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Best 4GL programming language?

Ok.. I know there isnt anything called the best. But i would like a quick vote from guys on this on which do you think is better for Client Server- Web development based on your experience

The tools are (not ranked)

1. Borland J Builder
2. Borland Delphi
3. Oracle Forms 6i.
4. Oracle Java developer
5. Visual Basic 5,6
6. Centura Sql Windows
7. Other Java IDE's like Visual Age

Software consultant

Thursday, November 15, 2001

Borland JBuilder and Delphi are streets ahead of the other tools in this list IMHO. However, I wouldn't really describe them as 4GL languages. They are IDE's built on 3GL languages, Object Pascal and Java.

Craig van Nieuwkerk
Thursday, November 15, 2001

Personally I'd put Visual Foxpro a lot of that is personal prejudice (naturallY).

Simon Lucy
Thursday, November 15, 2001

My first vote would be for Delphi

Sunish Issac
Thursday, November 15, 2001

For web development?
Casting a vote for an unreleased product (even one that's past RC1) is probably cheating a bit, but Visual Studio.NET, whether you prefer vb.NET or C#, is just an excellent development environment.

Dave Rothgery
Thursday, November 15, 2001

What's the current status of Forte? Has it been relegated to being just Sun's IDE platform, or is the whole distributed software environment still available?  It had a pretty generic interpreted OO language calld TOOL (and there were plans to allow programming in Java when I bailed from the university where I was programming with it and joined the dotcom ratrace), a GUI builder, support for load-balancing and failover of modules, runtime multi-platform to hell and back, and talks in the same fashion to a bunch of big DB systems.  When someone says 4GL thats the sort of thing I think of, not just a GUI builder. 

The university bought it because of its multi-platform capabilities (we produce write-once applications that could run on Macs, PCs and UNIX machines - and it worked, but there was a pretty chunky run-time system on the clients), top tier support for OpenVMS (we got Oracle Financials for the same reason - look where that got us), and a simple programming system that didn't take much work to get up to speed. There was a web-server module, but there wasn't good support for things like sessions or security, and at a conference we discovered that everyone had been solving the same problems over and over - and that the next version would have support for all these things so to use them we would have to rework a bunch of code.

There's quite a lot of functionality there, and the system was priced accordingly, and for most people there's a lot that  isn't useful, and if you buy into the system, you really should keep in touch with your account manager to keep track of what's coming up, and keep in touch with user groups because there is not the same level of grapevine support as there is with something like Perl or Linux or C.

I think that it's still in use at the university 2 years after I've left, but the reasons for chosing to use it are fast fading, and were already starting to go as I was leaving, and the main reason is the rise of browser-based applications - there's no point in writing a client-based student-record keeping application, maintain big runtime systems on lots of different clients (most of them old & slow), making sure that the application pushout is working properly (this was sometimes a problem with Forte when I was using it) when you could have a browser-delivered system and make sure that everyone knows what set of browsers are supported. Applications that don't need to be spread so widely throughout the campus can (and were) written in things like VB, Delphi, Crystal Reports and Access.  Of course there is a heap of old COBOL and Rally still used, but it's more or less well-behaved.

Jamie Anstice
Friday, November 16, 2001

I would vote for Delphi, but for Web-based system it is not much better than any other 3GL compiler.
Some announced 3rd party Delphi/CBuilder components makes it a good choice for web development.

Also I would take a look to Visual Studio .NET - its ASP+ web forms is an impressive and well done technology.

Roman Eremin
Friday, November 16, 2001

Everyone leaves out Clarion-for-Windows. 

It is the only language (other than COBOL) that was written from the ground up to write business applications.  So there is no BEGIN, no "{}" or ";" etc.

It has survived longer than most of the others (1983) AND made a profit every year, unlike some. <g>

The problem is that you cannot be just a programmer to use it - you need to be a systems-engineer.  And the learning-curve is steep.  But VERY fast once you know it.  And executes faster than C++ with a compiler developed by Niels Jensen (Sidekick, Topspeed

But it is inherently a database-based language (RDB), fully object-oriented, system that can use any RDB database out there and has its own internal RDB for development.

And there is a new thin-client system which is NOT based on incompatible browsers and Java-engines.

See  and read the white-papers on ClarioNET.

Dermot Herron
Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Definitively Delphi for Windows C/S development (+ Kylix if you want Lunix-intel support)

Jbuilder is an excellent Java ide for web (J2EE) devt, but you'll need some extra framework for the server (e.g. Tomcat, JBoss, JRun ,WebLogic, etc.) and I recommend another tool for HTML page designing (Dreamweaver, Frontpage etc...)

Got only a quick demo, but C# with .NET framework seems to be (or seems in the future) excellent for web devt in Microsoft only server env. (and also some HTML design tool)

Robert Chevallier
Saturday, November 24, 2001

<<i would like a quick vote from guys on this on which do you think is better for Client Server- Web development>>

What's the best platform for client server is not necessarily best for Web development. Here's my recommendation for the most efficient tools:

Delphi/Kylix for native Windows/Linux applications and  client/server.

PHP + MYSQL/PostgreSQL for web development.

Java/JBuilder for complex web development.

Jan Derk
Monday, November 26, 2001

Hands down I would say that the combination of Delphi/Kylix is the best development environment today for native executables.  I would not recommend them for web development.  Just because Borland is a piss-poor marketing company doesn't mean they don't have the best technology.  Look at C# and even Java.  They both "borrowed" from delphi.  Hell M$ had to get a bunch of Borland engineers so they could advance their development tools and languages.

It will get even better when Delphi supports .NET.  Rumor has it that it will come out in the next version sometime in the summer.

Chris Woodruff
Tuesday, November 27, 2001

If you are developing business software you should try Softvelocity´s Clarion for Windows.

Trust me, you will love it. It will cut your development times in half, at least!

It´s an excellent 4GL and template based application generation.

Give it a try!

Sergio C
Friday, May 21, 2004

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