Among Delphi 2006 features list there is a item indicating "Unicode support in dbExpress drivers". This is true, as the new dbExpress drivers interface uses wide strings for most purposes, including passing metadata and queries. But it is certainly an understatement, as wide strings (unicode) support is now pervasive in Delphi's database architecture. If you think pervasive is a strong word, look at this list of features affected by the change:

  • TField properties like FieldName, DisplayName, DisplayLabel FullName, plus lookup and key fields are now wide strings
  • GetFieldNames of TDataSet returns a wide string list
  • DataField property of data-aware controls (yes, all of them!) is wide
  • There is a new TWideDataSet class, from which all datasets descend (except the BDE ones)
  • SQL commands (SQL in ADOQuery and the like) use wide strings
  • There is a new WideMemoField
  • New TFieldTypes includes ftFixedWideChar and ftWideMemo
  • DataSnap interfaces have been udpated accordingly

Yes, it is a pervasive change and notice that not all existing code will compile immediately (for example, string lists and wide string lists are not assignment compatible)... but I think the change is very positive.