Ask Reuben

Front End Delivery

Why is there no more 4.01 front-end maintenance releases? 

Why am I being told to use 5.00 front-end with 4.01 back-end?

In the Genero 5.00 Release Announcement there is the following …

All the v5.00 front-end clients will support both Genero v4.01 and Genero v5.00. No new v4.01 front-end packages will be released; anyone needing a maintenance release for their v4.01 front-end installations will need to use the v5.00 front-end packages.

How to think of this, if you look at a browser or a mobile app, you only ever have one version of it. You don’t have to keep particular browser versions to view particular historical web pages. Similarly with apps, you don’t have multiple versions of the same app on the App store to use with different phone versions etc. Instead with these every fortnight/month or similar period, there is a new release that is in the case of browsers typically updated silently, or in case of Mobile Apps through the Update feature of your device ecosystem. Our front-ends will now similarly be a single stream that is updated periodically, monthly in case of GBC, probably less often in case of GDC, GMI, GMA.

Instead of us maintaining a…

  • 4.01 GDC and a 5.00 GDC
  • 4.01 GBC and a 5.00 GBC
  • 4.01 GMI and 5.00 GMI
  • 4.01 GMA and a 5.00 GMA

… we will now only maintain a

  • 5.00 GDC
  • 5.00 GBC
  • 5.00 GMI
  • 5.00 GMA

… that will be used with both a 4.01 FGL or a 5.00 FGL.

In 1.5 – 2.5 years time when we release v6.00, then FGL 4, FGL 5, FGL 6 will all use the 6.00 front-ends.  In the interim whilst FGL 3.20 is still supported, there are some transition rules .  When we release v6 in 1.5-2.5 years time, those rules disappear.

The definitive source for product compatibility should always be the documentation.  A reminder that in the Install and License documentation you will find notes on the product compatibility.

I like to break things down to simple to remember mantras.  You may have heard …

New Features, Fun to read, Upgrade Guide, Must read when it comes to the documentation. – Easy to remember URL for all things worldwide developer conference.

Current Plus Two Previous – When trying to remember what versions are currently supported.

So previously with compatibility between versions of our products, the easy to remember rule I would fall back to, was if our version number scheme is X.Y.Z then …

FGL (X.Y) = GAS (X.Y) = GRE (X.Y) = GBC (X.Y) = GDC(X.Y) = GMA (X.Y) = GMI (X.Y)

… there were exceptions but if you aimed for that (the first two numbers in the version being the same across all products) then you were in a good place.  Now my easy to remember rule is tinkered with and becomes something like…

Back Ends : FGL (X.Y) = GAS (X.Y) = GRE (X.Y) 

Front Ends : FGL (X.Y ) <= (GBC (X.Y), GDC(X.Y), GMA (X.Y), GMI (X.Y))

At the moment we don’t force you to use the latest version.  You can continue to use FGL 4.01 with any of the front-ends GBC 4.01.22, GDC 4.01.07, GMI 4.01.05, GMA 4.01.07.  However if and when you encounter an issue with a front-end and need to upgrade your front-end, you should not expect to find GBC 4.01.23, GDC 4.01.08, GMI 4.01.06, GMA 4.01.08,  you will find the issue resolved in the latest GBC 5.00.??, GDC 5.00.??, GMI, 5.00.??, GMA 5.00.?? and that is what you would be expected to download, install, and use.  You should not be put off by the fact that you will now have a 4.01 FGL and 5.00 front-end.

Addendum (17 April 2024) : Before we made this design decision, the FGL product had some code to check you were using a compatible front-end, that is a 4.01 GBC with a 4.01 FGL.  This check was removed in FGL 4.01.04.  So if using a 5.00 GBC, make sure your FGL is at least 4.01.04