The book is divided into four parts:
Part I, "Foundations," introduces new features of the Delphi 7 Integrated Development Environment (IDE) in Chapter 1, then moves to the Delphi language and to the run-time library (RTL) and Visual Component Library (VCL). Four chapters in this part provide both foundations and coverage of the most commonly used controls, the development of advanced user interfaces, and the use of forms.
Part II, "Delphi Object-Oriented Architectures," covers the architecture of Delphi applications, the development of custom components, the use of libraries and packages, modeling with ModelMaker, and COM+.
Part III, "Delphi Database-Oriented Architectures," covers plain database access, in-depth coverage of the data-aware controls, client/server programming, dbExpress, InterBase, ADO, DataSnap, the development of custom data-aware controls and data sets, and reporting.
Part IV, "Delphi, the Internet, and a .NET Preview," first discusses TCP/IP sockets, Internet protocols and Indy, then moves on to specific areas like web server-side extensions (with WebBroker, WebSnap, and IntraWeb), and finishes with XML and the development of web services.
As this brief summary suggests, the book covers topics of interest to Delphi users at nearly all levels of programming expertise, from "advanced beginners" to component developers.
In this book, I've tried to skip reference material almost completely and focus instead on techniques for using Delphi effectively. Because Delphi provides extensive online documentation, to include lists of methods and properties of components in the book would not only be superfluous, it would also make it obsolete as soon as the software changes slightly. I suggest that you read this book with the Delphi Help files at hand, to have reference material readily available.
However, I've done my best to allow you to read the book away from a computer if you prefer. Screen images and the key portions of the listings should help in this direction. The book uses just a few conventions to make it more readable. All the source code elements, such as keywords, properties, classes, and functions, appear in this font, and code excerpts are formatted as they appear in the Delphi editor, with boldfaced keywords and italic comments.