What Is RAD Studio
Go Up to Getting Started with RAD Studio
RAD Studio is an integrated development environment (IDE) for building Win32 applications. The RAD Studio IDE provides a comprehensive set of tools that streamline and simplify the development life cycle. The tools available in the IDE depend on the version of RAD Studio you are using. The following sections briefly describe these tools.
Designing User Interfaces
On the RAD Studio visual designer surface, you can create graphical user interfaces by dragging and dropping components from the Tool Palette to a form. Using the designers, you can create Windows Forms applications that use the extensive Visual Component Library (VCL). You can also customize your applications for different versions of Windows, including Windows Vista.
Generating and Editing Code
RAD Studio auto-generates much of your application code as soon as you begin a project. To help you complete the remaining application logic, the text-based Code Editor provides features such as refactoring, synchronized editing, code completion, recorded keystroke macros, and custom key mappings. Syntax highlighting and code folding make your code easier to read and navigate.
Compiling, Debugging, and Deploying Applications
Within the IDE, you can set compiler options, compile and run your application, and view compiler messages. RAD Studio integrates MSBuild as a build engine, and both the compile and build commands invoke MSBuild. You can explicitly run MSBuild either by using the command line, or by using the RAD Studio Command Prompt on the Start menu. The RAD Studio Command Prompt opens a command console window and automatically sets the path to point to the MSBuild excecutable and sets the environment variable BDS to point to your installation directory.
Compiler options, and several other Project > Options, can be saved as named build configurations, which you can apply to specific projects. By default, the IDE provides a Debug and a Release build configuration.
The integrated Win32 debugger helps you find and fix runtime and logic errors, control program execution, and step through code to watch variables and modify data values. RAD Studio includes InstallAware for creating Windows Installer setups.
The UML Modeling tools can help you improve the performance, effectiveness, and maintainability of your applications by creating a detailed visual design before you ever write a line of code.