes the new EMB_TEXT_GETIT_PACKAGE_MANAGER to allow you to browse, download, purchase, and install GetIt packages into the current Delphi version. GetIt currently includes 31 of the popular free packages such as libraries, components, IDE extensions, and SDKs, like Open Source “TurboPack” Components, JEDI Visual Component Library, etc., certified to work in the current Delphi version!

Migration Delphi Small



    Ads are a good way to monetize your apps. Use full screen interstitial ads at the start of your app and at natural stopping points. Integrate leaderboard ads (320x50) into either the header or footer where it makes sense for your interface. Over at AppBrain Stats they have a list of the most popular ad networks that include EMB_TEXT_ADMOB_MILLENNIAL_MEDIA_INMOBI and many more. Add in-app payments for consumable, one time purchase, and subscription-based revenue. Offer both a paid version with no ads and a free version of your app. Provide a way to disable ads in the free version via an in-app purchase.


    Mobile users are more mobile than ever these days and they jump from secured wireless access point to 4G to unsecured wireless hotspot multiple times per day. If you want to keep your user’s data secure from the prying eyes of just about anyone using a network packet sniffer you will want to implement industry standard encryption like TLS/SSL (Transport Layer Security/Secure Sockets Layer). Using a good tried and true third party library is the way to go.


    A good rating in the various app stores is more important than ever. Usually only people who want to give your app a low rating end up on app store rating pages and rate your app down. You can encourage users who love your app to rate your app by pointing them in the right direction. The third time a user uses your app is good time to ask them to visit the rating page for your app on the app store of your choice.


    Having a great looking icon is a must have to increase your chance of success in the app stores. There are more than 30 different icon sizes that you need to create and deploy for Android and iOS apps. This can be a real chore to create all of the icons needed. There are utilities out there that can help you do that like EMB_TEXT_MOBILE_GFX_SETUP_PAINT_NET and EMB_TEXT_ADOBE_FLASH_CC is a more advanced commercial Windows program that comes with a free trial and you can create and export your icons pretty easily in it as well.


    Once you have the features in your app all finished you aren’t done. One reason why some apps succeed and others do not is because of the polish that goes into them. There are events on both Android and iOS which will tell your app when it becomes active or goes into the background. You should find and handle these events so that your app has a slick user experience. Test and handle all of the various actions in your app like going into sleep mode and coming back out or pressing the back button.


    Implementing analytics using various third party analytics libraries like EMB_TEXT_GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_FLURRY_ANALYT and EMB_TEXT_PARSE_ANALYTICS to name a few. Analytics providers have their own Android, iOS, and REST SDKs that you can integrate. Track important data points like how long a user uses your app, which screens do they use to most, and where they may get stuck or leave your app. Most important of all is to take action on the information that the analytics give you. Iterate and test. Iterate and test.


    Push are an important mechanism for keep your users engaged with your app. Try to find a balance between sending too many and not sending enough push notification to keep users engaged. Android push notifications are available through Google Cloud Messaging. iOS push notifications are available through the Apple Push Notification Service. Implementing push notifications can be tough but third party providers like Parse, PushWoosh, and Upsight (formerly Playhaven) make it easier for you.


    Threads allow you to execute long running procedures in a separate process. Use threads anywhere your app would block user input like uploading and downloading files, processing information or loading data. If your app appears frozen users may exit and move on to the next app. If a user is sitting on a screen waiting for something to happen, think about how you can rearchitect your app so that the event they are waiting for happens in the background instead.


    Mobile device connectivity is not a sure thing. If your app needs internet access you need to handle the scenario when connectivity is not available. Using queuing systems for uploading and downloading data. Implement file download resuming where possible. An offline mode where online only features are disabled while connectivity is unavailable may be a good idea.


    Choose a functional name, descriptive, or a unique name (or a combination) to help your app succeed. Stay away from trademarked terms. A good description that lays out what your app does, who your competitors are and what technologies you used to build it can help people find your app. Building your app is just the beginning. Distribution is also key to a successful app so make sure if your app runs on both Android and iOS that you deploy it to the biggest app stores like Google Play, Apple App Store, Amazon Appstore, and Samsung Apps. Each app store has their own submission process and guidelines but the extra boost in users you get is worth it. You may just find your niche on the Amazon Appstore or Samsung Apps.