ProDelphi - Features

Last Update of this page: January/1/2006

Action controlled measurement:
Measurement can be switched on and off dynamically by entering and finishing a procedure or a function. This can be activated user friendly by a selection form (for fast changing the activation points), by special comments and by 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.

With one profiling session the number of calls for a method (call count profiling), the average runtime of a method (function profiling),  function coverage profiling and emulation profiling can be performed. When developing ProDelphi, the philosophy was (and is) to develop a high precision profiling tool (thats why it is neither a sampling  nor a machine code instrumenting profiler) and to produce a minimum of overhead (that's why there is no line profiling mode). See also Profiler type.

Call graphs:
A graph shows by who a procedure is called and which procedure it is calling. It also shows how often this happened and the time consumed when processing these calls. By clicking on the procedure symbol a quick following the execution path of the application as well as opening the approrpriate source file in the editor (Delphi 5 or better) is possible.

Compiler versions:
ProDelphi supports Delphi 2..7, 2005 and 2006. Upgrades for future windows versions of Delphi will be cost free (except the version for Delphi.Net).

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

Also symbols and switches in the source file are processed. They are valid for the processed file and included files only.

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).

Cross platform profiling:
ProDelphi can read units that have been developped under Kylix (the Linux version of Delphi). It can handle VCL applications as well as CLX applications.

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 it can 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 version:
The Freeware Version can be downloaded from the ProDelphi homepage and numerous other download sites.
The Professional Version can be ordered at ShareIt software registration service and is sent by e-mail.
(See also 'Differences between Freeware- and Professional mode').

ProDelphi measures in CPU-cycles. The smallest measurable unit is 1 CPU-cycle. This means that on a Pentium with 1000 MHz the smallest measurable duration is 0.001 µs = 1ns.

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.

ProDelphi supports Pentium and Pentium compatible processors.
It was tested on following AMD processors: K6, K6/2, K6/3, Athlon, Duron
It was tested on following Intel processors: Pentium Overdrive, II, III, IV, Celeron and Centrino.
It was tested with PC66, PC100, PC133 and PC2100 memory.
For the profiling session 32 MB RAM is used additionally by 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. Multiple history files can be stored.

History of ProDelphi:
Release 1 issued 9/97, Release 3.1 with granularity of 1 CPU cycle published 5/98 on Torry's Delphi pages. Permanent improvement since then, many customer suggestions implemented.

Industrial approvement:
ProDelphi was first used to optimize the SIEMENS - SCADA-system VICOS P500 for the projects Metro Guang Zhou,  Shen Zhen and Sixth Railways in China. Other projects followed later (e.g. Melbourne).

Integration into the Delphi IDE:
If ProDelphi is installed with the setup program, it is automatically integrated into the Delphi tools menu. Also an interface to Delphi is installed, so that a unit can be opened in Delphi by clicking with the mouse into the viewer window of ProDelphi. The editor will display the measured procedure after that. (This feature is availlable if used with Delphi 5 or above).

In the professional mode the user part of libraries can be profiled.

There are no limitations regarding size or accuracy: Even the smallest procedures are measured accurate, there is no minimum size required for a procedure to be measured.

Line profiling:
Line profiling is not supported. This has two reasons: Counting runtimes for lines changes the instruction processing of the CPU so much, that no useful results can be expected. Counting runtime for lines also slows down a program too much.

Local Procedures:
Can optionally be excluded from measurement..

Measuring parts of procedures:
By special comments extra measurement points inside procedures can be defined.

Measuring runtimes in DLL's:
Fully supported. Program and DLL can be measured simultaneously.

Measurement accuracy:
ProDelphi measures very accurately. The measurement overhead is automatically removed from the measured times. A sophisticated algorithm calculates the runtime used for measurement at initialization time. Nested function calls are no problem for ProDelphi. You can easily check the accuracy of ProDelphi with 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. You can compare the results of the measurement with ProDelphi (or any other profiler) and those of the self measuring program.

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

For all methods the time for a single call and the runtime sum is displayed (also additionally with included child times).

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 optional 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.

Operating systems:
ProDelphi is compatible to Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP/Server 2003. All functions are available on all platforms.

Optimization option:
The optimization of the Delphi compiler is automatically deactivated if the user forgets this. This guaranties high measurement accuracy.

Measurement of runtime costs measurement overhead. This is another point (like accuracy) where ProDelphi shows its outstanding quality: by a very low measurement overhead. All measurement routines are extremely optimized.

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. This could be done in case of sporadic exceptions. The source code does not have to be given to the customer (together with the Delphi-IDE).

Printing reports:
The measurement results can be printed on any Windows printer (inclusive graphics). The report can either be printed in full color mode or in color save mode (black, absolutely necessary parts in color, due to the high costs for color ink cartridges).

Upgrading to Professional Version:
If you need ProDelphi for a larger project and 20 measured procedures are not enough for you, you can order the professional version via ShareIt registration service.

Profiler type:

ProDelphi is a source code instrumenting profiler. Source instrumenting versus machine code 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 the 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.

Another advantage of a source instrumenting profiler is, that idle times (caused e.g. by opening a message box) can be handled. Before calling the Windows- or VCL-function, the measurement is deactivated.
The only disadvantage of a source instrumenting profiler is that the source files are changed by the vaccination (instrumentation) process. To avoid the risk of impacting the sources, they should be saved before.

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. Sampling profilers also cannot handle idle times.

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

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).

Supported Delphi versions:
Delphi 2 to 7, 2005 and 2006.

Supported libraries:

Switching off of all measurement:
Simply done by deleting a compiler symbol and recompilation.

ProDelphi has special settings for single threaded applications (low overhead, extremly accurate) and for multi threaded applications (medium overhead, medium accurate). A special option allows to exclusively measure the main thread only (Professional version only).

Upgrading to Professional Version:
If you need ProDelphi for a larger project and 20 measured procedures are not enough for you, you can order the Professional Version via ShareIt registration service.

Update of Professional Version:
Updates due to bugfixes are free.
Upgrades due to new versions of Delphi are available for 15.- €.

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 TWO possibilities of viewing the measured runtimes:

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


Differences between Freeware- and Professional Version: