Getting Started


This page contains a quick introduction to setting up and using the InterBase Data Access Components library. It gives a walkthrough of each part of the IBDAC usage process and points out the most relevant related topics in this documentation reference.

What is IBDAC?

InterBase Data Access Components (IBDAC) is a component library that provides direct connectivity to InterBase and Firebird for Delphi, C++Builder, and Lazarus (FPC), and helps you develop fast InterBase-based database applications with these environments.

Many IBDAC classes are based on VCL, LCL and FireMonkey classes and interfaces. IBDAC is a replacement for the Borland Database Engine and InterBase Express, provides native database connectivity, and is specifically designed as an interface to the InterBase and Firebird databases.

An introduction to IBDAC is provided in the Overview section.

A list of the IBDAC features you may find useful is listed in the Features section.

An overview of the IBDAC component classes is provided in the Components List section.

Installing IBDAC

To install IBDAC, complete the following steps.

  1. Choose and download the version of the IBDAC installation program that is compatible with your IDE. For instance, if you are installing IBDAC 2.00, you should use the following files:

    For BDS 2006 and Turbo - ibdac200d10*.exe
    For Delphi 7 - ibdac200d7*.exe

    For more information, visit the the IBDAC download page.

  2. Close all running IDE's.
  3. Launch the IBDAC installation program you downloaded in the first step and follow the instructions to install IBDAC.

By default, the IBDAC installation program should install compiled IBDAC libraries automatically on all IDEs.

To check that IBDAC has been installed properly, launch your IDE and make sure that an IBDAC page has been added to the Component palette and that an IBDAC menu was added to the Menu bar.

If you have bought IBDAC Professional Edition with Source Code, you will be able to download both the compiled version of IBDAC and the IBDAC source code. The installation process for the compiled version is standard, as described above.The IBDAC source code must be compiled and installed manually. Consult the supplied ReadmeSrc.html file for more details.

To find out what gets installed with IBDAC or to troubleshoot your IBDAC installation, visit the Installation topic.

Working with the IBDAC demo projects

The IBDAC installation package includes a number of demo projects that demonstrate IBDAC capabilities and use patterns. The IBDAC demo projects are automatically installed in the IBDAC installation folder.

To quickly get started working with IBDAC, launch and explore the introductory IBDAC demo project, IbDacDemo, from your IDE. This demo project is a collection of demos that show how IBDAC can be used. The project creates a form which contains an explorer panel for browsing the included demos and a view panel for launching and viewing the selected demo.

IbDacDemo Walkthrough

  1. Launch your IDE.
  2. Choose File | Open Project from the menu bar
  3. Find the IBDAC directory and open the IbDacDemo project. This project should be located in the Demos\IbDacDemo folder.

    For example, if you are using Borland Developer Studio 2006, the demo project may be found at  

    \Program Files\Devart\IBDAC for Delphi 2006\Demos\Win32\IbDacDemo\IbDacDemo.bdsproj

  4. Select Run | Run or press F9 to compile and launch the demo project. IbDacDemo should start, and a full-screen IBDAC Demo window with a toolbar, an explorer panel, and a view panel will open. The explorer panel will contain a list of all the demo sub-projects included in IbDacDemo, and the view panel will contain an overview of each included demo.

    At this point, you will be able to browse through the available demos, read their descriptions, view their source code, and see the functionality provided by each demo for interacting with InterBase. However, you will not be able to actually retrieve data from InterBase or execute commands until you connect to the database.

  5. Click on the "Connect" button in the IbDacDemo toolbar. A Connect dialog box will open. Enter the connection parameters you use to connect to your InterBase server and click "Connect" in the dialog box.

    Note: For this step to work properly, you must have the InterBase Client installed.

    Now you have a fully functional interface to your InterBase server. You will be able to go through the different demos, to browse tables, create and drop objects, and execute DSQL commands.

    Warning! All changes you make to the database you are connected to, including creating and dropping objects used by the demo, will be permanent. Make sure you specify a test database in the connection step.

