Development tools vendor 4D is introducing on Wednesday an open source, end-to-end JavaScript platform called Wakanda, which is intended to make it easier to build Web-based business applications.

Now at a pre-launch stage, Wakanda is billed as a unified environment based on JavaScript. "This is a development platform that is truly JavaScript on all sides," said Laurent Ribardiere, president, founder and CTO of 4D. "When you [develop] an application, you do everything in JavaScript."

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Wakanda is due for general availability by the end of this year, preceded by a beta release program. The platform features Wakanda Server, which is a faceless HTTP server with a datastore and datastore engine; Wakanda Studio, featuring a visual datastore and front-end design tools and a code editor; and Wakanda Framework, with widgets and standards-based data sources feeding them.

Developers can author applications like data-driven Web applications or medical applications. Applications are drawn in HTML for access via either a desktop browser or a mobile browser. The server component of Wakanda runs on Linux, Mac, or Windows. Wakanda, Ribardiere said, offers benefits in ease of use: Developers do not have to deal with the complexity of platforms like Microsoft's .Net, Java, or other JavaScript technologies.

The pre-launch version of Wakanda is available the Wakanda website. Wakanda will be offered via a dual license structure, with developers able to access either an open source version or a subscription-based commercially licensed version. The commercial product will feature support services. The name Wakanda was derived from a Sioux term for "inner magic," 4D said on its website.

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