Author: Vanessa Talbot

Vanessa Talbot

• Product Owner •

Vanessa Talbot joined 4D Program team in June, 2014. As a Product Owner, she is in charge of writing the user stories then translating it to functional specifications. Her role is also to make sure that the feature implementation delivered is meeting the customer need.

Since her arrival, she has worked to define key features in 4D. She has worked on most of preemptive multi-threading new features and also on a very complex subject: the new architecture for engined application. Vanessa has a degree from Telecom Saint-Etienne. She began her career at the Criminal Research Institute as a developer for the audiovisual department. She has also worked in media and medical fields as expert in technical support, production as well as documenting new features.

Text files from your structure file

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Developing an application is often a very collaborative job, involving many people. In this case, you may want store your development in a source control repository, or have a history of the work done during the day, or send your database to a colleague and see the changes when they’re done working on it.

All of the above scenarios are now possible! Beginning with v17 R3, you can export the .4DB file into multiple text files. This offers you many new possibilities.


Change the properties of several methods at once by code

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We know that sometimes you want to change the properties of multiple methods without having to open the property dialog for each method.

For example, you want to set all methods to “Can be run in preemptive mode” status, then compile your database. So with compilation errors, you get an overview of the methods to modify to be preemptive.

Using the METHOD GET NAMES command to retrieve the list of methods from your database, and then using the METHOD SET ATTRIBUTES command to modify the attributes, lets you modify them all at the same time!


4D Methods editor with dark theme

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Humans have different taste preferences. For instance, some people prefer white over all other colors, while others find black to be more majestic … hence any new color trend tagged as ‘the new black’!

In order to accommodate different preferences, 4D enables you to personalize the method editor theme!

In the 4D preferences dialog, you can set several parameters for the editor such as the color of the background or each type of code element (i.e., commands and comments). 

Thanks to these different options, you can completely customize the method editor to your taste. Whether you’re a fan of light or dark themes, 4D’s got you covered!

Here’s what a dark theme looks like:

Tips New collection

How to display a multilevel collection in different list boxes!

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Starting with 4D v17, the content of a multilevel collection can easily be displayed in different list boxes. Meaning that you can bind several list boxes to display nested details … without a single line of code! This can be achieved by simply using an object or a collection as the data source for another list box!

With the new list box collection type, the “Current item” and “Selected items” properties have been added. Keep in mind that the “Current item” property allows you to get an object, while the “Selected item” property returns a collection.


How to create a generic form with dynamic forms

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Imagine that your database contains several tables of types or categories. These tables are very simple, often with only an identifier and a text field. For demonstration purposes, let’s say it’s a shoe management database. To qualify the products, we need to define their type, color, pattern, material, season and so on.

It’s cumbersome to manage each of these tables in a list form and an input form and associated methods. In this case, the use of a generic form is essential to avoid duplication and simplify maintenance.

And that’s where dynamic forms and JSON pointers are come in handy!


Display an entity selection in a list box

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4D v17 introduces a new concept: ORDA. If you’re not familiar with ORDA yet, we’ve created a series of blog posts to explain how to use and take advantage of ORDA. When working with ORDA, you’re going to use entity selections, which are basically objects containing references to entities belonging to the same dataclass (i.e. table). One of the main benefits of ORDA, is the very simple and powerful ability of binding with forms.

In this blog post, you’ll learn how to display an entity selection in a list box. In fact, it’s very simple.

Product 4D News with 4D Write Pro multi column

Create multi-column documents in 4D Write Pro

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Sometimes the information you include in your document is best displayed in columns. Not only can columns help improve readability, but some types of documents – newspaper articles, newsletters, flyers, etc. – are often written in column format. The good news is that with 4D v17, you can henceforth create multi-column documents with 4D Write Pro! And beyond document creation, you can also convert your existing 4D Write documents containing multiple columns.

As in the 4D Write plugin, it’s possible to define the number of columns for an entire document. But here’s a good example where 4D Write Pro exceeds 4D Write: you can also set a different number of columns … per section!

Product New icons for Form Editor

Icon modernization continues

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While icons may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of design, they actually play a crucial role in improving human-software interactions by offering a method of communication beyond just text.

With 4D v16 R6, we have modernized the look of the Form Editor and the User Form Editor icons to improve readability and clarity.