Delphi Client/Server includes everything from Delphi Desktop, plus the following:
- SQL-Links 2.5, which includes native client drivers for Oracle, Sybase, Informix, and InterBase, and includes full royalty-free redistribution rights to those drivers, and which costs $995 if bought separately;
- The Local InterBase Deployment Kit, $495 ;
- ReportSmith/SQL, $300;
- "Team development support" -- interoperation with PVCS (obviously, this is no use to you if you don't own PVCS), not available separately;
- The visual query builder, which creates SQL statements for you, also not available separately;
- The VCL source code, which is available separately for $100.
Using regular, non-client/server Delphi, I have developed an application that talks to a Sybase server using ODBC drivers. I didn't have to go to any serious trouble getting it to work, and data access speed is quite acceptable, better than it was under Visual Basic.
Delphi is the descendant of Turbo Pascal, which was first released in 1983 for the CP/M operating system. Turbo Pascal was ported to MS-DOS in early 1984. During the early history of the IBM PC, Turbo Pascal was arguably the most popular language for serious development work--mostly because it was a real compiler, including the program editor and everything, that cost $19.95 and would run on a 64k machine. Borland introduced Turbo Pascal for Windows in 1990. The latest release of Borland Pascal (as it is now called), not including Delphi, was version 7.0 in late 1992.
If you are in the US, You can order Delphi Desktop on CD-ROM for an introductory price of $199 by calling Borland's credit card order desk at 1-800-331-0877. If you are a registered user of any version of Turbo Pascal or Borland Pascal, you qualify for an upgrade price of $149, and you can also buy the Visual Component Library Source Code for $49. The introductory pricing is good through approximately May 15, 1995; after that, the price will be raised to $495. Delphi Client/Server is $1999.
Of course, if you buy through a reseller, you will probably pay less. According to Borland, "Delphi is available through the following US resellers: CompUSA, Best Buy, Elek-Tek, Computer City, Babbages, Software Etc., Fry's, Electronics Boutique, Corporate Software, ASAP Software Express, Egghead Software, Softmart, Software Spectrum, CDW, PC Connection, Programmer's Paradise, Programmer's Warehouse, ProVantage Shop, and Micro Warehouse."
Borland will ship Delphi on 3.5" floppy diskettes, but they charge extra for them. The resellers I have spoken to only carry the CD-ROM version because they don't want to have to stock two different items. I got my copy on CD, but the CD has directories on it called DISK1 through DISK15, so I assume it would be 15 diskettes if you got it that way. If you don't get the CD, you won't get the stuff they use to fill up space on the CD, like an AVI file of an animated spinning Delphi logo.