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Create a standalone application with the Build4D component

A new build4D component has been available on GitHub for a few months. It empowers you to effortlessly create a compiled project or a component. Things are getting even better; this new component version will enable you to generate a single-user application, expanding the possibilities for your development workflow.

So with tool4D available since v20, integrating the application generation process into your CI (Continuous Integration) tools has become remarkably convenient.

Let’s delve into the details!

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Build an Application with 4D Commands

Since several versions of 4D, different features have been added to create your own build chain. For example,

  • the creation of a “.zip” folder,
  • the addition of information such as the copyright on an executable or a “dll”,
  • the creation of an “info.plist” file,
  • and the new build4D component.

 

With 4D v20, two new features allow finalizing the creation of a standalone or client/server application in 4D code:

  • the addition of an icon to an executable
  • the generation of the deployment license file for a server (OEM license only) or a standalone application.
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Build your Compiled Structure or Component with Build4D

With the introduction of the project mode, it’s pretty easy to manipulate the components of your projects.

In the last few feature releases, we have added several functionalities that allow you to create your own build chain adapted to your team, your working methods, and your needs.

For example:

 

To help you create your own build chain or integrate 4D into a continuous integration tool, we have developed a component named Build4D, available on GitHub with the sources.

For this first step, Build4D allows you to create a compiled structure and a component. We will continue to enrich it to enable you to manage a single-user application, client application, or server application.

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Reduce your 4D apps’ size with these new features

In our ongoing effort to improve the building of 4D applications, we’ve added a few functionalities to 4D v19R5 that you’ll certainly find useful.

The first one is the ability to remove some of the biggest 4D modules from your applications: CEF, Mecab, PHP, Spell Checker, and 4D Updater. If you don’t need some of these modules, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the size of your applications.

We also changed the final directory when you build a compiled structure, in order to accommodate those using multiple compiled versions of the same structure.

As for our Japanese customers, we have merged the Japanese version of 4D and the international one on MacOS.

Let’s delve into the details.

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Simplified cross-platform client/server application building on Windows

The release of Silicon Macs had a great impact on the way 4D compiles applications. Before v19, 4D was compiling only for Intel architecture, using the same code on Mac and Windows. But Silicon Macs use a new architecture, and as such 4D needs to compile specifically for Silicon. It affects cross-platform client/server application building.

As long as you build your server on Mac, it’s not much of an issue, as you can compile for both Intel and Silicon platforms. But on Windows, it’s not possible to compile for Silicon Macs. Our current recommendation is to compile the project on Mac for both architectures, and then copy it on a Windows machine before building the server. Unfortunately, for big projects with a lot of data, the copy can take some time.

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4D v19: Evolution of Client/Server Application Building

On Mac, application signature has become a standard, and since Big Sur, you can’t even run unsigned applications. In the past, we published a workaround to build client-server applications running on a Windows server and accepting connections from Mac clients. With the release of 4D v19, we have updated the application building in 4D to handle this case. Here is how you can build a single platform or a cross-platform application in v19.

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Easily Manage your Application’s Information

To build your application, you use the BUILD APPLICATION command with a set of XML keys that allow you to configure the built application. For most of you, this option is enough for application building. However, we want to make sure we meet your specific needs too, so we’ll simplify the BUILD APPLICATION command by splitting it. This will allow for more flexibility while creating applications.

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Build a custom remote connection dialog

Do you need to build a customized 4D connection dialog? Interested in connecting your client application to different servers? These are two scenarios that 4D v18 lets you to handle. This blog post is for you if you want to create a custom remote connection dialog and connect it to merged 4D servers. Keep reading!