Delphi Programming Guide
Delphi Programmer 

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Part I - Foundations
  Chapter 1 – Delphi 7 and Its IDE
  Chapter 2 – The Delphi Programming Language
  Chapter 3 – The Run-Time Library
  Chapter 4 – Core Library classes
  Chapter 5 – Visual Controls
  Chapter 6 – Building the User Interface
  Chapter 7 – Working with Forms
Part II - Delphi Object-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 8 – The Architecture of Delphi Applications
  Chapter 9 – Writing Delphi Components
  Chapter 10 – Libraries and Packages
  Chapter 11 – Modeling and OOP Programming (with ModelMaker)
  Chapter 12 – From COM to COM+
Part III - Delphi Database-Oriented Architectures
  Chapter 13 – Delphi's Database Architecture
  Chapter 14 – Client/Server with dbExpress
  Chapter 15 – Working with ADO
  Chapter 16 – Multitier DataSnap Applications
  Chapter 17 – Writing Database Components
  Chapter 18 – Reporting with Rave
Part IV - Delphi, the Internet, and a .NET Preview
  Chapter 19 – Internet Programming: Sockets and Indy
  Chapter 20 – Web Programming with WebBroker and WebSnap
  Chapter 21 – Web Programming with IntraWeb
  Chapter 22 – Using XML Technologies
  Chapter 23 – Web Services and SOAP
  Chapter 24 – The Microsoft .NET Architecture from the Delphi Perspective
  Chapter 25 – Delphi for .NET Preview: The Language and the RTL
  Appendix A – Extra Delphi Tools by the Author
  Appendix B – Extra Delphi Tools from Other Sources
  Appendix C – Free Companion Books on Delphi
  List of Figures    
  List of tables    
  List of Listings    
  List of Sidebars  

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Creating MDI Applications

MDI (Multiple Document Interface) is a common approach for an application's structure. An MDI application is made up of several forms that appear inside a single main form. If you use Windows Notepad, you can open only one text document, because Notepad isn't an MDI application. But with your favorite word processor, you can probably open several different documents, each in its own child window, because the word processor is an MDI application. All these document windows are usually held by a frame, or application, window.


Increasingly, Microsoft is departing from the MDI model stressed in Windows 3 days. Even recent versions of Office tend to use a specific main window for every document: the classic SDI (Single Document Interface) approach. However, MDI isn't dead and can sometimes be a useful structure, as demonstrated by browsers like Opera and Mozilla.

MDI in Windows: A Technical Overview

The MDI structure gives programmers several benefits automatically. For example, Windows handles a list of the child windows in one of an MDI application's pull-down menus, and specific Delphi methods activate the corresponding MDI functionality to tile or cascade the child windows. The following is the technical structure of an MDI application in Windows:

  • The main window of the application acts as a frame or a container.

  • A special window, known as the MDI client, covers the whole client area of the frame window. This MDI client is one of the Windows predefined controls, just like an edit box or a list box. The MDI client window lacks any specific user-interface element, but it is visible. You can change the standard system color of the MDI work area (called the Application Background) in the Appearance page of the Display Properties dialog box in Windows.

  • There are multiple child windows, of the same kind or of different kinds. These child windows are not placed in the frame window directly, but each is defined as a child of the MDI client window, which in turn is a child of the frame window.

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