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Version: 20 R5 BETA

Function

A 4D.Function object contains a piece of code that can be executed from an object, either using the () operator, or using the apply() and call() functions. 4D proposes three kinds of Function objects:

  • native functions, i.e. built-in functions from various 4D classes such as collection.sort() or file.copyTo().
  • user functions, created in user classes using the Function keyword.
  • formula functions, i.e. functions that can execute any 4D formula.

Formula objects

The Formula and Formula from string commands allow you to create 4D.Function objects to execute any 4D expression or code expressed as text.

Formula objects can be encapsulated in object properties:

 var $f : 4D.Function
$f:=New object
$f.message:=Formula(ALERT("Hello world"))

This property is an "object function", i.e. a function which is bound to its parent object. To execute a function stored in an object property, use the () operator after the property name, such as:

 $f.message() //displays "Hello world"

Syntax with brackets is also supported:

 $f["message"]() //displays "Hello world"

Note that, even if it does not have parameters (see below), an object function to be executed must be called with ( ) parenthesis. Calling only the object property will return a new reference to the formula (and will not execute it):

 $o:=$f.message //returns the formula object in $o

You can also execute a function using the apply() and call() functions:

 $f.message.apply() //displays "Hello world"

Passing parameters

You can pass parameters to your formulas using the sequential parameter syntax based upon $1, $2...$n. For example, you can write:

 var $f : Object
$f:=New object
$f.message:=Formula(ALERT("Hello "+$1))
$f.message("John") //displays "Hello John"

Or using the .call() function:

 var $f : Object
$f:=Formula($1+" "+$2)
$text:=$f.call(Null;"Hello";"World") //returns "Hello World"
$text:=$f.call(Null;"Welcome to";String(Year of(Current date))) //returns "Welcome to 2019" (for example)

Parameters to a single method

For more convenience, when the formula is made of a single project method, parameters can be omitted in the formula object initialization. They can just be passed when the formula is called. For example:

 var $f : 4D.Function

$f:=Formula(myMethod)
//Writing Formula(myMethod($1;$2)) is not necessary
$text:=$f.call(Null;"Hello";"World") //returns "Hello World"
$text:=$f.call() //returns "How are you?"

//myMethod
#DECLARE ($param1 : Text; $param2 : Text)->$return : Text
If(Count parameters=2)
$return:=$param1+" "+$param2
Else
$return:="How are you?"
End if

Parameters are received within the method, in the order they are specified in the call.

Summary

.apply() : any
.apply( thisObj : Object { ; formulaParams : Collection } ) : any

executes the formula object to which it is applied and returns the resulting value
.call() : any
.call( thisObj : Object { ; ...params : any } ) : any

executes the formula object to which it is applied and returns the resulting value
.source : Text
contains the source expression of the formula as text

Formula

History
ReleaseChanges
17 R6Renamed (New formula -> Formula)
17 R3Added

Formula ( formulaExp : Expression ) : 4D.Function

ParameterTypeDescription
formulaExpExpression->Formula to be returned as object
Result4D.Function<-Native function encapsulating the formula

Description

The Formula command creates a 4D Function object based upon the formulaExp expression. formulaExp can be as simple as a single value or complex, such as a project method with parameters.

Having a formula as an object allows it to be passed as a parameter (calculated attribute) to commands or methods or to be executed from various components without needing to declare them as "shared by components and host database". When called, the formula object is evaluated within the context of the database or component that created it.

The returned formula can be called with:

 var $f : 4D.Function
$f:=Formula(1+2)
$o:=New object("myFormula";$f)

//three different ways to call the formula
$f.call($o) //returns 3
$f.apply($o) //returns 3
$o.myFormula() //returns 3

You can pass parameters to the Formula, as seen below in example 4.

You can specify the object on which the formula is executed, as seen in example 5. The properties of the object can then be accessed via the This command.

If formulaExp uses local variables, their values are copied and stored in the returned formula object when it is created. When executed, the formula uses these copied values rather than the current value of the local variables. Note that using arrays as local variables is not supported.

The object created by Formula can be saved, for example, in a database field or in a blob document.

Example 1

A simple formula:

 var $f : 4D.Function
$f:=Formula(1+2)

var $o : Object
$o:=New object("f";$f)

$result:=$o.f() // returns 3

Example 2

A formula using local variables:



$value:=10
$o:=New object("f";Formula($value))
$value:=20

$result:=$o.f() // returns 10

Example 3

A simple formula using parameters:

 $o:=New object("f";Formula($1+$2))
$result:=$o.f(10;20) //returns 30

Example 4

A formula using a project method with parameters:

 $o:=New object("f";Formula(myMethod))
$result:=$o.f("param1";"param2") // equivalent to $result:=myMethod("param1";"param2")

Example 5

Using This:

 $o:=New object("fullName";Formula(This.firstName+" "+This.lastName))
$o.firstName:="John"
$o.lastName:="Smith"
$result:=$o.fullName() //returns "John Smith"

