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4D extensions were introduced with 4D v6.7.x. The 4D extensions architecture provides a means for the functionality natively available within 4D to be enhanced and improved without always having to release a complete new version of the base 4D product application line.
We already see additional functionality that 4D extensions provide for us. SSL and the 4D Form Wizard were introduced with 4D v6.7.x as 4D extensions. The functionality provided by these extensions make it possible for the SSL functionality and extended web options which all 4D developers have become accustomed to having in 4D.
Existing functional elements within 4D can be enhanced, or patched, by use of the 4D extension architecture, too. Resources, both standard and "internal" (aka "virtual"), can be replaced by copies placed in resource documents in the 4D Extensions folder next to the current 4D application (e.g. 4th Dimension, 4D Client, etc.).
This extensible architecture is what the FU4D extension takes advantage of the improve and enhance the 4D environment. Since much of 4D is actually written directly in 4D, there are plenty of forms, form methods, and object methods which can be easily improved upon with the proper use of 4D extensions. Select elements within the 4D environment are enhanced in the FU4D extensions to provide this increased and improved functionality. The same technique is also used to simplify access to much of the functionality available, for instance, through menus and keyboard commands in 4D.
For a definitive reference on how to create your own 4D extensions, the first issue of Planet 4D (scheduled to be available July 2002) includes an article detailing exactly the steps to take.