30% of the worldwide market
of shipping containers is controlled by Smalltalk systems.

Stéphane Ducasse, Director of Research INRIA Lille

Bird Technologies Speeds Up with Cincom VisualWorks®

Words—there are thousands of them.  We often struggle to find the right ones for each situation we face.  The power of the words we choose cannot be underestimated. For instance, Christopher Columbus said, “Following the light of the sun, we left the old world.” What if he had chosen to say, “We must identify and agree that our direction may or may not be the sun and then based upon our conclusion, if it is a consensus, set out to follow it as best we can,” instead of the short, powerful sentence he used? It would be a safe bet that it would not be a famous quote.  There is power in simplicity.

Power
There is power in technology too, especially when it helps to simplify complex things like application development.  Cincom VisualWorks (a member of the Cincom Smalltalk™ suite of products) does that.

French company, Bird Technologies, develops applications—high-end, elaborate applications—for the finance sector.  They build complicated financial models for transactions and simulations.  It’s heady stuff even for sophisticated programmers.  Bird’s programmers work at warp-speed programming in a language beyond domain-specific languages (DSLs).  “Simply said, business natural languages (BNLs) are a DSL that is simplified by abstracting the syntax elements that are common … ,” said Christophe Allegrini, Director of Application Development at Bird Technology.

Fast Enough for Finance
Complicated details are abstracted to Bird’s advantage strengthening the end-user experience.  More importantly, it speeds development time from days to minutes, or by 30% to 40% compared to Java. In one specific example, the development of a customized user interface that took six and a half days before, now only takes 15 minutes to develop. They reduced their development time by 624 percent! Allegrini says,

“First of all, we decided to use VisualWorks for its maturity, availability and homogeneity, which is not reached by other object-oriented languages.  In addition, we needed a dynamic language providing a just-in-time optimizer while guaranteeing maximum stability with effective support.  VisualWorks completely meets these requirements.  Besides, we want to provide our customers with an integrated development environment (IDE) that allows them to use their DSL in the easiest way possible, on whatever platform they choose.”

Harmonic Convergence
For Bird Technologies, aligning DSLs and BNLs with VisualWorks complements their expert services for finance-sector customers.  It’s the competitive advantage they need.  “Cincom VisualWorks provides the perfect platform for us to meet the high requirements of our customers on DSL- and BNL-based applications,” summarizes Allegrini.  Like a harmonic convergence, a major energy shift occurs in favor of the customer as well as the provider—Bird.

Bird has further extended the harmony by using VisualWorks to develop web applications.  It all comes together rapidly and efficiently with VisualWorks.  “In my opinion, VisualWorks is without a doubt the ‘ne plus ultra’ (like no other) in web technology.  We can now develop a web application with its front end in Flash and the corresponding back end in the powerful VisualWorks environment.”  Whether your language is French, DSL or BNL, Cincom VisualWorks will elevate the competitive advantage of your programmers for your customers.

  • To discover what you can do with VisualWorks click here.
  • To learn more about how Bird Technologies used VisualWorks to increase their development time, click here.