John Kaster

Behind the Screen

Archive for the ‘DataSnap’ Category

EDN developers through the years

with 4 comments

On November 3, 2010, I observed my thirteenth anniversary as an employee of what is now Embarcadero Technologies. This milestone has prompted me to look back on what has been my primary area of responsibility for most of this time – building, managing, maintaining, and supporting what is now the Embarcadero Developer Network (EDN).

EDN started out as the “Borland community site” back in July of 1999. It was launched at the Borland developer’s conference (BorCon ’99) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. David I used to have a  picture on his office door of the community site launch at the conference closing session, in which he and Charlie Calvert are smiling, and I am conspicuously absent, due to the slow dial-up connection I had for deploying updates to CodeCentral. (I joined the closing session about 10 seconds after it started.) Dan Miser, Chad Hower, and I did the CodeCentral updates during the conference, in lieu of sleeping. Conferences are always sleep-deprivation affairs, but 5 hours of sleep spread over 4 days is definitely not enough!

CodeCentral is the one part of EDN that preceded the community site launch at BorCon ’99. The original CodeCentral was launched in 1998 as a demonstration of MIDAS technology (now called DataSnap). I wrote CodeCentral when I was still an “Enterprise Product Manager”, responsible for database and distributed computing connectivity for Borland. It was originally intended for getting code snippets from the community, so the documentation team could use them as examples for the product documentation. (A technical writer named Nathan Tawil spent a lot of time talking with me about what CodeCentral features would help the documentation effort.)

There have been many changes, expansions, and retirements to EDN over the years. Only two things have remained the same throughout EDN’s history: David I’s tireless championing of EDN on behalf of our customers, and his internal campaigning for the resources to best support it; and my role as the architect and manager for EDN.

As can be expected from a community site originally started in 1998, many people have worked on EDN over the years, and many systems have come and gone.

In roughly chronological order, here are most of the people who have contributed to the design and development of the systems that have been part of EDN: David Intersimone, Charlie Calvert, Chris Malatesta, Ann Lynnworth, Michael Ax, Marc Ross, Rosemary Abell, Elwood Bredell, Tom Lam, Cindy Furry, Tom Gardner, Jeff Overcash, Rob Schieck, Dan Miser, Chad Hower, John Ray Thomas, Robert Love, Corbin Dunn, Anders Ohlsson, Yorai Aminov, Nick Hodges, Gillmer Derge, Leonel Togniolli, Holger Flick, Brian Layman, Lori Olson, Chris Jackson, Jonathan Benedicto, and David Clegg.

There have been many changes, and people coming and going in the last 13 years, so I am convinced I’m missing a few people. Please don’t be offended if I haven’t listed you or someone you know – just post a comment and I’ll update the list.

Wow, I can’t believe I forgot to put Leonel Togniolli in the initial list! Sorry about that, Leonel. You were a huge contributor to EDN, and I’ve listed you now.


Written by John Kaster

December 10, 2010 at 4:43 am

Posted in DataSnap, EDN

Using DataSnap/REST with QualityCentral

leave a comment »

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I’ve started writing about the process of implementing the new QualityCentral middle tier in DataSnap/REST.

This first article is an extensive introduction to DataSnap/REST that provides step-by-step details on building, debugging, and deploying a DataSnap/REST ISAPI dll: You can read it at

The second DataSnap/REST article begins the discussion of developing the new QualityCentral middle-tier. It’s called “Connections with DataSnap” and can be found at

The new middle tier is already heavily using the routines from DbxUtils.pas. I’ll be discussing some of those routines at CodeRage 5 ( on Friday Oct 8th at 9am Pacific time. (A little over 9 hours from now).

Written by John Kaster

October 7, 2010 at 11:37 pm

Korean developers brave Typhoon to see RAD Studio

leave a comment »

I was just in South Korea, participating in the launch event for RAD Studio XE. Early the morning of the event Typhoon Kompasu hit South Korea. It’s been called the worst typhoon to hit South Korea in 10 years. I extend my condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the typhoon. I would also like to thank our very dedicated and enthusiastic Korean Delphi and C++Builder developers (about 180 of them) who still made it to the RAD Studio launch event. That shows some real dedication. We had more than twice that many people register for the event, so I’m hoping we can get the rest to come see the XE version another time soon.

Agenda slide

The agenda for the talk

In my presentation, I spoke briefly about Embarcadero and what we’re doing, provided the RAD Studio overview, and demonstrated what’s new in the products. My talk was translated from English to Korean. Other parts of the launch were covered by Korean speakers ,so they could cover more material faster. I do appreciate the audience’s attention while listening to the serial translation.

Debugger features

Demonstrating new debugger features

Talking about Help Insight - an unfamiliar feature

The other speakers were WK Kim, Jun Kim, and Jeehoon Imp Park. WK Kim discussed DataSnap and the new cloud development features of XE. Jun Kim discussed agile methodologies in general. Jeehoon Imp Park demonstrated AQTime, CodeSite, and FinalBuilder.

Jeehoon, WK Kim, and me

The people at DevGear, our partner in Korea, are really great. They organized and put on a great event, even in the aftermath of a typhoon.

DevGear staff

WK Kim is crouching directly in front of me (in the blue jeans). Beomyong Park (the head of DevGear) is to my left, and Jeehoon is next to him.

Next stop, Mumbai, India!

Written by John Kaster

September 4, 2010 at 5:45 am