Genero version 4 brings in lots of new features that make it well worth upgrading to.  The new version introduces several changes that you’ll need to be aware of if upgrading from an earlier version though.  This article covers some of the challenges we faced, and the solutions found to resolve them.


Development Environment

The first thing to note here is Genero v4 requires a new version of the Fourjs License Manager, FLM v6 to both compile and run programs.  It’s likely while transitioning to Genero v4, you’ll want to be running both v3 and v4, so they have made FLM v6 backwards compatible with both 3.10 and 3.20; there is some work to do on these earlier versions of BDL first though (after installing and configuring FLM v6):

  1. Patch the license controller
    1. First, download the latest version (v6) of the FourJs Licence Controller
    2. This can be found on the Products download page Under License Manager Packages
  2. This is just a patch – after making a backup, unpack the package in the target (v3) $FGLDIR
  3. This should create a template license file: $FGLDIR/etc/fgllicense
  4. Update this with the hostname, port and license number
  5. In your Genero v3 profile, comment out/remove the current flm entries, and just set flm.server=”compatv6”
  6. This will need to be repeated for GRE (if used)
  7. Where you have multiple development licenses and use GST in client/server mode, set FGLLICENSE to point to a license file (fgllicense) in each developer’s home directory


As above, you will need to make sure you are running FLM 6, and make sure FGLLICENSE and GRELICENSE are set appropriately.

If you were not using GBC previously (i.e. on 3.20 with Universal Rendering turned on), your applications may well look and behave a little differently with V4.  Universal Rendering is now enforced, with GBC the only AUI option for GDC, GMA, GMI and GAS.  While this means your application will look and behave the same whichever user interface is used, GDC and mobile front ends may look quite different to prior versions.

These are the four biggest changes from GDC we noticed in our own applications:

  • WCI (Windows Container Interface) has been deprecated
  • Forms are rendered differently and may appear larger
  • Window management has changed significantly
  • Many style file attributes have become redundant or deprecated

With no changes, i.e. simply re-compiling with Genero v4, the above issues made our applications unsightly and cumbersome to use; however, with a few simple work-arounds, we were able to get it to look and feel similar to the previous version:


The Windows Container Interface has been deprecated and replaced by a sidebar window container in GDC.  Some of our applications utilise the full screen estate, so the appearance of this new sidebar meant some forms could not fit on a single screen.

While recoding the application to move away from MDI would be the best solution, there’s an easy way to remove this sidebar via your style file:

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This also sets new programs to appear in new windows/browser tabs, which we found preferable to replacing the current application.

Form Size

When we first ran our apps with v4, we noticed the forms appeared bigger with GDC than in previous versions.  In later versions of the GBC (we downloaded v4.01.11), there’s a new theme you can select “compact”.  We found this reduced the size of our forms so they appeared similar to previous versions, and, in conjunction with “applicationListVisible=no” above, meant our larger forms now could now fit on the screen.

Window Management

With GBC, by default new windows will replace the current window.  While this makes sense for modern web and mobile applications, it may not work well for existing applications designed for GDC.  Thankfully, this behaviour is easily altered by opening new windows that have a style attribute of windowType = modal.  If you have an existing style for modal windows, you may be able to fix the issue just by changing this one attribute in your style file.

Style Files

If your application is old and has been through several Genero versions, it’s likely you’ve built up custom style files with many different styles and attributes set.  We found that a large amount of our custom styles had become redundant or deprecated when moving to GDC.  We actually ended up deleting large sections from our files as most were no longer required.  Features such as alternate row highlighting (where we were using pseudo-selectors), spell checking, and current field highlighting are now all built in, and our application looked and behaved a lot better after this review.


The GBC is now the only rendering option available in v4.  Your application will look and behave differently from earlier versions, especially if it’s older and designed for GDC.  There will be some work to do; however, moving to v4 offers a great opportunity to give applications a modern look and feel, with a uniform view across all devices.


We initially hit a number of issues when migrating our applications to Genero V4; however some of there we fixed just by upgrading to the latest fix-pack (it’s well worth making sure you have the latest versions of the GBC and GDC).  As above, most of the other issues we faced we could work around with just a few simple changes.

The GBC offers a great way to build a modern looking application, and can give your older apps a new look and feel with only a few minor customisations.


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