Definition of Delphi

Delphi is a software development methodology and environment created by Borland, now owned by Embarcadero Technologies. It primarily focuses on the development of native Windows applications using its Object Pascal programming language. Delphi provides a visual design interface, extensive libraries, and a powerful compiler, making it a popular choice among developers for creating fast and efficient applications.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Delphi” is: /ˈdɛlfaɪ/

Key Takeaways

  1. Delphi is an ancient archaeological site and historical city famous for its temple of Apollo and the Oracle, who was considered one of the most important sources of prophecy in ancient Greece.
  2. The site is located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in central Greece and dates back to the 6th century BC, showcasing an impressive collection of monuments, treasuries, and inscriptions from the Ancient Era.
  3. Delphi remains an important symbol of classical Greek culture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its extraordinary architectural, artistic, and historical significance to global heritage.

Importance of Delphi

The term Delphi, often associated with the Delphi method, holds significant importance in the field of technology and decision-making.

This structured communication technique, developed during the Cold War era, aims at achieving a consensus among a group of experts by conducting a series of anonymous questionnaires and controlled feedback.

The Delphi method plays a crucial role in addressing complex problems, ranging from technological forecasting, scenario planning to software development, and risk management.

The anonymity and iterative nature of this method enables experts to express their opinions without the fear of judgment, thus promoting well-informed and unbiased decision-making.

Consequently, the Delphi method has become an essential tool for researchers and organizations, evolving over the years to adapt to the growing need for enhanced communication and efficient decision-making processes in the technology sector.


The Delphi technique serves as a systematic forecasting method that relies on the input and expertise of a diverse group of individuals to make predictions and decisions, particularly during situations that lack historical data or involve uncertainty. The process aims to focus on the purpose of aggregating expert opinions to generate well-founded, collective perspectives in various fields, including technology, public policies, business strategies, and even social scientific research.

The Delphi method is particularly useful when dealing with complex issues, as it helps mitigate the influence of personal biases and group dynamics that could otherwise hinder the decision-making process. The implementation of the Delphi technique typically involves multiple rounds of anonymous questionnaires, with each round becoming more refined based on the collective feedback of the participants.

This iterative process encourages collaboration, with the experts evaluating and readjusting their views in response to their peers’ perspectives, ultimately leading to a convergence of opinions. As a result, this method fosters critical thinking and narrows down plausible options for decision-making, aligning them with the collective intelligence and expertise of the group.

By preserving the anonymity of the participants, the Delphi method ensures that the decisions and predictions are driven by the merit of the arguments, rather than being swayed by dominant personalities or hierarchical biases.

Examples of Delphi

The Delphi technique is a widely-used method of obtaining expert opinions and forecasts on various topics and issues. It was originally developed by RAND Corporation in the 1950s to predict the potential consequences of nuclear warfare. Here are three real-world examples of how the Delphi technique has been applied.

Healthcare:The Delphi technique has been used extensively in the healthcare field for a variety of purposes, including setting clinical guidelines and predicting future trends. One example is the use of the Delphi technique for determining best practices in prescribing medication. In this case, a group of medical experts provided their opinion on medication prescription guidelines, with multiple rounds of questions and anonymous feedback allowing the panel to converge on a consensus.

Environmental Management:The Delphi technique can be used to address complex environmental management problems involving high degrees of uncertainty. One example is a study conducted to develop a consensus among experts regarding the most effective strategies for mitigating climate change impacts on coastal areas in the United States. The experts participated in a series of Delphi rounds, ultimately agreeing on a set of preferred strategies.

Business Forecasting:The Delphi technique has been adopted by various businesses and organizations for forecasting purposes. For example, in the automotive industry, a group of experts was assembled to provide predictions about the future demand for electric vehicles, as well as the potential impact of government policies and technological advancements. Through multiple rounds of questioning and independent feedback, the participants were able to generate a more informed and accurate forecast that could be used by automakers for decision-making and planning.

Delphi FAQ

What is Delphi?

Delphi is an integrated development environment (IDE) for rapid application development of desktop, mobile, web, and console software, developed by Embarcadero Technologies. It is primarily used for creating Windows applications in Object Pascal, a dialect of the Pascal programming language.

What is the history of Delphi?

Delphi was originally developed by Borland as a rapid application development tool for Windows. It was introduced in 1995 to provide an easier alternative to Visual Basic and C++. Over the years, Delphi has evolved and changed ownership, and is now being developed by Embarcadero Technologies.

What are the key benefits of using Delphi?

Some key benefits of using Delphi include fast application development, a highly efficient compiler, a robust visual component library (VCL), support for multiple database platforms, and strong community support. These features make it an attractive choice for developers seeking to create powerful software solutions quickly and efficiently.

What platforms can Delphi create applications for?

Delphi supports the development of applications for various platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and Linux. With the FireMonkey (FMX) framework, developers can even create cross-platform applications that run on both mobile and desktop platforms with a single codebase.

Is Delphi free?

Delphi is a commercial product and is not free; however, Embarcadero Technologies offers a free version of Delphi called the Delphi Community Edition. This version is available for individual developers or for organizations with a revenue of less than $5,000 per year and less than five developers. The Community Edition offers essential features for application development, but it lacks some advanced features available in the paid versions.

Related Technology Terms

  • Consensus Forecasting
  • Expert Panel
  • Qualitative Methodology
  • Anonymity in Judgement
  • Iterative Feedback

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