Monday, October 22, 2007

4D Open is DEAD - Long Live SQL and SOAP

This was mentioned at 4D Summit and bears repeating... Support for 4D Open is (most likely) being dropped in 4D Server v11 SQL. While there is a slim chance 4D Open may be supported, don't count on it.

4D is dropping support because the way connections are made to 4D Server has been completely rewritten. The old way was just too slow. The TCP/IP communications between 4D Client and 4D Server are now completely different. In the past it could take up to four requests to complete one 4D command/function. Now it will take just one - and sometimes more than one command will be combined into a single request (most likely a query followed immediately by an order by). Since the TCP/IP communications are completely different, 4D Open can't be supported without rewriting it as well, which they're mostly likely not going to do since there are more important things for them to work on.

That said, you can connect from a v11 database to an older database using 4D Open since v2004 plugins are supported in v11. The trick is, if you're running on MacIntel you'll need to run your entire application under Rosetta since the plugin isn't Universal Binary.

4D Open hasn't been updated in a while anyway. I was an early adopter of 4D Open (1996?) and have used it a fair amount over the years. When they didn't add QUERY WITH ARRAY to it when they added it to the language, I knew it was the beginning of the end. After all, if any command is tailor made for 4D Open it's QUERY WITH ARRAY...

The upside is that 4D Client may truly be usable over the Internet, provided your latency is half way decent. That will probably help more people than dropping support for 4D Open will hurt.

It will be at least a year before 4D Server v11 SQL is ready for existing production databases to be migrated to it - so you've been warned...

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