Windows Programming

Atlantis Consulting has been developing Windows software since 1992. Windows is by far, the most pervasive operating system used on personal computers world-wide. The Windows Server operating systems are the backbone of most corporate networks, and many services including database servers, print servers, and the storage and retrieval of user files are run from these Windows servers.

Windows is a mixed blessing to the software developer. It is a wildly-complex platform which is further complicated by it's closed, proprietary nature. Windows is viewed from the developer's standpoint, as a mixed collection of objects and functions, called the Windows Application Programming Interface or Windows API. The Windows API is large and takes a lot of time and experience to master. The good news however is that is it is possible to use high-level programming languages, which provide prefabricated, reuseable objects called classes, to make development a matter of building with "large blocks" rather than small.

The same languages discussed on the Unix Programming page have been ported to Windows, and work the same, though due to the graphical nature of Windows, and availability of Rapid Application Development (RAD) tools, are less commonly used on the Windows platform.

Atlantis Consulting specialized in Windows programs written in the Delphi programming language, a product of Borland International. Delphi allows high-level programming techniques to be mixed with extremely low-level programming. It provides a similar level of fine-control to the C programming language, while providing the high-level building blocks needed to reduce development time. Delphi programs tend to be larger than equivalent programs written in C (C++ is actually more common than it's famous brother, C, in Windows environments), but execute as quickly. Delphi programs can be developed as quickly as Visual Basic programs, but are smaller and execute more quickly.

Microsoft Visual BASIC is a popular RAD development tool, especially popular among programmers new to the Windows platform. BASIC is an acronym for Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code, a language initially developed in 1964 and made immortal by Microsoft's own Bill Gates and Paul Allen by it's inclusion in some of the first Personal Computers by Altair and IBM. BASIC was originally developed to be an interpreted language but has now evolved to the point where compilation is desired, to add speed. Visual BASIC has the advantages of rapid development, and a large installed base. In Addition, a subset of BASIC is available for macro-programming in the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, and Access) called Application BASIC. Visual BASIC's shortcomings are in speed and memory/object management.

The Windows platform is rich in available programming tools. Discussion of which programming language is better, can quickly take on the fervor of a religious debate. Realistically, which programming tool the developer chooses, is ultimately less important than his or her proficiency in application design, business process analysis, and documentation habits. Whatever your programming language requirements, Atlantis Consulting can provide the finest quality programming and process analysis.

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