fourth generation language


Also found in: Acronyms.

fourth generation language

(language)
(4GL, or "report generator language") An "application specific" language, one with built-in knowledge of an application domain, in the way that SQL has built-in knowledge of the relational database domain.

The term was invented by Jim Martin to refer to non-procedural high level languages built around database systems.

Fourth generation languages are close to natural language and were built with the concept that certain applications could be generalised by adding limited programming ability to them.

When given a description of the data format and the report to generate, a 4GL system produces COBOL (or other 3GL) code, that actually reads and processes the data and formats the results.

Some examples of 4GL are: database query language e.g.SQL; Focus, Metafont, PostScript, S, IDL-PV, WAVE, Gauss, Mathematica, and data-stream languages such as AVS, APE, Iris Explorer.
References in periodicals archive ?
Accounting has been by far the most common applications software in use, however big markets in tools such as relational databases, fourth generation languages, production control and Chinese language systems will be in the near future.
Popular third and fourth generation languages including ADSO, Application Master, Assembler, COBOL, CoolGEN, CSP, EAE(LINC), Easytrieve, IDEAL, MANTIS, PACBASE, RPG, TELON and TPF
In addition, he introduces the use of fourth generation languages as tools for developing applications and discusses ways to review applications developed with them.
Founded in 2001, BSC is focused on the design, distribution and integration of advanced software solutions, as well as the design and execution of large information systems projects, based in relational databases and fourth generation languages.
The powerful and flexible Progress 4GL is unique among fourth generation languages in that it is actually used to implement our application development tools, such as WebSpeed Workshop, AppBuilder and the ICF (Internet Component Framework).
Terry Harvey founded Harvey Consultants, a UK based consulting firm specializing in IBM systems utilizing relational databases, structured techniques and fourth generation languages, following his departure from Software AG (Frankfurt:SOWG.
The presentations and exhibits will explain the unique challenges of remediating systems built with fourth generation languages (4GLs) such as Focus.
Over the next few months, IAI expects to release products to remediate additional CA fourth generation languages including CA-Easytrieve and CA-Ideal.