Example 6

Calling a formula using object notation:

 var $feta; $robot : Object
var $calc : 4D.Function
$robot:=New object("name";"Robot";"price";543;"quantity";2)
$feta:=New object("name";"Feta";"price";12.5;"quantity";5)

$calc:=Formula(This.total:=This.price*This.quantity)

//sets the formula to object properties
$feta.calc:=$calc
$robot.calc:=$calc

//call the formula
$feta.calc() // $feta={name:Feta,price:12.5,quantity:5,total:62.5,calc:"[object Formula]"}
$robot.calc() // $robot={name:Robot,price:543,quantity:2,total:1086,calc:"[object Formula]"}

Formula from string

History
ReleaseChanges
20 R3Support of context parameter
17 R6Renamed New formula from string -> Formula from string
17 R3Added

Formula from string( formulaString : Text ) : 4D.Function
Formula from string( formulaString : Text ; context : Longint ) : 4D.Function

ParameterTypeDescription
formulaStringText->Text formula to be returned as object
contextNumber->sk execute in current database (default) or sk execute in host database
Result4D.Function<-Native object encapsulating the formula

Description

The Formula from string command creates a 4D.Function object based upon the formulaString and, optionnally, a context. formulaString can be as simple as a single value or complex, such as a project method with parameters.

This command is similar to Formula, except that it handles a text-based formula and allows to define an execution context. It is usually recommended to use the Formula command, except if the original formula was expressed as text (e.g., stored externally in a JSON file), or if you want to create a formula in a host database while calling Formula from string from a component. Using syntax with tokens is highly advised with this command.

Because local variable contents can not be accessed by name in compiled mode, they can not be used in formulaString. An attempt to access a local variable with Formula from string will result in an error (-10737).

If the formula is created in a component, you might consider using the context parameter. By default, since formulas are executed in the context in which they were created, it will not be able to call a variable, function, or a non-shared method of the host database. In this case, you can pass the sk execute in host database constant in the context parameter to execute the 4D.Function object in the context of the host database. The following constants are available:

ConstantTypeDescription
sk execute in current databaseLongint(default) The formula will be executed in the context it was created
sk execute in host databaseLongintThe formula will be executed in the host database context

Example

The following code will create a dialog accepting a formula in text format:

 var $textFormula : Text
var $f : 4D.Function
$textFormula:=Request("Please type a formula")
If(ok=1)
$f:=Formula from string($textFormula)
ALERT("Result = "+String($f.call()))
End if

...and execute the formula:

.apply()

History
ReleaseChanges
17 R3Added

.apply() : any
.apply( thisObj : Object { ; formulaParams : Collection } ) : any

ParameterTypeDescription
thisObjObject->Object to be returned by the This command in the formula
formulaParamsCollection->Collection of values to be passed as $1...$n when formula is executed
Resultany<-Value from formula execution

Description

The .apply() function executes the formula object to which it is applied and returns the resulting value. The formula object can be created using the Formula or Formula from string commands.

In the thisObj parameter, you can pass a reference to the object to be used as This within the formula.

You can also pass a collection to be used as $1...$n parameters in the formula using the optional formulaParams parameter.

Note that .apply() is similar to .call() except that parameters are passed as a collection. This can be useful for passing calculated results.

Example 1

 var $f : 4D.Function
$f:=Formula($1+$2+$3)

$c:=New collection(10;20;30)
$result:=$f.apply(Null;$c) // returns 60

Example 2

 var $calc : 4D.Function
var $feta; $robot : Object
$robot:=New object("name";"Robot";"price";543;"quantity";2)
$feta:=New object("name";"Feta";"price";12.5;"quantity";5)

$calc:=Formula(This.total:=This.price*This.quantity)

$calc.apply($feta) // $feta={name:Feta,price:12.5,quantity:5,total:62.5}
$calc.apply($robot) // $robot={name:Robot,price:543,quantity:2,total:1086}

.call()

History
ReleaseChanges
17 R3Added

.call() : any
.call( thisObj : Object { ; ...params : any } ) : any

ParameterTypeDescription
thisObjObject->Object to be returned by the This command in the formula
paramsany->Value(s) to be passed as $1...$n when formula is executed
Resultany<-Value from formula execution

Description

The .call() function executes the formula object to which it is applied and returns the resulting value. The formula object can be created using the Formula or Formula from string commands.

In the thisObj parameter, you can pass a reference to the object to be used as This within the formula.

You can also pass values to be used as $1...$n parameters in the formula using the optional params parameter(s).

Note that .call() is similar to .apply() except that parameters are passed directly.

Example 1

 var $f : 4D.Function
$f:=Formula(Uppercase($1))
$result:=$f.call(Null;"hello") // returns "HELLO"

Example 2

 $o:=New object("value";50)
$f:=Formula(This.value*2)
$result:=$f.call($o) // returns 100

.source

History
ReleaseChanges
18 R2Added

.source : Text

Description

The .source property contains the source expression of the formula as text.

This property is read-only.

Example

 var $of : 4D.Function
var $tf : Text
$of:=Formula(String(Current time;HH MM AM PM))
$tf:=$of.source //"String(Current time;HH MM AM PM)"