4th Dimension (software)
|Original author(s)||Laurent Ribardière|
|Stable release||13.4 / November 28, 2013|
|Written in||C++, C|
|Operating system||Windows, Mac OS|
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2010)|
4th Dimension Software should not be mistaken for a similarly named Israeli company, which had to be renamed in the mid-1990s to New Dimension Software. That Israeli software vendor (flagship product CONTROL-M) was acquired in 1999 by BMC Software, Inc.
The 4D product line has since expanded to an SQL front-end, integrated compiler and several productivity plug-ins and interfaces. Some of the plug-ins created by 4D themselves include 4D Write (a word processor), 4D Draw (to draw shapes), 4D View (somewhat like a spreadsheet, but with extra functionality) and 4D Internet Commands (which let you add all sorts of Internet related functionality to a database). There are also over 100 third-party plugins, free and commercial.
These days, one of the popular applications of 4D is as a web server. Having a web server and a compiled application running as one gives developers the ability to create efficient, dynamic web sites with a high level of adaptability, and security.
Today, 4D is published by the French company 4D SA and has a sales, distribution and support presence in most major markets, with the US, UK and France being the primary markets. The product is localized in more than a dozen languages, including English, French, German, Japanese, Hebrew, Arabic, Korean and Persian.
Silver Surfer, as it was known during early development, was developed by Laurent Ribardière in 1984. Following negotiations with Ribardiere it was planned that Apple Inc. (formerly Apple Computer Inc) would publish the software but Apple canceled the plan, reputedly due to pressure from other potential database publishers who claimed that if Apple had their own 'brand' database, 3rd party products would be disadvantaged in the marketplace. Apple was keen at the time to ensure well known software publishers supported the Macintosh platform and as a result, the project reverted to Laurent Ribardière, who partnered with the well known French businesswoman, Marylene Delbourg-Delphis, to publish 4th Dimension. Although independently published, Apple supported the new venture and used 4D extensively throughout the organization for diverse projects from fitness center management to CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing). A number of Apple personnel became 4D experts, notably Lance McAndrew in Apple's Cupertino headquarters and Andrew O'Donoghue in Apple's Irish based European manufacturing headquarters, where a 4th Dimension application managed the entire European Service Center administration. This support by Apple undoubtedly helped the product to mature and gain traction in a difficult marketplace.
Over the next few years 4th Dimension's installed base grew and the publisher ACI, established a US-based subsidiary ACIUS, initially led by Guy Kawasaki.
The current version of the program, 4D v14, was released 12 December 2013.