Delphi questions - Is Delphi right for me?


I'm trying to figure out if Delphi is the right language/package to develop the stuff I would like to work on. A few questions:
- What IDE should be used to develop Delphi-based programs? Are there any nice freeware versions that I can start with?
- Can you really create first-class powerhouse commercial win programs?
- How does Delphi relate to .NET stuff?
- What if I want to build a database app? For instance, an app that stores lots of fields or even multiple large databases? Can my app actually build those databases for my end users, or must the end users create their own databases that my app then connects to? (Would be most cool if my app could build and control all the database stuff for the end users).
- Why not just go with C++? I'm wondering what the difference is between Delphi and C++.


If you want to write database apps, the free Delphi Community Edition is your best choice. It is allowed to distribute commercial apps with this. If after some tests it seems appropriate, you can switch to a commercial version.

Everything that you can do with C or C++ or whatever, you can do with Delphi.

The user doesn't need .NET, but the developer does (it's installed as part of the Delphi installation).

Delphi's strongest point is database applications :)

Delphi is easier than C++ to develop in, and is more optimized for database apps.