Frameworks and Libraries

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A framework is software that you can customize and extend to fit your needs.
A library is a collection of implementations of subroutines, classes, etc. that you can reuse to develop software.

RAD Studio provides several frameworks and libraries that you can use to build your applications. For reference documentation, see the API Reference.

Application Frameworks

Application frameworks are frameworks that you can use to create applications.

One application can only use one application framework. You cannot use more than one application framework to build a single application. Before you start developing an application, you must decide which application framework you want to use.

GUI Application Frameworks

RAD Studio provides two different application frameworks to build graphical user interface (GUI) applications: the VCL and FireMonkey. For more information, see GUI Application Frameworks.

Multi-Tier Application Frameworks

RAD Studio provides the following application frameworks to create multi-tier applications:

Framework Description

Enterprise Mobility Services (EMS)

Mobile enterprise application platform (MEAP) that you can host in the cloud or on the premises, to expose custom REST APIs and enterprise database data.


Framework to allow client applications to access data and run subroutines of server applications that are on a common network.

Internet Application Frameworks

RAD Studio provides the following application frameworks to create internet applications:

Framework Description

Web Broker

Components to create web servers that can generate content, such as HTML or XML documents, as a response to a request URI.


Create web applications visually.


You can use the following libraries in any application:

Native APIs of Platforms

RAD Studio provides units (Delphi) and header files (C++) that you can use to access the native API of the platform where your application is running:

  • Delphi: C:\Program Files (x86)\Embarcadero\Studio\21.0\source
  • C++: C:\Program Files (x86)\Embarcadero\Studio\21.0\include
Note: To make your code more portable and maintainable, use the RTL or your GUI framework instead of a native API of a specific platform.

The Tools API

RAD Studio provides its own API, the Tools API, which allows you to extend the IDE with new features.

See Also