Forté 4GL is a proprietary application server used for developing scalable, highly available, enterprise applications.
Forté 4GL was created as an integrated solution for developing and managing client/server applications. Forté 4GL consists of an application server, tools for deploying and monitoring an application and an object oriented custom language, TOOL (transactional object oriented language). Given that TOOL only runs on the Forté application server, many users simply refer to their "TOOL" applications as "Forté" applications. The first release of Forté 4GL was published in August 1994. After releasing this initial product, Forté Inc. proceeded to build several extensions including:
- Web Enterprise - an HTML-wrapper interface for rich-client applications to publish their screens through web servers.
- Forte Express - a rapid database GUI interface kit, released in July 1995.
- Conductor - a work flow engine capable of choreographing activities, released in March 1997.
- Forté Fusion - an integration backbone to link external systems using XML messaging and tie in with the Conductor engine.
The company was later bought out by Sun Microsystems. The modules listed above were bundled together and re-branded as Unified Development Server (UDS) and Integration Server (IS) under the IPlanet division. The server modules were later bundled together as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).
Sun has since declared the product's end-of-life, indicating no future plans to continue development of the product. Sun's official support of Forte is scheduled to cease at the end of April, 2009.
Being an enterprise application development system, Forté 4GL supported close linkage to a number of different relational database systems, including Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, Informix, and DB2. These linkages could be via SQL embedded within the TOOL code, or via SQL constructed on the fly.
It also had support for distributed applications: the developer would create an instance of a specific class, which would be placed on a user-specified server. Calls to methods through instance would be sent across the network transparently; the developer would not need to know the underlying details of how the call would be transmitted.
- Sun's documentation for "Sun ONE Unified Development Server (UDS) 5.2"
- Sun's documentation for "Forté 4GL 3.5 (UDS)"[dead link]
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