Of all the recent features of Delphi, one stands out clearly: the support for web services built into the product. The fact that I'm discussing it near the end of the book has nothing to do with its importance, but only with the logical flow of the text, and with the fact that this is not the starting point from which to learn Delphi programming.
The topic of web services is broad and involves many technologies and business-related standards. As usual, I'll focus on the underlying Delphi implementation and the technical side of web services, rather than discuss the larger picture and business implications.
This chapter is also relevant because Delphi 7 adds a lot of power to the implementation of web services provided by Delphi 6, including support for attachments, custom headers, and much more. You'll see how to create a web service client and a web service server, and also how to move database data over SOAP using the DataSnap technology.