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Versão: 20 R6 BETA


A 4D component is a set of 4D code and/or 4D forms representing one or more functionalities that you can add and use in your projects. For example, the 4D SVG component adds advanced commands and an integrated rendering engine that can be used to display SVG files.

You can develop and build your own 4D components, or download public components shared by the 4D community that can be found on GitHub.

When developing in 4D, the component files can be transparently stored in your computer or on a Github repository.

Componentes interpretados e compilados

Components can be interpreted or compiled. The package folder of a component can contain:

  • either a Project folder (interpreted component)
  • ou um arquivo .4DZ (componente compilado)

A 4D project running in interpreted mode can use either interpreted or compiled components. A 4D project running in compiled mode cannot use interpreted components. Por isso não pode ser usado em um componente.

Loading components


This page describes how to work with components in the 4D and 4D Server environments. In other environments, components are managed differently:

Visão Geral

To load a component in your 4D project, you can either:

Components declared in the dependencies.json file can be stored at different locations:

  • at the same level as your 4D project's package folder: this is the default location,
  • anywhere on your machine: the component path must be declared in the environment4d.json file
  • on a GitHub repository: the component path can be declared in the dependencies.json file or in the environment4d.json file, or in both files.

If the same component is installed at different locations, a priority order is applied.

dependencies.json vs environment4d.json


The dependencies.json file references all components required in your 4D project. This file must be located in the Sources folder of the 4D project folder, e.g.:


Pode conter:

  • names of components stored locally (default path or path defined in an environment4d.json file),
  • names of components stored on GitHub repositories (their path can be defined in this file or in an environment4d.json file).


The environment4d.json file is optional. It allows you to define custom paths for some or all components declared in the dependencies.json file. This file can be stored in your project package folder or in one of its parent folders, at any level (up to the root).

The main benefits of this architecture are the following:

  • you can store the environment4d.json file in a parent folder of your projects and decide not to commit it, allowing you to have your local component organization.
  • if you want to use the same GitHub repository for several of your projects, you can reference it in the environment4d.json file and declare it in the dependencies.json file.


Since components can be installed in different ways, a priority order is applied when the same component is referenced at several locations:

Prioridade mais alta

  1. Components stored in the Components folder of the project.
  2. Components declared in the dependencies.json file.
  3. Internal User 4D components (e.g. 4D NetKit, 4D SVG...)

Prioridade mais baixa


When a component cannot be loaded because of another instance of the same component located at a higher priority level, it is given the Overloaded status. The loaded component has the Overloading status.

(the environment4d.json declared path overrides the dependencies.json path to configure a local environment).

Declarando componentes locais

You declare a local component in the dependencies.json file in the following way:

"dependencies": {
"myComponent1" : {},
"myComponent2" : {}

... where "myComponent1" and "myComponent2" are the name of the components to be loaded.

By default, if "myComponent1" and "myComponent2" are not declared in an environment4d.json file, 4D will look for the component's package folder (i.e. the project root folder of the component) at the same level as your 4D project's package folder, e.g.:


Thanks to this architecture, you can simply copy all your components at the same level as your projects and reference them in your dependencies.json files.


If you do not want to benefit from the dependencies.json architecture, you can install local components by copying their files in the Components folder of your project.

Customizing component paths

If you want to customize the location of local components, you declare the paths for the dependencies that are not stored at the same level as the project folder in the environment4d.json file.

You can use absolute or relative paths, expressed in POSIX syntax as described in this paragraph. Relative paths are relative to the environment4d.json file.


"dependencies": {
"myComponent1" : "MyComponent1",
"myComponent2" : "../MyComponent2",
"myComponent3" : "file:///Users/jean/MyComponent3"

If a component path declared in the environment4d.json file is not found when the project is started, the component is not loaded and gets the Not found status, even if a version of the component exists next to the project's package folder.

Declarando componentes armazenados no GitHub

4D components available as GitHub releases can be referenced and automatically loaded in your 4D projects.


Regarding components stored on GitHub, both dependencies.json and environment4d.json files support the same contents.

Configuring the GitHub repository

To be able to directly reference and use a 4D component stored on GitHub, you need to configure the GitHub component's repository:

  • Compress the component files in ZIP format.
  • Name this archive with the same name as the GitHub repository.
  • Integrate the archive into a GitHub release of the repository.

These steps can easily be automated, with 4D code or using GitHub Actions, for example.

Declaring paths

You declare a component stored on GitHub in the dependencies.json file in the following way:

"dependencies": {
"myGitHubComponent1": {
"github" : "JohnSmith/myGitHubComponent1"
"myGitHubComponent2": {}

... where "myGitHubComponent1" is referenced and declared for the project, although "myGitHubComponent2" is only referenced. You need to declare it in the environment4d.json file:

"dependencies": {
"myGitHubComponent2": {
"github" : "JohnSmith/myGitHubComponent2"

"myGitHubComponent2" can be used by several projects.

Tags and versions

When you create a release in GitHub, you specify a tag and a version.

