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What development environment could you recommend that would be flexible enough for providing small business desktop solutions?
The things I'm planning to build are something like office apps - accounting systems, inventory systems, simple business analytics, things like those. No web-based stuff. I will be developing on Windows 7 x64 and targeting Windows 32/64. My requirements are:

  1. The environment should be general purpose as opposed to something specific such as a database-centric one like Clarion, PowerBuilder and Visual Foxpro;
  2. Fast to design with (has GUI builders);
  3. Fast to develop with (has the most pre-built components);
  4. Preferably based on Pascal since I really, really loved TP7 with Turbo Vision, but I will consider development environments using Basic as the language as long as they are better than Pascal-based tools with regards to #2 and #3.
  • Would you accept an on-the-cloud product or does it need to be local (on-premise)? Does it need to be gratis? How many users are supposed to work with such development environment? – mguassa Jan 5 '16 at 23:33
  • Cloud or local, it doesn't matter as long as it satisfies the requirements above. The solution created by the development environment, though, needs to be installed on the client's machine. Open source, free software, commercial... it doesn't matter because I'll be using it for business and the fs will follow after suitable products are found. Only one developer per project. It's a small operation. (and that's why I need as much pre-built components or classes as much as possible). Thanks. – Afro Grammer Jan 7 '16 at 5:07
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Visual Studio could suit your needs.

  1. It is a general purpose application development IDE
  2. It has GUI builders for Windows Forms, WPF
  3. Has a very extensive set of components. If you are interested and qualify, you can get the free community license from Syncfusion. This adds more than 150 components for WPF and Windows Forms development. (Note: I work for them)
  4. Supports several languages including Visual Basic.
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  • Yes I've considered VS. ...and thanks for specifying the number of components (150). I can use that to compare with my other options. But since I'm more comfortable with Pascal based languages, I'm also looking at Lazarus/FreePascal and Embarcadero Delphi. Do you know how VS compare with them in terms of number of components? – Afro Grammer Jan 7 '16 at 5:12

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