The C++Builder 25th Anniversary: Visual Development, the Power of the C++ Language and 2.5 decades of Continuing Excellence

Delphi version 1 was launched at the Software Development Conference in San Francisco on February 14, 1995. I and other team members would travel around the world giving demonstrations of the IDE, Object Pascal language, VCL components and database connectivity. When Delphi was released, one of the frequently asked questions was, “where is the Borland C++ version”. At that time we were shipping Borland C++ with its support for building C++ applications, using Object Windows Library (OWL), Microsoft Foundation Classes (MFC) and other C++ libraries and code. Meanwhile, back at the Borland R&D department,  a team was busy working on what would become C++Builder.

Previews and a Release

At the Comdex expo in Las Vegas in November of 1996, in the Borland booth and in meetings, we started previewing a test version of C++Builder. Then in January 1997, we let the C++ development world know they could take part in a preview release of C++Builder. Finally, on February 23, 1997, a press release announced that C++Builder was finally available for purchase. Three editions of C++Builder were available: Standard, Professional and Client Server. C++Builder was (at that time) the only Rapid Application Development tool for C++ that combined visual component based development with the power of the C++ language.

Some Steps Leading Up To C++Builder’s release

The release of C++Builder built on top of IDE, compiler, runtime library and database access development for both the C and C++ languages. Those products included:

  • Turbo C for DOS
  • Turbo C++ for DOS and Windows
  • Borland C++ for DOS and Windows
  • Delphi versions 1 and 2

Hitting the Road with C++Builder

After the release of C++Builder version 1 we hit the road again to demonstrate C++Builder. Borland’s C and C++ developer community was finally able to take advantage of the power of the C++ language and visual component based development to build console, desktop GUI and Client/Server database applications. C++Builder version 1 supported building applications that ran on Windows 95 and Windows NT. For the next 2.5+ decades we continued to release new versions of C++Builder with ever increasing language, library, component and platform support.


The first demo we would show was a C++ version of the same first Delphi application that was shown at the launch of Delphi 1. The project contained a form with a button, edit box and list box.


The event handler code for the button click event was add the contents of the edit box to the items in the list box.


The IDE also supported integrated debugging with breakpoints, inspectors and evaluators.

C++Builder Version 1: A Short YouTube Video

I’ve put together a short video (available on YouTube) that shows building this one line C++ application using C++Builder version 1 Client Server edition running on Windows 95.

C++Builder Version 1 running on Windows 95 YouTube Video (2 minutes and 28 seconds)

The C++Builder Team Easter Egg inside the Help About Box

Just as in Delphi version 1, C++Builder 1 contained a team member easter egg in the Help About Box. Holding down the ALT key and typing the letters TEAM brought up a scrolling list of all of the team members that worked on the product including those from R&D, QA, Documentation, Localization, Product Management, Product Marketing, Marketing, Developer Support and Developer Relations.

Here is a complete list of the names that appear in the Help About Box list:

Abel Torres Alan Ellis Alastair Fyfe Alex Zou
Amber Hein Andreas Becker Anduin Withers Arlette Luccesi-Munoz
Art Davies Beatrix Duhesme Brian Falconner Brian Scardina
Bruneau Babet Cai Hong Carolyn Wiegley Celeste Crocker
Charlene McCormick Charles Gallant Charlie Calvert Charlie Payne
Chris Benson Chris Hesik Christophe Dubourg Cindy Clarke
Craig Farrell Dale Anderson Dana Jeffries Daniel Thomas
Dave Marancik David Barrios David Intersimone David Kelly
David Urbanic David Veale David Wilhelm Debbie Carson
Dennis Lucey Diane Rogers Don Dornblaser Douglas Ahlquist
Ed James Beckham Edwin DeSouza Eli Boling Ellie Peters
Eric Uber Erik Jakowitz Erin Odenweller Evan Scott
Gale Dembecki George Cross Glynne Davis Herbert Czymontek
Hiroko Yarimoto Holly MacLurie Jean-Yves Denis Jeff Brown
Jeff Cottingham Jeff Peters Jens Ole Lauridsen Jesper Schultz
Jim Hall Jody Bruner Joe Overton Joerg Weingarten
John Huang John Kline John McKloskey John Phillips
John Stillman John Thomas John Wiegley Jon Arthur
Jonah Perez Joshua Delahunty Jothy Rosenberg Judi Heher
Judy Fitzgerald Keimpe Bronkhorst Kelly Rich Kelvin Low
Kendyl Uppstrom Kirt Iverson Lee Cantey Linda Jeffries
Linda Schuh Lynda Greer Lynn Flink Mahmood Sheik
Makoto Dei Marie Huwe Mark De Visser Matt Lawrence
Matt Stave Maurice Barnum Max Cedon Merry Bolgere
Michael Cuff Michel Gerin Pat Madigan Pat Williams
Peter Sollich Peter Williams Robert Sporleder Robert West
Roland Fernandez Sergio Cardoso Shaji Thomas Shane Hausle
Shea Anderson Simon Thornhill Spencer Kimball Stacy Eggimann
Steve Sides Steven Radecki Stu Fulmer Tamara Iverson
Taylor Hutt Terri Bartos Thomas Walijew Tina Grubbe
Todd Howitt Tom Burbage Wade Evans

Additional C++Builder 25th Anniversary Links


Delphi 27th Anniversary