4D Business Kit
An all-in-one online-store solution, the 4D Business Kit includes WebStar Web server software and a wizard-style user-interface designed to let anyone easily and quickly set up a powerful database-generated shopping area on a business Web site.
The Web server Webstar, which is also published by 4D, is integrated into the complete package, requiring no separate installation onto OS X.
The 4D Business Kit is an e-commerce solution for small to medium-sized businesses, basically an all-in-one solution to a Web site shop-front –including all the security plug-ins need to encrypt any payment details. It manages secure payments via the Standard SSL protocol allowing up to 128-bit encryption. It works with Verisign, Authorize.net and PayPal, as well as the option to use any other existing custom-built payment system.
It took a while for the 4D Business Kit to install on my G3 running Mac OS X 10.2. Also, setting up the required ports on a Mac for Web publication as the root user in OS X took a while to figure out. It’s especially fiddly if you’re not already familiar with those settings, and how to change them on a Mac. In order to have the secure online transactions side of the shop-front working under OS X, you need to follow to instructions for opening a session as a “root” user. You can enable the root user using the NetInfo utility included in the Utilities folder under OS X – this vital information wasn’t included in the manual that came with the software package, but as a downloadable PDF file from the 4D.
Many of the functions you’re likely to want are offered ready-configured in the software – for instance, catalogue development, shopping-cart technology, customer management and order tracking features, multi-currency payment systems, including tax calculations and shipping orders. You can also build as many different shops within the application as you need. The package includes several templates built with shopping in mind. If customization is needed, then you can use any other Web-design product, such as Macromedia Dreamweaver or Adobe GoLive.
The site-builder Wizard is expansive and easy to use, though the interface isn’t OS X-like. You simply follow the steps, add data and create a new site of imported data from another database if you’ve already got one. Remote administration of the shop is also possible using a Web browser. Password protection can be set from within the application.
If you run a small to medium-sized business, and are looking for an easy-to-use online shop system, then 4D Business Kit is a good choice. The software takes a bit of getting used to, but once it’s up and running, anyone can administer it.