"dependencies": {
"myFirstGitHubComponent": {
"github": "JohnSmith/myFirstGitHubComponent",
"tag": "beta2"
  • A release is also identified by a version. The versioning system used is based on the Semantic Versioning concept, which is the most commonly used. Each version number is identified as follows: majorNumber.minorNumber.pathNumber. In the same way as for tags, you can indicate the version of the component you wish to use in your project, as in this example:
"dependencies": {
"myFirstGitHubComponent": {
"github": "JohnSmith/myFirstGitHubComponent",
"version": "2.1.3"

The version is used to define which versions can be used. A standard semantic version is used. A range is defined by two semantic versions, a min and a max, with operators '< | > | >= | <= | ='. The * can be used as a placeholder for all versions. ~ and ^ prefixes define versions starting at a number, and up to respectively the next major and minor version.

Eis alguns exemplos:

  • "latest": the version having the “latest” badge in GitHub releases.
  • "*": the latest version released.
  • "1.*": all version of major version 1.
  • "1.2.*": all patches of minor version 1.2.
  • "^1.2.3" or ">=1.2.3": the latest version 1, starting with the 1.2.3 version.
  • "~1.2.3" or ">1.2.3": the latest major version 1, starting with the version just after the 1.2.3.
  • "<=1.2.3": the latest version until the 1.2.3 one.
  • "1.0.0 – 1.2.3" or ">=1.0.0 <=1.2.3": version between 1.0.0 and 1.2.3.
  • "<1.2.3 || >=2": version that is not between 1.2.3 and 2.0.0.

If you do not specify a tag or a version, 4D automatically retrieves the "latest" version.

Private repositories

If you want to integrate a component located in a private repository, you need to tell 4D to use a connection token to access it.

To do this, in your GitHub account, create a classic token with access rights to repo.


For more information, please refer to the GitHub token interface.

Then insert the "github" key in your environment4d.json file:

"github": {
"token": "ghpXXXXXXXXXXXXUvW8x9yZ"
"dependencies": {

"mySecondGitHubComponent": {
"github": "JohnSmith/mySecondGitHubComponent"

Cache local para dependências

Referenced GitHub components are downloaded in a local cache folder then loaded in your environment. The local cache folder is stored at the following location:

  • on macOs: $HOME/Library/Caches/<app name>/Dependencies
  • no Windows: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\<app name>\Dependencies

...where <app name> can be "4D", "4D Server", or "tool4D".


A dependency-lock.json file is created in the userPreferences folder of your project.

This file logs information such as the state of dependencies, paths, urls, loading errors, as well as other information. It could be useful for component loading management or troubleshooting.

Monitoring Project Dependencies

In an opened project, you can get information about dependencies and their current loading status in the Dependencies panel.

To display the Dependencies panel:

  • with 4D, select the Design/Project Dependencies menu item (Development environment),

  • with 4D Server, select the Window/Project Dependencies menu item.

The Dependency panel is then displayed. Dependencies are sorted by name in alphabetical order:


Origem da dependência

The Dependencies panel lists all project dependencies, whatever their origin, i.e. wherever they come from. The dependency origin is provided by the tag under its name:


The following origins are possible:

Origin tagDescrição
Componente 4DBuilt-in 4D component, stored in the Components folder of the 4D application
dependencies.jsonComponent declared in the dependencies.json file
EnvironmentComponent declared in the environnement4d.json file
Componente do projetoComponent located in the Components folder

Right-click in a dependency line and select Show on disk to reveal the location of a dependency:



This item is not displayed if the dependency is inactive because its files are not found.

Component icon and location logo provide additional information:

  • The component logo indicates if it is provided by 4D or a third-party developer.
  • Local components can be differentiated from GitHub components by a small icon.


Filtering Dependencies

By default, all dependencies identified by the Dependency manager are listed, whatever their status. You can filter the displayed dependencies according to their status by selecting the appropriate tab at the top of the Dependencies panel:


  • Active: Dependencies that are loaded and can be used in the project. It includes overloading dependencies, which are actually loaded. Overloaded dependencies are listed in the Conflicts panel, along with all conflicting dependencies.
  • Inactive: Dependencies that are not loaded in the project and are not available. There are many possible reasons for this status: missing files, version incompatibility...
  • Conflict: Dependencies that are loaded but that overloads at least one other dependency at lower priority level. Overloaded dependencies are also displayed so that you can check the origin of the conflict and take appropriate actions.

Status de dependência

Dependencies requiring the developer's attention are indicated by a status label at the right side of the line and a specific background color:


Estão disponíveis as seguintes etiquetas de status:

  • Overloaded: The dependency is not loaded because it is overloaded by another dependency with the same name at a higher priority level.
  • Overloading: The dependency is loaded and is overloading one or more other dependencies with the same name at a lower priority level.
  • Not found: The dependency is declared in the dependencies.json file but is not found.
  • Inactive: The dependency is not loaded because it is not compatible with the project (e.g. the component is not compiled for the current platform).
  • Duplicated: The dependency is not loaded because another dependency with the same name exists at the same location (and is loaded).

A tooltip is displayed when you hover over the dependency line, provding additional information about the status: