4th Dimension (4D) Question 
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 4th Dimension (4D) Question


This constitutes somewhat of a test. I'm looking around for other 4D
developpers that use the internet usenet news groups (there isn't a 4D
one, apparently).

Here's the deal:

I've seen the cross platform 4D Server running on a 90 mHZ pentium under
windows nt, and know on that machine it is similar in speed to the native
mac platform running on a 100 mhz 9150 powermac.

I have a few questions:
1) anyone else doing this? whats the reliability factor like? it seems
seamless in terms of clients.
2) I'd like to try running it in the same mode a couple of different ways.

     a) on a multiple processor pentium box of some sort (like the compac
proliant) ... anyone have any experience with benchmarks in a multiple
processor environment? does it actually do any good to buy multiple
processors (I doubt if ACIUS has written any smp code into the kernel,
though there is a quasi-multi tasking aspect to it)

     b) what about on faster platforms? I'm thinking DEC alpha boxes with
233 or 275 mhz processors, with NT server running. I think its about the
only way to heat up a relatively sluggish product .. I mean I'm not
holding my breath for a supercharged macintosh version.

If you might have a comment on this message, please email me directly, or
post if you think the rest of the group would be interested.

BTW -> don't bother to send me a message that explains how lame 4D is, and
that I should get a REAL database engine. I work in a varied environment
that includes oracle 7 servers, and I don't need to be convinced .. I'm
hip to the differences.

thanks ahead

Paul Drobny

Fri, 24 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 4th Dimension (4D) Question

: Hello;
: This constitutes somewhat of a test. I'm looking around for other 4D
: developpers that use the internet usenet news groups (there isn't a 4D
: one, apparently).

Because until recently 4d was a Mac-only database, most USENET
discussion of 4d takes place in comp.sys.mac.databases right
now.   There is an ACI forum on Compuserve, where a lot of 4d
gurus hang out, but because I've never used Compuserve I cannot
give any more help with that.

Most people I know doing serious C/S work with 4d as a client
use Oracle or Sybase as the server, because they do not consider
the 4d Server sufficiently robust.  Whatever C/S environment
you end up using, be aware that the user interface metaphor of
4d presents some serious difficulties for C/S work, because
so many commands refer to the "current selection" on a table,
so any C/S system must do one of two things if it is to
work like a local 4d application: either you transfer big
chunks of tables across the network so the client can simulate
having the entire table available for local browsing, or you
keep a lot of state around in order to keep track of which
records are in the "current selection" for each client, in
what sort order.

Because the design of the 4d C/S implementation is intended
to make migration from a local application as painless as
possible for the developer, it makes considerable use
of both techniques, and that must by its very nature have
a major performance impact -- especially if you have a slow
or overloaded network connection between client and server.
And 4d does _not_ handle network problems very gracefully;
it tends to lock up when packets are lost or delayed.

On the other hand, if you use an SQL database server, you will
soon bump up against the limitations of the available tools,
and will end up doing a great deal of string manipulation to
generate SQL strings that you then send to the server.

It can work, and work very well; we have several production
applications that use a 4d front-end to a Sybase server.  There
are some unique capabilities, such as the marvellous add-in
4d-Draw, that no other system of which I am aware can duplicate.

However, it is a good deal of work getting a 4d client
to a Sybase server working, because there is considerable
impedance mismatch between 4d and other databases.  We have
chosen that route because we do not consider the 4d server
robust enough for our application, and we need some of the
4d client's unique capabilities.


Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine
&X1A3B4603089.410DBE658538FD9E2504 Furlongs/Fortnight
It's not just a good idea, it's the law!

Fri, 31 Jul 1998 03:00:00 GMT
 [ 2 post ] 

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