A Beginner's Guide to Delphi Database Programming

Free online database programming course for beginner Delphi developers

About the Course:

This free online course is perfect for Delphi database beginners as well as for those who want a broad overview of the art of database programming with Delphi. Developers will learn how to design, develop and test a database application using ADO with Delphi. This course focuses on the most common uses of ADO in a Delphi application: Connecting to a database using TADOConnection, work with Tables and Queries, handle database exception, create reports, etc.

Email Course

This Course (also) comes as a 26-day email class.
You will receive the first lesson as soon as you sign up. Each new lesson will be delivered to your mailbox on a day-by-day basis.


Readers should have at least a working knowledge of the Windows operating system, as well as some decent level of Delphi Programming knowledge base. New developers should first explore A Beginner's Guide to Delphi Programming


The chapters of this course are being created and updated dynamically on this site. You can find the latest chapter on the last page of this article.

Start with Chapter 1 :

Then continue learning, this course already has more than 30 chapters ...

Fundamentals of Database Development (with Delphi)
Delphi as the database programming tool, Data Access with Delphi...just a few words, Building a new MS Access database.
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Connecting to a database. BDE? ADO?
Connecting to a database. What is the BDE? What is ADO? How to connect to an Access database - the UDL file? Looking forward: the smallest ADO example.
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Pictures inside a database
Displaying images (BMP, JPEG, ...) inside an Access database with ADO and Delphi.
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Data browsing and navigation
Building a data browsing form - linking data components. Navigating through a recordset with a DBNavigator.
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Behind data in datasets
What is the state of data? Iterating through a recordset, bookmarking and reading the data from a database table.
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Data modifications
Learn how to add, insert and delete records from a database table.
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Queries with ADO
Take a look at how you can take advantage of the TADOQuery component to boost your ADO-Delphi productivity.
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Data filtering
Using Filters to narrow the scope of data that is presented to the user.
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Searching for data
Walking through various methods of data seeking and locating while developing ADO based Delphi database applications.
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ADO Cursors
How ADO uses cursors as a storage and access mechanism, and what you should do to choose the best cursor for your Delphi ADO application.
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From Paradox to Access with ADO and Delphi
Focusing on the TADOCommand components and using the SQL DDL language to help porting your BDE/Paradox data to ADO/Access.
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Master detail relationships
How to use master-detail database relationships, with ADO and Delphi, to deal effectively with the problem of joining two database tables to present information.
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New...Access Database from Delphi
How to create an MS Access database without the MS Access. How to create a table, add an index to an existing table, how to join two tables and set up referential integrity. No MS Access, only Pure Delphi code.
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Charting with Databases
Introducing the TDBChart component by integrating some basic charts into a Delphi ADO based application to quickly make graphs directly for the data in recordsets without requiring any code.
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See how to use lookup fields in Delphi to achieve faster, better and safer data editing. Also, find how to create a new field for a dataset and discuss some of the key lookup properties. Plus, take a look at how to place a combo box inside a DBGrid.
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Compacting an Access database with ADO and Delphi
While working in a database application you change data in a database, the database becomes fragmented and uses more disk space than is necessary. Periodically, you can compact your database to defragment the database file. This article shows how to use JRO from Delphi in order to compact an Access database from code.
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Database reports with Delphi and ADO
How to use QuickReport set of components to create database reports with Delphi. See how to produce database output with text, images, charts and memos - quickly and easily.
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Data Modules
How to use the TDataModule class - central location for collecting and encapsulating DataSet and DataSource objects, their properties, events and code.
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Handling database errors
Introducing error handling techniques in Delphi ADO database application development. Find out about global exception handling and dataset specific error events. See how to write an error logging procedure.
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From ADO Query to HTML
How to export your data to HTML using Delphi and ADO. This is the first step in publishing your database on the Internet - see how to create a static HTML page from an ADO query.
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Using ADO in Delphi 3 and 4 (before AdoExpress / dbGO)
How to import Active Data Objects (ADO) type-libraries in Delphi 3 and 4 to create a wrapper around components that encapsulate the functionality of ADO objects, properties and methods.
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Transactions in Delphi ADO database development
How many times have you wanted to insert, delete or update a lot of records collectively wanting that either all of them get executed or if there is an error then none is executed at all? This article will show you how to post or undo a series of changes made to the source data in a single call.
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Deploying Delphi ADO database applications
It is time to make your Delphi ADO database application available for others to run. Once you have created a Delphi ADO based solution, the final step is to successfully deploy it to the user's computer.
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Delphi ADO/DB programming: Real Problems - Real Solutions
In real world situations, really doing database programming is much more complex than writing about. This chapter points to some great Delphi Programming Forum threads initiated by this Course - discussions that solve problems on the field.

TOP ADO programming TIPS
Collection of frequently asked questions, answers, tips and tricks about ADO programming.
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Quiz: Delphi ADO Programming
What would it look like: Who Wants to be a Delphi ADO Database Programming Guru - the trivia game.
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What follows is a list of articles (quick tips) explaining how to use various Delphi DB related components more efficiently at design and run time.

DB Aware Grid Components
The list of the best Data Aware Grid components available for Delphi. The TDBGrid component enhanced to maximum.

DBGrid to the MAX
Contrary to most other Delphi data-aware controls, the DBGrid component has many nice features and is more powerful than you would have thought.

The "standard" DBGrid does its job of displaying and manipulating records from a dataset in a tabular grid. However, there are many ways (and reasons) why you should consider customizing the output of a DBGrid:

Adjusting DBGrid column widths automatically, DBGrid with MultiSelect Coloring DBGrid, Selecting and highlighting a row in a DBGrid - "OnMouseOverRow", Sorting records in DBGrid by Clicking on Column Title, Adding components to a DBGrid - theory, CheckBox inside a DBGrid, DateTimePicker (calendar) inside a DBGrid, Drop down pick list inside a DBGrid - part 1, Drop down list (DBLookupComboBox) inside a DBGrid - part 2, Accessing protected members of a DBGrid, Exposing the OnClick event for a DBGrid, What is being typed into the DBGrid?, How to Display Only Selected Fields in a DbGrid, How to get DBGrid Cell coordinates, How to create a simple database display form, Get the line number of a selected row in a DBGrid, Prevent CTRL+DELETE in DBGrid, How to correctly use the mouse wheel in DBGrid, Making the Enter key work like a Tab key in a DBGrid ...

Customizing the DBNavigator
Enhancing the TDBNavigator component with modified graphics (glyphs), custom button captions, and more. Exposing the OnMouseUp/Down event for every button.
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Accessing and managing MS Excel sheets with Delphi
How to retrieve, display and edit Microsoft Excel spreadsheets with ADO (dbGO) and Delphi. This step-by-step article describes how to connect to Excel, retrieve sheet data, and enable editing of data (using the DBGrid). You'll also find a list of most common errors (and how to deal with them) that might pop up in the process.
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Enumerating available SQL Servers. Retrieving databases on a SQL Server
Here's how to create your own connection dialog for a SQL Server database. Full Delphi source code for getting the list of available MS SQL Servers (on a network) and listing database names on a Server.
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