ProDelphi - Features

Last Update of this page: April/3/2002

Action controlled measurement:
Measurement can be switched on and off dynamically by entering and finishing a procedure or function. This can be activated user friendly by a selection form (for fast changing the activation points) or by special comments or API-calls in the source files (if permanently the same points shall be used for a long period). Activation by API-calls was availlable since release 3.0 already but was and is not very user friendly.

Compiler versions:
ProDelphi supports Delphi 2/3/4/5/6.

Conditional compilation:
Fully supported. Compiler symbols and switches are read from the compilers option file (DOF).

Coverage profiling:
A browser can display all methods which were not called. (For a line-by-line coverage tool have a look at my link page).

Customer suggestions:
Many customer suggestions have been implemented in ProDelphi in the last versions.

Cyclic storage of measurement results:
Measurements can be stored cyclically (activated by online operation window). With the viewer one be scrolled through the different measurements.

ProDelphi comes with a real User Guide (and not with slim online help).

Emulation profiling:
The measured results can be recalculated for a faster or slower PC. So it's e.g. not necessary to have a customers PC for the development process. By entering a speed constant and the number of MHz'es the other PC can be emulated. Of course the results are not as accurate as they are with measuring on the original equipment.

Exclusion of parts of the program from measurement:


Units or Include files: Parts of a unit or an include file: Automatic exclusion: Freeware mode:
ProDelphi can be executed in Freeware or Professional mode.

ProDelphi measure in CPU-cycles. The smallest measurable unit is 1 CPU-cycle. This means that on a Pentium with 500 MHz the smallest measurable duration is 0.002 µs

Handling of idle times:
Idle times produced by some Windows-API calls are not measured, also idle times of some Delphi calls. See list of handled functions in the manual.

Homepage of ProDelphi:

History function:
ProDelphi comes with a built-in history function. The viewer shows by a colored grid, which functions got faster and which got slower since the last storing of results into the history file. By a mouse click on a result line of the viewers grid, the time from the history file is displayed for the selected procedure.

Industrial approvement:
ProDelphi was used to optimize the SIEMENS - SCADA-system VICOS P500 for the projects Metro Guang Zhou,  Shen Zhen and Sixth Railways in China.

Integration into the Delphi tools menu:
If ProDelphi is installed with the setup program, it is automatically integrated into the Delphi tools menu.

Limitations of size:
There's no size limitation for a method to be profiled !

Local Procedures:
Fully supported.

Measuring programs with threads:
Fully supported, but with less accuracy than for single threaded applications.

Measuring runtimes in DLL's:
Fully supported

Measurement accuracy:
ProDelphi measures very accurately. The measurement overhead is automatically removed from the measured times. A sophisticated algorithym calculates the runtime used for measurement at initialization time. You can easily check the accuracy of ProDelphi by downloading the profiler tester. It consists of two programs: One measures automatically the run-time of a few procedures and displays the result. The second program uses the same procedures without measuring, it has to be profiled. The user can compare the results of the measurement with ProDelphi and those of the self measuring program.

The accuracy is the same for very small ore very large methods: measurement differs only a few cycles from the not measured method !

Measurement results:
The measured durations are displayed either in CPU-Cycles or in a variable time format. Following time formats are automatically selected:

Multiple profiling directories:
Fully supported. ProDelphi reads the options file (DOF) of Delphi and automatically scans all directories in the search path + the directory of the DPR-file.

Object orientation:
Specially supported by the feature of adding the runtimes of all methods with the same name (if the used object is the same).
Example: A method 'LoadFromDisk' calls the method 'LoadFromDisk' of the inherited class. In this case the runtimes of both classes will be added.

Online operating the measurement:
Measurement can be switched on and off at the programs runtime, also results can be stored online. This speeds up the opimization process.

Operating systems:
ProDelphi is compatible to Windows 95/98/ME/NT4 and Windows 2000.

Measurement of runtime costs measurement overhead. This is another point, like measurement accuracy, where ProDelphi can show its outstanding quality.

Post Mortem Review:
Instead of vaccinating (instrumenting) the sources with statements for runtime measurement, it can be vaccinated with statements for exception trapping. In case of an exception occuring the call stack is stored into a file inclusive the name of the exception. The program can be delivered in an instrumented form to a customer. Just in case of sporadic exceptions this is very comfortable and the source code does not have to be delivered together with the Delphi-IDE.

Professional mode:
ProDelphi can be executed in Freeware or Professional mode.

Profiler type:
ProDelphi is a source instrumenting profiler. Source instrumenting has the big advantage, that at the best position possible a time stamp can be taken: At the start and the end of the procedure body. No profiler internal code outside the procedure is called before taking the time stamp. No profiler code has possibly to be copied into processor cache before taking the time stamp (which destroys the accuracy). The normal instruction flow (nearly identical as without profiling) is kept. This is one of the reasons for ProDelphi's outstanding accuaracy.

Sampling profilers: with a low sampling rate small procedures can not be measured, with a high sampling rate the profiled program has to be interrupted very often, what means, that the runtime behaviour of the tested program is changed very much.

Measurement can be switched on and off at runtime. Intermediate results can be stored on disk.

The built in viewer can print the measurement results on any windows printer. This enables the user to document his success in optimizing.

ProDelphi inserts statements into the source files. If this process has a bug or in case of power failure, the sources might be destroyed. It is strongly recommended to save all source code files before profiling (e.g. by WinZip).

ProDelphi is delivered with a easy to use setup program. It copies all files into the appropriate directories, integrates ProDelphi into the Delphi tools menu and creates an entry in the Windows list of programs (Start menu / Programs).

Switching on and off of measurement:
Simply done by deleting a compiler symbol and recompilation. At runtime this is also possible by the online operation window. Also intermediate measurement results can be stored at runtime (see also Programming-API).

Upgrading to professional mode:
If you decide to use ProDelphi, you can download any upgrade or bugfix from my homepage. If you need ProDelphi for a larger project and 30 measured procedures are not enough for you, you can order a registration key and install it. After that ProDelphi is executed automatically in the professional mode. The registration key is available via ShareIt registration service.

Updating policy:
Updates or upgrades are generally free, also if the upgrading is done to apply to a new version of Delphi for windows (Buy one - get many).

Viewing of measurement results:
Results can be either displayed in CPU-cycles or in a variable time format. On a pentium with 500 MHz the smallest time unit is 0.002µs.
ProDelphi has THREE possibilities of viewing the measured runtimes:

The viewer can automatically exclude methods with a very low runtime from result displaying.

Y2K compliance:
ProDelphi is fully Year 2000 compliant

Differences between Freeware and Professional mode: