Thursday, October 18, 2007

4D Summit 2007 Keynote Address by Brendan Coveney

Brendan Convey gives keynote address at 4D Summit 2007These are notes from Brendan Coveney's keynote address at 4D Summit 2007 in which he discussed their new product 4D v11 SQL and announced a new framework to connect Adobe Flex-based applications to 4D.

4D's Revenue and Profit

Steady growth in sales over last two 2/3rd year. Profit is up dramatically over last year - doubled already this year over last year. And cash reserves are up dramatically as well. Gives stability to the company and the ability to invest in new projects.

Success Stories

PowerSchool is used by over 6,000 school districts in the US and is powered by 4D. The developer/owner has signed a significant long-term contract earlier this year.

Orchard Software is a 125 person company primarily selling a 4D-based application.

One of Time Magazine's gadget of the year is from NASCAR and the database that powers it is based on 4D.

Why is v11, version 11? Because everything is always scales of 1-10, and this is one more. (joke)

The goals of v11 SQL are:
  • Scalable
  • Performance
  • Open Standards
  • Compatible
  • Killer Apps
4D can how hold its own in any application ecosystem.

One big feature in 4D v11 SQL is that list boxes configure themselves to handle data from SQL statements.

Various SQL tools (like Crystal Reports) have no issues connecting to 4D dataabases.

There's strong third party support with lots of major plug-ins and tools being released for v11 already and others coming shortly including DataCheck and SanityCheck.

4D's guiding goals:
  • 4D is an integrated platform to speed and ease the development and deployment of business applications.
  • Support Market Standards. They're working on a new language that is more inline with standard languages that are out there.
  • Scalability.
  • Interchangeable open server solutions. The idea is that 4D should mix with other technologies smoothly.
  • Life Cycle Management. 4D realizes that applications are long-term projects. They're working on version control.
  • RIA and SaaS Solutions. 4D SAS/Inc is working to make 4D an excellent tool to implement these solutions. 4D Web 2.0 Pack is a good example of their work in this area. It includes 4D Live Window (a browser window in 4D applications) and 4D Ajax Framework.
4D Ajax Framework updates coming soon...
  • Inline editing in data grids
  • Column locking in data grids
  • Saved Quick Reports can be converted into Ajax reports, including formatting
4D is committed to supporting devices like Apple's iPhone. [Their live iPhone demo was actually really impressive.]

Today they're announcing 4D Flex Library v11 - it's similar to the Ajax Framework, only for Flex.

How it will be organized...


4D SQL Server

Notice that there's nothing on the server side...
  • You can use SQL queries or user defined functions.
  • You can use high level controls such as DataGrid
  • This is the first commercial SQL component for Flex!
4D Server v11 SQL...
  • Pre-emptive multi-threaded SQL server
  • Optimized client-server communications - max of one network operation for each command (currently up to 4)
  • 4D Server to 4D Server communications with no plug-ins, no ODBC, nothing
  • Remote monitoring and administration
  • The admin window is completely different... Lots of charts and graphs.
  • The information on current users is much more detailed.
  • There will be a maintenance section where you can do 4D Tools-like tasks while the server is running.
  • Everything you can do in the server application you can do remotely via a client interface.
Scheduled to go into beta in first quarter and released "first half of 2008", however quality comes first...

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thinkx said...

Any comments on whether 4D Server will run face-less, and be able to host multiple databases, instead of the current one-instance-per-database setup?

Thursday, October 18, 2007 10:54:00 AM EDT  
Jay Harper said...

I don't know whether 4D Server will run "faceless", but anything you can do on the server you can do remotely. In other words, I suspect (don't know for sure) that whatever you use to get an interface for the server on the server is pretty much the same as you'd use remotely.

The bottom line is you don't need remote access software (Timbuktu, RemotelyAnywhere, etc.) to administer 4D Server v11 - there will be 4D software that you can use.

Thursday, October 18, 2007 6:31:00 PM EDT  
Julio Carneiro said...

LR mentioned that as server can now be remotely administered, a linux version is more likely to happen. no promises though.
Also on the multiple databases server. There was no mention of that at all.
During the Q&A I got the impression (from some exchanges between LR and L.Esnault) that Server is still not cast in stone at all... so we may take awhile for the first beta to show up...

Friday, October 19, 2007 12:12:00 AM EDT  

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