This blog post is the beginning of the "Learn to Program in Delphi"
series. We are expecting that you have some previous experience in
programming, but not in Delphi. In this five part series we are going to
take you through the process of building a simple "calculator"
In the 21st century programming is an art that is really useful to
master. It can be very very useful to know how to write a computer
program to solve a certain task, especially when you are a student.
Programming will also make you smarter because it teaches how to think
in a more organized way.
You need to have a program in which you are going to write your
programs. This is called an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and
was invented many years ago with the ancient ancestor of Delphi called
Turbo Pascal that combined together three previously separate programs -
compiler, code editor and debugger - into one integrated programming
environment. You can start learning programming using just Notepad and
command line compilers but in the longer run it is not the most
productive environment. With the IDE you get a lot of help like syntax
checking of your code as you type and much more. Why not be like a pro?
Today we are going to start learning to program in the Object Pascal
language used in Delphi Community Edition’s IDE. Object Pascal is
probably the best choice to start with programming. From the very
beginning it was designed for teaching good programming practices. Over
time it grew up as the language of choice for building all kinds of
software from Internet communicators like Skype to professional music
production like FL Studio.
Today let's just focus on downloading and installing Delphi Community Edition. In the next post, we will go into writing your first lines of code.
Installing Delphi Community Edition
Let's get started! You will need a computer or laptop with Windows,
because Delphi itself is Windows program. You can build applications for
Windows, mac OS, Android and iOS with Delphi Community Edition. You
only need to learn one language, get familiar with just one development
environment and you can natively compile your projects to all major
desktop and mobile platforms.
The first step is to download Delphi Community Edition, which is free
to developers and organizations with less than $5000 USD in revenue
(view the license restrictions). (Don’t qualify for Delphi Community
Edition? You can complete this series with a FREE 30 DAY Trial of RAD
Studio.) You will then receive an automatically generated email with
your own serial number and the download link to the installer program.
The installer is about 182 MB in size. You need to download and run it.
You will need to have an Internet connection because the installer will
be downloading installation files from the internet. On one of the first
screens there will be an opportunity for you to enter the serial number
that you have received. The next step is to select which platforms and
optional features you want to install, as shown in the image below. You
can pick only a few and get back to install more later, directly in the
In a few minutes (mostly depending on the features and platforms you
select) you should have the development environment ready to start
working, and it's community splash screen:
In Part 2 of this series, we will start writing our first programs!
Before we actually start programming, let's make sure there is a clear
understanding of who can use Delphi Community Edition
But What is Delphi Community Edition?
What is Delphi Community Edition? Is it free? Can it be used commercially? Can I use it as a student?
Put simply, yes (with caveats) for all three.
Delphi Community Edition is intended to get people started with
Delphi, and that can be either getting started with programming in
general - such as a student - or for starting something else, such as
writing software for your startup company. It has the same features as
our Professional Edition, but with a restricted commercial license
That's enough to learn to program, or to write a saleable Windows or
mobile application. If you are a startup, you can do almost all your
development for no cost at all.
The only license restriction is based on revenue. This isn't legal
advice - please read the EULA - but once your revenues reach $5000 USD
(or local equivalent), or you have 5+ developers, you are required to
So if you're a hobbyist? It's free. Enjoy!
If you're a student? It's free. Enjoy!
If you're a startup? It's free, but once you start making sales and
get incoming revenue of $5000 USD or more, you need to move to
Professional or above.
If you're an existing company? You may not be able to comply with
the revenue and team size license limitation, and you'd have to use a
commercial version of Delphi Professional, Enterprise or Architect.
Remember there is always the fully-featured RAD Studio trial version if
you just want to try Delphi out for free for a limited time.
Delphi Community Edition is to help you get started. If you're using
it and start making money, purchase Pro or higher editions; if you
aren't, it remains free. Either way we're very glad you're using our
products, and this series of blogs is a great resource to get you
What if I don’t Qualify for Delphi Community Edition?