  6. Click on the "Create" button to create all the objects that will be used by IbDacDemo. If some of these objects already exist in the database you have connected to, the following error message will appear.

    "An error has occurred:
    unsuccessful metadata update
    Table DEPT already exists
    You can manually create objects required for demo by using the following file: %IBDAC%\Demos\InstallDemoObjects.sql
    %IBDAC% is the IBDAC installation path on your computer.
    Ignore this exception?"

    This is a standard warning from the object execution script. Click "Yes to All" to ignore this message. IbDacDemo will create the IbDacDemo objects on the server you have connected to.

  7. Choose a demo that demonstrates an aspect of working with InterBase that you are interested in, and play with the demo frame in the view window on the right. For example, to find out more about how to work with InterBase tables, select the Table demo from the "Working with Components" folder. A simple InterBase table browser will open in the view panel which will let you open a table in your database by specifying its name and clicking on the Open button.
  8. Click on the "Demo source" button in the IbDacDemo toolbar to find out how the demo you have selected was implemented. The source code behind the demo project will appear in the view panel. Try to find the places where IBDAC components are used to connect to the database.
  9. Click on the "Form as text" button in the IbDacDemo toolbar to view the code behind the interface to the demo. Try to find the places where IBDAC components are created on the demo form.
  10. Repeat these steps for other demos listed in the explorer window. The available demos are organized in three folders.

    Working with components

    A collection of projects that show how to work with the basic IBDAC components.

    General demos

    A collection of projects that show off the IBDAC technology and demonstrate some ways to work with data.

    InterBase-specific demos

    A collection of projects that demonstrate how to incorporate InterBase/Firebird features in database applications.

  11. When you are finished working with the project, click on the "Drop" button in the IbDacDemo toolbar to remove all the schema objects added in Step 6.

Other IBDAC demo projects

IBDAC is accompanied by a number of other demo projects.  A description of all the IBDAC demos is located in the Demo Projects topic.

Compiling and deploying your IBDAC project

Compiling IBDAC-based projects

By default, to compile a project that uses IBDAC classes, your IDE compiler needs to have access to the IBDAC dcu (obj) files. If you are compiling with runtime packages, the compiler will also need to have access to the IBDAC bpl files. All the appropriate settings for both of these scenarios should take place automatically during  the installation of IBDAC. You should only need to modify your environment manually if you are using one of the IBDAC editions that comes with source code - IBDAC Professional Edition with Source Code.

You can check that your environment is properly configured by trying to compile one of the IBDAC demo projects. If you have no problems compiling and launching the IBDAC demos, your environment is properly configured.

For more information about which library files and environment changes are needed for compiling IBDAC-based projects, consult the Installation topic.

Deploying IBDAC-based projects

To deploy an application that uses IBDAC, you will need to make sure the target workstation has access to the following files.

If you are evaluating deploying projects with IBDAC Trial Edition, you will also need to deploy some additional bpl files with your application even if you are compiling without runtime packages. As another trial limitation for C++Builder, applications written with IBDAC Trial Edition for C++Builder will only work if the C++Builder IDE is launched. More information about IBDAC Trial Edition limitations is provided here.

A list of the files which may need to be deployed with IBDAC-based applications is included in the Deployment topic.

Using the IBDAC documentation

The IBDAC documentation describes how to install and configure IBDAC, how to use IBDAC Demo Projects, and how to use the IBDAC libraries.

The IBDAC documentation includes a detailed reference of all IBDAC components and classes. Many of the IBDAC components and classes inherit or implement members from other VCL, LCL and FireMonkey classes and interfaces. The product documentation also includes a summary of all members within each of these classes. To view a detailed description of a particular component, look it up in the Components List section. To find out more about a specific standard VCL/LCL class an IBDAC component is inherited from, see the corresponding topic in your IDE documentation.

At install time, the IBDAC documentation is integrated into your IDE. It can be invoked from the IBDAC menu added to the Menu Bar, or by pressing F1 in an object inspector or on a selected code segment.

How to get help with IBDAC

There are a number of resources for finding help on using IBDAC classes in your project.

For more information, consult the Getting Support topic.

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