TweetFollow Us on Twitter

4D Databases
Volume Number:10
Issue Number:7
Column Tag:More tools for your toolbox

Developing 4th Dimension Databases
Can Be Lucrative

Will your next application framework be a database?

By Ellen Ankuda, ACI US

About this article

Developers have a number of tools at their disposal for building what their clients need. Databases are to the point where you can build certain kinds of applications without the need to write your own database code. Not only that, the demand for developers who know the database tools is higher than ever, and there are not enough developers to fill that demand. In this article, Ellen Ankuda (of ACI US) talks about some of the money-making opportunities in the database field, as seen from the perspective of a provider of a popular database, 4th Dimension - Ed stb

So you’re looking for the best way to spend your time, and in today’s market you have to have an edge. An advantage. Some reason why you’re more qualified than the next programmer. And once you have that certain something that sets you apart from the rest, you wouldn’t mind a market that’s teeming with opportunities.

For a C or C++ programmer, where do you get that edge? 4th Dimension can give you one. The relational database from France supports hundreds of developers and VARs in North America, thousands in the world. Those 4D enthusiasts range from custom consultants to VARs to in-house programmers. Consultants make their living creating custom database solutions for companies, the government, educational institutions, and almost any organization you can imagine. Their jobs typically involve travel; contracting work can bring them to far reaches of the computer world (one 4D consultant even made a database for a school district in the North Pole). Custom 4D developers typically make between $50 to $200 an hour, depending on the area and project.

Since VARs sell their shrink-wrapped applications developed in 4th Dimension, the job of a VAR tends to be somewhat more local. In addition to being a database, 4th Dimension is an application generator that allows people like VARs to create tangible software programs from good business ideas. And because most of the work is already done in 4th Dimension, development time for special applications is relatively short (meaning that time to market is a lot faster!). The programs can have any look and feel, depending on the needs of the target market and the personal tastes of the VAR. Currently, ACI VARs market off-the-shelf applications such as accounting packages, personal information managers, and network administration programs.

And lastly, in-house programmers might have a little less independence than the other two (of course, that all depends on the company), but working for companies has its advantages, too. 4th Dimension can be found in thousands of companies worldwide, including many Fortune 500 companies. Often working with people throughout the company to design tailored solutions, in-house 4D programmers benefit from immediate user feedback.

Learning the 4D programming language is generally a relatively elementary task for C and C++ programmers. ACI provides training around the country, as do various independent training organizations (yet another possible opportunity for you). For extra help, various publishers circulate books and magazines to help you learn the new environment and give you programming hints or tips to accomplish tasks with a minimum of effort.

If you’re not interested in learning the 4th Dimension language, there are still developer opportunities with 4D. C, C++, and Pascal programmers can write externals for 4th Dimension that can be integrated into any 4D database. These externals can be anything from time-tracking devices to mail messaging systems. Or you can even write externals that work with 4D via AppleEvents, such as geographic querying tools. The potential external programs for 4D are limitless - you decide what specific users might need and integrate your idea into a working database. “With its ability to work with external programs, 4th Dimension is highly extensible. You can use your C/C++ expertise to significantly extend 4D’s functionality,” states Rich Gay, President of Foresight Technology, a software consulting company in Fort Worth, Texas. “But the biggest benefit of 4th Dimension for C and C++ programmers is that it’s so much faster to get applications up and running in 4D, and that translates into higher profitability.”

In a similar vein, you can develop 4D Open connections to different products that enable interaction between foreign clients and 4D Server. 4D Open is the programming interface for connectivity to 4D Server, ACI’s client/server database, and has a set of Pascal and C libraries. With the basic libraries, you can interface almost any product with 4D Server. Use your imagination: what type of product would benefit from a multi-user data engine?

Available support

For programmers whose livelihood depends on a software program, the technological aspect of the program is probably the most important. The procedural language of 4th Dimension is designed to parallel the built-in features of the database. Almost everything that can be done automatically can be further controlled procedurally. All of the built-in editors and generators, such as Search, Sort, Report, Label, and Graph, can be used in a custom application with a single-line procedure. “You can create an incredible front end with a great GUI in a fraction of the time required by traditional programming languages,” reports Jim Alonso, President of Montage Software Systems, Inc. in Wilton, Connecticut. “There are virtually no limits to what can be accomplished using 4D’s built-in tools, and by creating extensions written in C to enhance that environment.”

