With such a high productivity
factor that Smalltalk gives us, reaction times to market changes have enabled us to beat most of our competitors.

Dr. Colin Lewis, Vice-President, JPMorgan

New Releases and ESUG Talks!

Posted on in Categories ESUG, ObjectStudio, Smalltalk, VisualWorks

I will be part of two presentations at ESUG (European Smalltalk User Group) in Gent, Belgium this year.  One presentation will be “Building a Business with Cincom Smalltalk” where Dirk Verleyson and I will discuss and demonstrate the effective use of our tools to build software to support a business.  It really shows the capability of Smalltalk and our tools to get a business up and running quickly.

The second presentation will be a Tour De France-themed, product-roadmap presentation to discuss where we are and where we are going with our products.

I enjoy the ESUG conference; it usually has excellent presentations as well as the “innovation awards” where you can see innovative projects that are done in Smalltalk.  I hope to see you there!  For more information, visit: http://esug.org, or http://www.esug.org/wiki/pier/Conferences/2012

Foundation Improvements (used by ObjectStudio 8.4 and VisualWorks 7.9)

What: External Encryption 

  • Why:  External encryption gives our customers more options, including some potential big performance increases.
  • How:  New API that’s integrated to make new work easy for customers to adopt.

What: WSDL 2.0/SOAP 1.3 new API refinements and tools

  • Why:  WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) and SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) protocols are used by many large CST customers.  The protocol changes were significant.
  • How:  We worked closely with requesting customers to ensure that the work not only met specifications, but worked to their requirements and context.  This work extended to providing the best set of tools needed by customers.

What: Database driver refinements, enhancements and performance; SQLite support

  • Why:  We continue to consolidate, improve and add capabilities as the databases we support continue to change.
  • How:  Work is largely driven by customer requests and product-management requests for consolidation.

What: Polycephaly moved to supported.

  • Why:  Polycephaly is our extremely popular and attractive framework that gives developers “easy concurrency” often resulting in 3-5X performance improvements.  It was engineering’s answer to a product-management challenge for a “Smalltalk simple” framework to allow customers to leverage multi-core computers.
  • How:  Polycephaly is stable and widely used; code moved to supported.

What: Polycephaly II in preview

  • Why:  Polycephaly II improves on Polycephaly by adding a grid computer capability.  This means you can harness other computers from an application in addition to multi-cores in a single computer.
  • How:  Added to new release.

What: Garbage Collection Performance improvements

  • Why:  VM garbage-collection performance was improved as part of our continued work to continually improve the product.  Performance improvements in garbage collection are well-received because they improve application performance for all CST customers simply by using the new release.
  • How:  VM refinement work delivered

ObjectStudio Improvements

What: The ability to use Foundation (VisualWorks) COM Connect  

  • Why:  The Foundation COM Connect has become more advanced than the ObjectStudio OLE package.  Our future plan is to explore converging on one.  In the meantime, we will make the Foundation COM Connect available to ObjectStudio users who need the features it has.
  • How:  COM Connect is now part of the default ObjectStudio installation.

What: Drag and drop improvements

  • Why:   Customers requested drag and drop improvements for TreeView.
  • How:  Numerous drag-and-drop refinements

What: Modeling tool enhancements

  • Why:  The Modeling tool is a powerful feature tool for ObjectStudio.
  • How:  Engineering continues to add desired features and refine behavior from customer feedback.

What: Mapping tool enhancements

  • Why:  The Mapping tool is a powerful feature tool for ObjectStudio. The Mapping tool allows applications to quickly and capably integrate with relational databases.
  • How:  Engineering continues to add desired features and refine behavior from customer feedback.

What: Cursor support for Oracle

  • Why:   Customers requested support for this RDB feature from ObjectStudio applications.
  • How:  CST API enhanced to support this feature.

VisualWorks Improvements

What: “Skins” UI work introduced

  • Why:  There has been a long-time debate about what is better:  Native Widgets or emulated widgets.  Both have pros and cons.  “Skins” is an innovative solution that gives native OS rendering along with emulated flexibility, which many consider to be the best of both worlds.
  • How:  Skinnable widgets are introduced in the product, two widgets (buttons and scroll bars) initially.

What: VisualWorks 64-bit Windows, moved to supported.

  • Why:  A 64-bit VisualWorks VM and image were created to allow customers to utilize the capabilities that a full 64-bit application can give.  The most obvious advantages are a vastly larger object space.  This has been a critical need for some customers.
  • How:  Feature stable, moved to supported.

What: 64-bit support; COM 64, Oracle 64, Win ODBC 64

  • Why:  APIs and drivers for 64-bit variations are now available.
  • How:  Customer requested and being delivered.

What: Cincom Smalltalk SAP Netweaver Connect for VisualWorks 7.9

  • Why:  Add-on product for customers
  • How:  Cincom Smalltalk SAP Netweaver Connect has been revamped for the upgrades in our Web Services libraries.