Delphi Programming Guide
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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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Handling Attachments

One of the most important features Borland added to Delphi 7 is full support for SOAP attachments. Attachments in SOAP allow you to send data other than XML text, such as binary files or images. In Delphi, attachments are managed through streams. You can read or indicate the type of attachment encoding, but the transformation of a raw stream of bytes into and from a given encoding is up to your code. This process isn't too complex, though, if you consider that Indy includes a number of encoding components.

As an example of how to use attachments, I've written a program that forwards the binary content of a ClientDataSet (also hosts images) or one of the images alone. The server has the following interface:

  ISoapFish = interface(IInvokable)
    function GetCds: TSoapAttachment; stdcall;
    function GetImage(fishName: string): TSoapAttachment; stdcall;

The implementation of the GetCds method uses a ClientDataSet that refers to the classic BIOLIFE table, creates a memory stream, copies the data to it, and then attaches the stream to the TSoapAttachment result:

function TSoapFish.GetCds: TSoapAttachment; stdcall;
  memStr: TMemoryStream;
  Result := TSoapAttachment.Create;
  memStr := TMemoryStream.Create;
  WebModule2.cdsFish.SaveToStream(MemStr); // binary
  Result.SetSourceStream (memStr, soReference);

On the client side, I prepared a form with a ClientDataSet component connected to a DBGrid and a DBImage. All you have to do is grab the SOAP attachment, save it to a temporarily in-memory stream, and then copy the data from the memory stream to the local ClientDataSet:

procedure TForm1.btnGetCdsClick(Sender: TObject);
  sAtt: TSoapAttachment;
  memStr: TMemoryStream;
  nRead := 0;
  sAtt := (HttpRio1 as ISoapFish).GetCds;
    memStr := TMemoryStream.Create;
      memStr.Position := 0;
    DeleteFile (sAtt.CacheFile);

By default, SOAP attachments received by a client are saved to a temporary file, referenced by the CacheFile property of the TSOAPAttachment object. If you don't delete this file it will remain in a folder that hosts temporary files.

This code produces the same visual effect as a client application loading a local file into a ClientDataSet, as you can see in Figure 23.7. In this SOAP client I used an HTTPRIO component explicitly to be able to monitor the incoming data (which will possibly be very large and slow); for this reason, I set a global nRead variable to zero before invoking the remote method. In the OnReceivingData event of the HTTPRIO object's HTTPWebNode property, you add the data received to the nRead variable. The Read and Total parameters passed to the event refer to the specific block of data sent over a socket, so they are almost useless by themselves to monitor progress:

procedure TForm1.HTTPRIO1HTTPWebNode1ReceivingData(
  Read, Total: Integer);
  Inc (nRead, Read);
  StatusBar1.SimpleText := IntToStr (nRead);
Click To expand
Figure 23.7: The FishClient example receives a binary ClientDataSet within a SOAP attachment.

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