Project databases: More than a collaboration solution

Dreaming of a way of to work collaboratively? A way to work wherever you are in the world, with team members in different locations, and no one has to question where to find the latest version of a file or project? A different way to test new features and roll them back if they don’t work out, while being able to choose a restore point from which you want to roll back instead of running a full file backup. Your dreams are becoming a reality, these scenarios are now possible thanks to 4D v18 and project databases!

What is a project database?

A project database is a 4D database in text-based files. These files contain all of the source code of a 4D database application, from the database structure to the user interface, including forms, menus, user settings, and any required resources. 

Project databases are created and handled using the 4D Developer application. The project files are then used to build the final application’s deployment files.

Why work with a project database?

  • Sharing: Easily exchange code with colleagues: Copy the piece of code and paste it in an email and you’re up and running. 
  • Flexibility: Do you have several applications and want to reuse some dialogs while respecting the company’s graphic charter? Install the components in each application or copy the forms between databases.
  • Simplicity: Especially in terms of respecting a graphic charter, you can define all of the fonts, colors, icons, and more for all of your applications with style sheets. 
  • Debugging: By storing your project files in source control repositories, you can easily compare versions to locate the source of troublesome code.
  • Deploying: With source control repositories, managing multiple branches (i.e., development and production) is a piece of cake!


This list is by no means exhaustive, but these benefits are all thanks to project databases!

All the new features and the capabilities offered by project databases will be detailed in future blog posts. Stay tuned!

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.