We are thrilled to announce the launch of beta testing for 4D v17! This major release is chock-full of enhancements and new features that one blog post is not enough to cover them! 

With that being said, 4D v17 Beta introduces more than +60 advances including improvements to existing functionalities as well as new ones. And if you’re eager to see 4D v17 Beta in action, check out this extensive library of examples (HDIs) to have an overall idea on this release full potential.

So, let’s take a look and discover some of what 4D v17 Beta has in store for you:


  • ORDA: a revolutionary concept, making it possible to use your database in an object-oriented approach.
  • 4D language: major enhancements to help you boost your productivity with fewer lines of code.
  • 4D Write Pro: to create complex business documents.
  • Security: the highest security level off the shelf for 4D products.
  • 4D View Pro: to display advanced lists and create spreadsheets.
  • 4D commands: More 4D commands to enlarge your programming capabilities.
  • Flexible tools: to help you design an immersive User Experience.

Download 4D v17 now (Exclusive to 4D Partners)
Check out all 4D v17 examples


ORDA (Object Relational Data Access) is a new emerging concept that was announced during 4D summit 2018. It’ll allow you to use your database in an object-oriented approach, which opens a whole new world of possibilities for both experienced 4D developers and developers new to 4D . The way you access data will never be the same again!

Create, update and delete data

With ORDA, the Create, Update and Delete operations are not performed on a current selection or on a current record but on entities. At the same time, you can manage multiple sets of entities to perform your actions!


Discover how ORDA make queries lighter and more readable. You can easily query several linked tables, manage recursive relations on the same table, and use multiple logical operators in a single query.


Integrate ORDA with your existing code! ORDA makes it possible to update the current selection of a table from an entity selection and vice-versa!

CONVERT TO ENTITIES, objects and collections

Turn entities and entity selections into objects and collections, and build entities and entity selections from objects and collections.

lock management

ORDA makes it possible to choose to work with either pessimistic locking (as the ‘classic’ way) or with optimistic locking.

Handle entities in entity selections

ORDA provides simple methods to navigate through entities in an entity selection object, with  many advantages. For example, you can handle several entity selections at the same time and navigate through them independently.

logical operations on entity selections

Logical operators can be used on entity selections, allowing you to get the intersection, union, or difference between two entity selections as you could with sets in the ‘classic’ 4D Language.

compute statistics on entity selections

ORDA provides a great feature to perform calculations and statistics on data such as: sum, min, max, average, etc…

4D Language

New iterator: for each / end for each

A new loop has joined the 4D Language to allow you to iterate through advanced data types such as collections.


Objects become more and more powerful in 4D: explore the object notation, which makes the usage of objects much more comfortable, easily initialize your objects, or query specific object attributes. The use of objects is now simpler with the support of pictures and dates inside objects. Finally, code completion for object attributes makes your code writing easier.

A new type of variable has also been introduced: collections. You have many options to manipulate them: insert or remove elements, combine and sort or convert them, find specific items, perform queries or calculations

Discover an easier coding by greatly simplifying communications with forms. 4D v17 also provides you with the ability to dynamically build forms fully adapted to your users’ needs. Explore JSON pointers and how to validate JSON objects that will help you take full advantage of them.

In addition to a new set of thread-safe commands, 4D v17 introduces a new concept to easily share information between preemptive processes: shared objects and collections.


a+ security ranking for 4d web sites

It’s now possible to get the A+ ranking (the highest level) from SSL Labs for your web sites, by simply activating the HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security) feature on your 4D Web server!


In addition to enhanced security for 4D server, 4D v17 introduces the support of Perfect Forward Secrecy (PFS), new commands for password hashing, as well as the ability to generate digests using SHA-2 algorithms. Data protection is not forgotten, as the Restore last database backup” option is now enabled by default.

4D Write Pro

multi-column DOCUMENTS

4D Write Pro advances a step further with multi-column document creation. Now it’s possible to set a different number of columns, not only for the whole document, but also per section!


You can now programmatically get information about the location (page, character position in line, etc.) of any element within your 4D Write Pro documents.


4D Write Pro gets its own commands to programmatically insert and read text!

programmatically access elements in 4D Write Pro

You can access any element or part of a 4D Write Pro document by programming. Now, it’s a breeze to manipulate paragraphs, pictures, or tables in an existing document for instance to style them afterwards.


4D Write Pro now allows Pictures in absolute position, both by programming or through the UI, as well as full size background pictures. The support of 4D expressions has also been enhanced to now permit to have 4D expressions returning a picture. Finally, it’s possible to define hyperlinks on any picture.

4D Write Pro supports real tables, where the text automatically wraps to fit the content! Headers and footers can be handled programmatically, allowing you to fully customize your documents. You can also define tab leading characters (to create forms or summaries, for example).

The horizontal ruler also helps you define your margins, place your tabs, or define their type (left, right, decimal, etc.). You can easily create custom user interfaces thanks to 4D Write Pro standard actions: create your own toolbar or your own contextual menu. Note that standard actions have also been improved for Styled Text.

4D View Pro

Take advantage of the list box automatic variable row height to display advanced lists. Discover the first stages of 4D View Pro spreadsheets, and convert your existing documents to 4D View Pro.


More programming capabilities 

get machine hardware information

You now have the ability to retrieve all of the hardware and system details for the running machine. Information that includes: which OS is being used, which processor(s), how much RAM is available, etc.


With the goal of letting you create your own administration window, it’s now possible to retrieve information about processes and users, runtime information about 4D Web Server, as well as detailed information about active licenses.

On top of that, 4D v17 helps you to manage file or folder paths, to easily use timestamps or access log files, and finely control the database cache manager.

User Experience


A new type of list box is born: collection type list boxes. With collection type list boxes, you can display heterogeneous data in the same column!


With ORDA, you will widely use entity selections. And you know what? Entity selections can be displayed in a list box!


4D applications on Windows are entering a new world thanks to the SDI mode for engined applications, made possible with the altura-free 4D Windows 64 bit product line. List boxes are moving forward with 4D v17 which gives you more control by programming, and offers help tips on list boxes, in addition to fine control of tips in general. 4D dialogs have been also been improved with the support of cross tables in the quick report editor, new possibilities added to the “Find in design” dialog, as well as some improvements made to the IPv6 related user interface.


Need more technical details? Take a look at the 4D v17 Beta documentation in the 4D Doc Center.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will help us improve our product quality and better serve your needs. We’d love to hear your thoughts about any of the features above. Contribute to our “beta version” forum (accessible for all 4D Partners). Not a partner yet? Become a 4D Partner and join the conversation!

• Product Marketing Manager • Intissar joined 4D in 2017 as a Product Marketing Manager. She works closely with the product, marketing, engineering, and technical support teams to highlight the ‘why’, the ‘how’, and the ‘what’ of new and updated features to different audiences. This close proximity allows her to craft messaging frameworks and write in-depth content and code samples for the 4D blog and website. After graduating with an engineer's degree in Computer Science from VINCI university, Intissar worked in several startups as a software engineer. Her hands-on experience includes software specification, design, and development, user training and support, and team management.