There are many languages and tools that developers can choose for the development and deployment of mobile applications. Smalltalk likely isn't one of the ones they would immediately think of - after all, Smalltalk has been around for many years, and is not nearly as well known as Java, C, or C#. However, Smalltalk has many advantages - it's the original OO language, and is much simpler - and more powerful - than Java, C, or C#. Cincom Smalltalk is a direct descendent of the original Smalltalk developed at Xerox PARC in the late '70s. Recently the 2003 Turing Award, considered the "Nobel Prize of Computing" was been given to Dr. Alan Kay for leading the team at Xerox PARC that invented Smalltalk, as the first complete dynamic object-oriented programming language. Now Smalltalk supports a wide range of platforms - including mobile devices.
What do developers of mobile applications need? They need a development and deployment platform that allows them to develop on traditional client platforms as well as on mobile devices. They need a platform that has the same power available on a full scale platform, without all of the bloat that normally comes with that. They need a platform that is easy to work with, and easy to update in the field. Why should developers select Cincom Smalltalk for mobile devices instead of the alternatives? The answer is simple - Cincom Smalltalk offers a low cost, low risk, high value development and deployment platform:
- Low Cost
- Creating software for the mobile platforms is expensive. Using Cincom Smalltalk, development can proceed on a "pay as you go" model, driving down up front development costs
- Rapid Return on Investment
- Smalltalk is an extremely agile and productive system for the development of applications. Capers Jones research over the course of a decade shows that Smalltalk is three times as productive as Java. The same research shows that the rate of errors produced when using Smalltalk is dramatically lower
- High Value
- Complete binary portability - developers selecting Cincom Smalltalk can develop on their favorite platform and then deploy to any other - including Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows XP Tablet PC Edition and Linux - with no changes. Cincom Smalltalk supports the x86, XScale, and StrongARM based mobile devices, as well as standard Windows, Unix, Mac, and Unix workstations and servers.
- Software Updates - updating software deployed to mobile devices is not simple - unless you use Cincom Smalltalk. Cincom Smalltalk applications can be updated quickly and easily, without requiring a full redeployment
- Complete Power - unlike J2ME or .NET compact edition, Cincom Smalltalk offers all the power of the full platform - whether the deployment is to Windows XP, Unix, Linux, MacOS, or Windows CE. No compromises are necessary.
- Complete interoperability with the relevant standards - Cincom Smalltalk offers full support for all the relevant communication and interoperability standards.
- Low Risk
- Maturity - Cincom Smalltalk has been under continuous development and deployment for over thirty years now - with great success at a number of Fortune 500 firms. None of the competing solutions can point to a similar record of robustness and maturity
- Stability - Cincom Systems has been in business since '68, under the leadership of the same CEO - Mr. Thomas Nies. Cincom has been supporting many of its products for more than thirty years - a record of stability that few firms can match
- Support - Cincom pioneered 24x7x365 support decades ago, and offers "whatever it takes" support to its customers. Developers selecting Cincom Smalltalk will never have to wait long for a solution to support issues
That's a white paper I created to point out the benefits of Cincom Smalltalk as a development/deployment platform for mobile devices. We are about to release full support for CE4 devices on x86, XScale, and StrongARM based devices with the release of VisualWorks 7.2.1 (part of Cincom Smalltalk spring 2004), due in May. We pushed a press release here