You can use the 4th Dimension language to automate repetitive tasks, control the user interface, manage data, and create applications. The commands in 4th Dimension are structured to allow a precise response to a demand, often with very few lines of programming. For example, the command MODIFY SELECTION can present a list of records and allow the user to double-click a record for data input.

All users programming in C, Pascal, or any other language that can be compiled to 68000 code can add routines to applications in the following forms:

• External procedures that can accept and pass parameters.

• External areas on layouts that are completely controlled by external routines.

• External functions that return a 4th Dimension value.

Added routines transparently blend with the regular 4D commands and behave in the same manner.

4th Dimension is a programmer’s database. If the 4th Dimension language can’t accomplish a task, then you can program an external that will perform the required function. To increase your database’s marketability, you can also localize applications for dozens of languages, and that serves to increase the scope of your potential customer base.

Also important for developers are the benefits they can receive from the company itself. All registered 4D developers, no matter what type of programming they’re doing, get special care from ACI. Probably the most important benefit for developers are the business leads and referrals that Developer Services personnel provide. Any time a caller asks for a local developer, or a specific product or service, ACI sends a list of the appropriate developers. Referrals are also given to interested trade show attendees.

Annually, ACI prints and widely circulates a Solutions Guide book and CD that list all registered ACI developers and the products or services they provide. Being featured in the 800-page book is an impressive and credible sales tool for many developers.

Additionally, 4D developers receive priority technical support from senior engineers. Complex questions can be answered quickly. ACI also provides co-marketing possibilities in its newsletter or other mailings, in magazines, at trade shows, and many other areas.

The best news is that people need 4D programmers. Especially recently, ACI has been hearing from all sorts of companies, large corporations down to small consulting firms, who are looking for 4D programmers to develop an application. The time is right, and the opportunities are plentiful.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

FotoMagico 5.4.1 - Powerful slideshow cr...
FotoMagico lets you create professional slideshows from your photos and music with just a few, simple mouse clicks. It sports a very clean and intuitive yet powerful user interface. High image... Read more
Espresso 3.0 - Powerful HTML, XML, CSS,...
Espresso is back. For people who make delightful, innovative, and fast websites -- in an app to match. Espresso helps you write, code, design, build, and publish with flair and efficiency.... Read more
Spotify 1.0.51.693. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
Gutenprint 5.2.12 - Quality drivers for...
Gutenprint is a suite of printer drivers that may be used with most common UNIX print spooling systems, including CUPS, lpr, LPRng, or others. Gutenprint currently supports over 2000 printer models.... Read more
Firefox 52.0.2 - Fast, safe Web browser.
Firefox offers a fast, safe Web browsing experience. Browse quickly, securely, and effortlessly. With its industry-leading features, Firefox is the choice of Web development professionals and casual... Read more
Google Chrome 57.0.2987.133 - Modern and...
Google Chrome is a Web browser by Google, created to be a modern platform for Web pages and applications. It utilizes very fast loading of Web pages and has a V8 engine, which is a custom built... Read more
RapidWeaver 7.3.3 - Create template-base...
RapidWeaver is a next-generation Web design application to help you easily create professional-looking Web sites in minutes. No knowledge of complex code is required, RapidWeaver will take care of... Read more
Chromium 57.0.2987.133 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 27.0.2987.133: Note: This update has no Flash... Read more
Lyn 1.8.8 - Lightweight image browser an...
Lyn is a fast, lightweight image browser and viewer designed for photographers, graphic artists, and Web designers. Featuring an extremely versatile and aesthetically pleasing interface, it delivers... Read more
Adobe Animate CC 2017 16.2.0 - Advanced...
Animate CC 2017 is available as part of Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $19.99/month (or $9.99/month if you're a previous Flash Professional customer). Animate CC 2017 (was Flash CC) lets you... Read more

Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed arrives on m...
No one does mindless hack and slash quite like a Musou game. What's more fun than single-handedly chopping your way through hundreds of enemies? Now, for the first time ever, that unrivaled experience goes mobile with Dynasty Warriors: Unleashed.... | Read more »
Crash of Cars beginner's guide
Crash of Cars is a fun new entry in the realm of multiplayer beat 'em ups. It's basically bumper cars off the rails -- players drive around in vehicles of their choosing -- anything from a mini-van to the weinermobile in all of its glory --... | Read more »
Dynasty Blades new update introduces a n...
Sharpen your weapons -- Dynasty Blades is back with new and improved hack n’ slash stylings. The Romance of the Three Kingdoms-inspired action MMORPG introduces a bunch of fun new features in its latest update. For the uninitiated, Dynasty Blades... | Read more »
Meganoid(2017) (Games)
Meganoid(2017) 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: LAUNCH DISCOUNT 20% UNTIL APRIL 2nd! Support, tip and tricks: http://www.orangepixel.net/forum/ Subscribe to our newsletter... | Read more »
Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy...
Telltale will be releasing their rendition of Guardians of the Galaxy later this month. The first episode, Tangled Up in Blue, features familiar faces including Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket, Gamora, and Drax. If the first episode's title is any... | Read more »
Royal Dungeon (Games)
Royal Dungeon 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The king and his queen are trapped in their castle which suddenly turned out as a very dangerous place. The goal is to escape... | Read more »
Tom Clancy's ShadowBreak is a real-...
Ubisoft is treating Tom Clancy fans to the series' very first mobile-exclusive game in ShadowBreak, a real-time, multiplayer shooter in which players snipe at enemies in fast-paced tactics-driven combat. [Read more] | Read more »
Power Rangers: Legacy Wars beginner...
Rita Repulsa is back, but this time she's invading your mobile phone in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars. What looks to be a straightforward beat 'em up is actually a tough-as-nails multiplayer strategy game that requires some deft tactical maneuvering.... | Read more »
Hearthstone celebrates the upcoming Jour...
Hearthstone gets a new expansion, Journey to Un'Goro, in a little over a week, and they'll be welcoming the Year of the Mammoth, the next season, at the same time. There's a lot to be excited about, so Blizzard is celebrating in kind. Players will... | Read more »
4 smart and stylish puzzle games like Ty...
TypeShift launched a little over a week ago, offering some puzzling new challenges for word nerds equipped with an iOS device. Created by Zach Gage, the mind behind Spelltower, TypeShift boasts, like its predecessor, a sleak design and some very... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Deal alert! 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pros now f...
B&H Photo has lowered their price on 13″ Apple 2.0GHz MacBook Pros to $225 off MSRP through midnight tonight (3/30/17). Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $399, $100 off MS...
B&H Photo has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $100 off MSRP including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 1.4GHz Mac mini: $399 $100 off MSRP Sale ends on March 31st. Read more
13-inch 128GB MacBook Air on sale for $849, s...
B&H Photo has lowered their price on the 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air to $849, or $150 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MMGF2LL/A... Read more
Is Apple Planning An iPhone Based Modular Doc...
Today’s more powerful and larger-screened smartphones and phablets are becoming the default anchor computing device for more and more users computing devices, but even a five or six inch panel is not... Read more
Razer Launches New Razer Blade Pro World’s Fi...
Razer, the gaming and high performance hardware specialists, have announced the new Razer Blade Pro laptop — the first laptop to be qualified for THX Mobile Certification, an accreditation reserved... Read more
Gro CRM’s Apple Small Business Mac And iOS CR...
Gro Software, developers of the Mac CRM software for small business and enterprise, are included in FinancesOnline 2017 CRM Rising Stars and Great User Experience lists by business software review... Read more
Deal alert! 15-inch and 13-inch MacBook Pros...
B&H Photo has the new 2016 15″ and 13″ Apple MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar... Read more
Save up to $420 on a new MacBook Pro with App...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished 2016 15″ and 13″ MacBook Pros, including some Touch Bar models, for up to $420 off original MSRP. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
12-inch 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for $1...
B&H has 12″ 1.2GHz Retina MacBooks on sale for up to $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1449 $150 off MSRP - 12″ 1.... Read more
Is A New 10.5-inch iPad Still Coming In April...
There was no sign or mention of a long-rumored and much anticipated 10.5-inch iPad Pro in Apple’s product announcements last week. The exciting iPad news was release of an upgraded iPad Air with a... Read more

Jobs Board

Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Fulltime aan de slag als shopmanager in een h...
Ben jij helemaal gek van Apple -producten en vind je het helemaal super om fulltime shopmanager te zijn in een jonge en hippe elektronicazaak? Wil jij werken in Read more
Desktop Analyst - *Apple* Products - Montef...
…technology to improve patient care. JOB RESPONSIBILITIES: Provide day-to-day support for Apple Hardware and Software in the environment based on the team's support Read more
*Apple* Mobile Master - Best Buy (United Sta...
**493168BR** **Job Title:** Apple Mobile Master **Location Number:** 000827-Denton-Store **Job Description:** **What does a Best Buy Apple Mobile Master do?** At Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.