New Windows system rendering engine for Web Areas

Web areas can display various types of web content within your forms: HTML pages with static or dynamic contents, files, pictures,… You can choose between two rendering engines for the web area, depending on the specifics of your application:

  • the embedded rendering engine
  • the system rendering engine


The advantage of the embedded system is the cross-platform portability. No need to adapt to some specifics of a platform. Moreover, it allows you to access 4D methods. 

The advantage of the system browser is the security updates that are available right away. There’s no need to wait for the next version of 4D. We recommend it for accessing the public Internet site. 

Windows has announced that “Internet Explorer 11 is retiring on June 15, 2022“. So since 4D v19 R5, if you use the system rendering engine, 4D uses Microsoft Edge WebView2. This change allows you to benefit from a modern browser with the latest features and security updates. For example, Microsoft Edge can be used to display PDFs.

There are some differences between the two Windows system rendering engines (IE11 and MS Edge), which impact Web areas and their related commands.

For the interface:

Good news! As Microsoft Edge is based on Chromium, you can now activate the Web Inspector for the Windows system rendering engine. It is no longer reserved for the embedded rendering engine.

For API commands:

  • If you authorize the drop of a url or a file with the WA SET PREFERENCE command, an additional level of security is added, allowing you to filter the URL or file. 4D now triggers the On Window Opening Denied event when a user drops elements on the web area. Then, you can choose whether or not to open the URL or file.

If (FORM Event.code=On Window Opening Denied)
  WA OPEN URL(*; "Web area"; WA Get last filtered URL(*; "Web area"))
End if


For more details, check out the documentation on the Web area.

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.