4D introduces platform for building Web-based business apps

The company's open source Wakanda technology is a unified environment based on JavaScript

Development tools vendor 4D is introducing on Wednesday an open source, end-to-end JavaScript platform called Wakanda, which is intended to make it easier to build Web-based business applications.

Now at a prelaunch stage, Wakanda is billed as a unified environment based on JavaScript. "This is a development platform that is truly JavaScript on all sides," said Laurent Ribardiere, president, founder and CTO of 4D. "When you [develop] an application, you do everything in JavaScript."

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Wakanda is due for general availability by the end of this year, preceded by a beta release program. The platform features Wakanda Server, which is a faceless HTTP server with a datastore and datastore engine; Wakanda Studio, featuring a visual datastore and front-end design tools and a code editor; and Wakanda Framework, with widgets and standards-based data sources feeding them.

Developers can author applications like data-driven Web applications or medical applications. Applications are drawn in HTML for access via either a desktop browser or a mobile browser. The server component of Wakanda runs on Linux, Mac, or Windows. Wakanda, Ribardiere said, offers benefits in ease-of-use: Developers do not have to deal with the complexity of platforms like Microsoft's .Net, Java, or other JavaScript technologies.

The prelaunch version of Wakanda is available the Wakanda website. Wakanda will be offered via a dual-license structure, with developers able to access either an open source version or a subscription-based commercially licensed version. The commercial product will feature support services. The name Wakanda was derived from a Sioux term for "inner magic," 4D said on its website.

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