Largest Provider of Commercial Smalltalk
Cincom is one of the largest commercial providers of Smalltalk, with twice as many partners and customers than other commercial providers.

Tom Nies

Support Coaching Session 2: Upgrade versus Migration

Be coached by Cincom Smalltalk Technical Support.
Be coached by Cincom Smalltalk Technical Support.

You have been a loyal Cincom Smalltalk™ customer for years, and now it’s time to take advantage of the features that the newer releases offer.  You can see that these new features offer multiple benefits such as having full support available to you and the opportunity to increase the value of your application by enhancing it with new features. 

The purpose of this coaching session is to determine if you should either upgrade or migrate your application.

We feel that there are some planning issues you need to think about and even document before taking the step to move your application forward:

  1. How long has it been since the application has been upgraded?
  2. How large is your application?  How do you identify size?  Is it by lines of code, parcels, classes, packages, etc.?
  3. What configuration methodology do you employ to manage your application?
  4. What areas of your application have overrides to the base product in place?  Can you easily identify those areas?
  5. Who will be doing the actual work?  Do they have the necessary skills to move the application forward in the time frames you have determined?
  6. What is your development methodology?  Does it allow for a high level of flexibility in addressing unexpected events along the way?

There are many more questions you can ask that will help to further clarify the complexity of this project. 

The answers to the questions above can help you to determine whether the project should be a migration or an upgrade.  The answers that relate to overrides, age of the application and programmer skills are keys in determining the start of a migration project.  For example, if you are using a release that is more than two releases old (Cincom® VisualWorks® 7.5 or older), you may be facing more of a migration project rather than an upgrade.  It will depend on your overrides, components and other variables.  However, if the application has very few overrides, the project may just be an upgrade.

Regardless of how you answered the questions, moving your Cincom® ObjectStudio® 7.x application to ObjectStudio 8.x is a migration.  Cincom provides a migration manual to help you know what parts of the product may cause application code changes “before you begin.” The document can be found in this directory after the installation of ObjectStudio 8.x:\Your root installation\ObjectStudio\OS Manuals\Docs.

Some of the topics include:

  1. ObjectStudio’s use of VisualWorks libraries.  Understanding this is critical to your success.
  2. Syntax changes.  Yes, there are a few.
  3. Porting code and repackaging.
  4. Debugging tools.
  5. Much more.

To avoid unnecessary frustration, do your homework before you begin. Become one with your Smalltalk application. The migration or upgrade will go smoothly, but if you would like Cincom to help in the migration or upgrade process, look into our Professional Services option.  

In whatever way you choose to take this journey, you can rest assured that in the end, the application has taken advantage of the new features and is bringing even more value to your organization. In addition, you now have full product support available to you.

As always, Cincom Smalltalk Technical Support is here to help you move forward when questions or product challenges arise.  We hope you have found this talk useful.  Please let us know.