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Rolling Out the Red Carpet for Cincom® ObjectStudio® 8.3

Get ready to roll out the red carpet, ObjectStudio 8.3 is almost here! We’ve done a lot of work for this release that we’re very proud of, and look forward to getting it out to you. Future editions of Smalltalk Digest will include more details on some of these items, but for now, since we’re still busy putting the finishing touches on it, we just want to hit the highlights.

Mapping Tool

The star of the show is the return of a full featured Mapping Tool. Most applications need to move corporate data between a relational database and objects to work with in Smalltalk. The premier framework for doing that job now is the open source Smalltalk product Glorp. The Mapping Tool was rewritten from the ground up for ObjectStudio 8 to take advantage of Glorp as its underlying framework. One interesting result of this is that although the Mapping Tool itself is a native windows ObjectStudio GUI, the Glorp descriptors it generates can be used in a pure Cincom® VisualWorks® environment as well. ObjectStudio 8.2 introduced the Mapping Tool with the ability to do simple Object-Relational mappings, but with ObjectStudio 8.3 the Mapping Tool will support all of the most important mapping types supported by Glorp itself.

Spy Tool

The Spy Tool has been updated for this release as well. For those that have never used it, it is a tool that spies on and displays messages sends. It can be a big help in understanding code flow and in debugging situations where the Smalltalk debugger is too intrusive, such as drag and drop. It has been extended to allow you to spy on individual instances now, as well as on messages sent to all instances of selected classes as always.

Trippy Inspector

You will also notice that we have made the “Trippy” inspector from VisualWorks the default inspector in ObjectStudio. We found ourselves as Smalltalk developers mostly switching over to Trippy, and we think you will find that an improvement as well. You’ll find a settings page that allows you to switch back and forth to the classic ObjectStudio TreeView inspector as desired too.

Runtime Packager

One last GUI update to note is in the Runtime Packager for ObjectStudio. You can now designate a Controller as your main window, as you could in ObjectStudio classic. This and other changes to that tool will help streamline application deployment, especially for users who have migrated from ObjectStudio 7.x.

Database Improvements

Significant database improvements include Multiple Active Result Sets (MARS) support for SQL Server, NESTED TABLE and REF cursor support for Oracle, support for Sybase’s default client password encryption, and more.

As always a large part of our work has been put into addressing issues reported by users or found in testing. ModalDialogBox behavior, wait cursor support, Rectangle behavior (especially with respect to Rectangles for Forms and FormItems), Decimal/Number class compatibility with ObjectStudio 7.x and base class libraries all got some needed improvements in the release, along with a host of smaller changes in many areas.

For everything mentioned above and more, please see the Release Notes and the readme.txt file for details. It all adds up to some major improvements, with a balance between moving ObjectStudio into the future and keeping behavior maximally compatible with the expectations of long time users. We’re all very excited for you to start putting it to use!