Four Js and Informix 4GL – history and relationship

IBM® Informix® 4GL was developed in 1985 by Chris Maloney and Roy Harrington of Informix Corporation – then known as Relational Database Systems – a Silicon Valley based relational database pioneer in the open systems market place. Informix was acquired by IBM July 1, 2001.

Informix 4GL comprises procedural (‘fourth generation’) features for database access, reports and forms-based user interaction, making it ideally suited for business applications. It has enabled the rapid development of very sophisticated mission critical business logic and as a result, is widely deployed in many of the world’s largest corporations. It is still used today by over half of Informix’s customers.


Informix Corporation launches Informix 4GL. It quickly becomes one of the most popular development languages with VARs and large enterprises in the ‘open systems’ movement of the eighties and nineties.

Late 80’s

The arrival of client/server computing towards the end of the eighties puts pressure on Informix to enhance the user interface from its alphanumeric foundation to the more friendly and intuitive MS Windows environment.


After several abortive attempts, Informix finally signs an agreement in May 1998 with Four Js Development Tools to deliver Business Development Suite – a graphical user interface implementation of Informix 4GL busily gathering momentum in the market place. Business Development Suite with its 99% Informix 4GL compatibility hits an instant chord with users. Informix renames it ‘Informix Dynamic 4GL’ (D4GL) and sells it under this moniker for the next 3 years.


In early 1999, other databases are added by popular demand.


This relationship is broadened in December 2001 to a distribution agreement with IBM after their acquisition of Informix in July. Dynamic 4GL is discontinued in favour of Four Js own brand – Business Development Suite.


In October 2003, Four Js announce the arrival of Genero – its next generation, object-based technology crafted with an XML oriented user interface capable of rendering one business logic faithfully across heterogeneous graphical clients.


In April 2004, IBM announces the distribution of Genero as its natural successor to Business Development Suite and Dynamic 4GL.


March 29, 2011, Four Js and IBM announce an OEM agreement between to create IBM Informix Genero. Four Js and IBM agree to work together on a joint roadmap to ensure that Genero may benefit from the latest features of Informix Dynamic Server.


July 9, 2015, Four Js and IBM announce that IBM will provide support for IBM Informix Genero through to September 30, 2016 and new Genero licenses will be available from Four Js from September 1, 2015.