Borland has previously offered a downloadable version of their Delphi IDE called the “Personal edition”. Delphi 2005 Personal Edition has only been offered through some magazines in Europe, but Delphi 7 can be downloaded from the Borland website, even though they no longer advertise it. Just follow this link:
The MD5 checksum should be: e762ab2c75be5cbd5534ee59bc78e605. The size is around 54 MB compressed and 148 uncompressed.
To activate your installation of Delphi 7 Personal edition, just visit the Borland website and create an account. Then visit the download area and there you will a link to create an activation code for your Delphi 7 Personal Edition.
Update: as of today (2006/VIII/05) the Borland’s Download area where you can get the activation code is at http://www.borland.com/downloads/download_delphi.html . If you are still lost, look for a page like this:
After installing you can invoke the Registration Wizard to register your Delphi.
Of course, read the license.txt file because it has a few restrictions. And keep in mind that no database VCL code is included with the Personal Edition.
Getting Delphi 7 Personal Edition is easy, free and will allow you to explore the Delphi programming experience. But, the lack of database VCL support mean most third-party database components cannot be installed and you will miss some of the most important Delphi RAD features (the database support and data-aware controls).