Largest Provider of Commercial Smalltalk
Cincom is the largest commercial provider of Smalltalk in the world, with twice as many partners and customers than all other commercial providers combined.

Tom Nies

Smalltalk Digest: December Edition

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk Digest Archive

Smalltalk Digest

Welcome to the final Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest of 2018.  In this “Year-in-Review” edition, we will look back through all things Cincom Smalltalk in this past year. 

Creating a Personal Business Plan

In January, we highlighted a talk that Suzanne Fortman, the Program Director of Cincom Smalltalk, had given at a conference in Argentina. When talking to a room filled with university students, prospects, current customers and partners, she encouraged everyone in the room to write a personal business plan.

This quick, motivational talk only lasts two minutes, so it’s worth taking a break from your day and checking it out. You can watch below:

“How Do I…?” Frequently Asked Questions

The Cincom Smalltalk Product Team fields many questions from partners, customers and users of Cincom Smalltalk about a number of topics concerning our products. Some of these include topics about customer ordering, product installation and website navigation among others. In order to provide a better user experience, we created a “How do I…?” frequently asked questions knowledge base on our website. This new forum we created in February allowed us to build out these questions in a more organized way and provide answers that are searchable and categorized for ease of use. We’ve also provided a way for anyone to ask our Product Team a new question that may not be on the list for inclusion into the knowledge base.

  • To check out the growing archive of these questions, click here.

Mobile App Development for Apple® Products and Android™ Using Cincom Smalltalk

In March, we launched a campaign around a Smalltalk mobile app. Using components of Cincom® VisualWorks®, David Buck created a mobile game called HexSolve. In the game, you slide numbered hexagonal tiles around on a board. If you make a chain of consecutive numbers, the highest-numbered tile increments and the remaining tiles disappear. One or more tiles are marked as “targets.” The goal of the game is to advance or eliminate all of the target tiles.

In making HexSolve, Buck used the development environment of Cincom VisualWorks including the browsers, the inspectors, the debugger, the compiler and Store for version control. For the runtime, the VisualWorks compiler generated the bytecodes. The reason for using VisualWorks for any project is that the VisualWorks development environment makes it easier to develop software. Buck said,

“VisualWorks, more than any other development environment, lets the developer explore, interact with, and modify code with such ease that developers in other languages can’t even understand what they’re missing.  It’s like trying to explain virtual reality games to someone who has only experienced handheld games.  It’s something you need to experience to appreciate.  Pharo and other Smalltalks have a similar feel, but I believe that VisualWorks is the best.”

  • More details about HexSolve and Simberon’s mobile app development can be found here

What Are the Benefits of the Cincom Smalltalk REV Program?

For those citizen developers who are looking to start a business, one exciting program we have is the Cincom Smalltalk REV Program.  The REV program is an opportunity for YOU to take your hobby to the next level … create your own business. David Buck of Simberon and creator of the HexSolve mobile game said:

“I was chatting with Suzanne Fortman before the OOPLUCON conference and asked how Simberon could get Cincom support for the mobile game I was developing when it was far too early at that time to negotiate a VAR license. She suggested the new REV Program, so I decided to purchase it right away.”

We created this program for you to become a customer.  As a Cincom Smalltalk customer, you receive:

  • The full product
  • Full support for the product
  • An opportunity to join the Developer Program to get early beta releases of our product to see where we are taking it and comment to help us build out the future of commercial Smalltalk
  • An opportunity to join the Partner Promotion Program to promote your application, help you develop the right markets or find the right space to promote what you have been working on

This quick, easy way to partner with us and grow your business is only $500 and is a great investment that could pay big dividends as you grow your business. Plus, this program gives you all the benefits of being a customer with us.

Don’t let another day go by. Let’s grow your business together and take your passion to the next level. 

New Customer Releases of Cincom® ObjectStudio® 8.9.1 and Cincom VisualWorks 8.3.1

In April, we released the current version of Cincom Smalltalk. This release included the releases of Cincom ObjectStudio 8.9.1 and Cincom VisualWorks 8.3.1, which are maintenance releases only available to current customers and contain fixes and improvements to the last major releases.  Current customers who have not upgraded yet may request this current version here.

  • To learn more about what was in this release, click here.

What Value Can You Create Using Cincom Smalltalk?

Have you ever thought about starting your own business? Have you dreamed of being wildly successful and creating the next “big thing” in the development world? Maybe you’ve had grand visions of where you would like to be, but have never found a solution to help you get down that path. Why not give Cincom Smalltalk a try?

In this short video below that we produced in May, listen to Suzanne Fortman, the Program Director of Cincom Smalltalk, tell one of her favorite stories about the journey to success two men took using Cincom Smalltalk. It is an incredible story about the value these two created for themselves as they developed an application their company couldn’t operate without.

“The world is your oyster with Cincom Smalltalk’s Personal Use License. Download it today and see what you can do, what cool applications you can write, and become a Cincom Smalltalk partner.” – Suzanne Fortman

Summer Fun with Cincom Smalltalk Objects and MongoDB

In June, we talked about using Cincom Smalltalk with MongoDB.  MongoDB is a popular NoSQL database. It uses BSON (B for binary) format for storage, which is very similar to JSON. In MongoDB, a table is called a “collection,” and a row has been upgraded to “document.” Fields (columns) are still “fields,” but there is one huge difference with MongoDB: In any given collection (think, table), every document (row) can have the same or entirely different fields! This flexibility is optional. If your data permits, you are free to adopt the same fields for every document in your collection. Even with such apparent disorder, MongoDB claims to have very powerful indexing capabilities.

Documents are composed of text and other primitive types encoded in BSON format. Remember that JSON is a way of describing an object so that it can readily be re-created. Smalltalk is made from objects, and MongoDB stores and retrieves objects. So there’s a very strong natural resonance between MongoDB and Smalltalk! So, why not use MongoDB as an “object repository” for Smalltalk objects? Borrowing existing code from the public repository, written by expert Smalltalkers from the community a while back, I tweaked a bit here and there to match the current MongoDB API, and set about building an object repository.

  • To learn more about using Cincom Smalltalk and MongoDB, click here.

The Extra Value for Cincom Smalltalk Customers Using Cincom SupportWeb®

In July, we talked about the benefits of being a Cincom Smalltalk customer and using Cincom SupportWeb to solve issues that may come up using our products.  In an insightful video, Kimberly Thomas, the Director, Global Product Support, explained in detail three additional tools available in SupportWeb that customers may not have known about.  Watch below to learn more details:

Additionally, for customers who haven’t visited SupportWeb lately, there’s a new look and feel that makes it easier to navigate and find what you are looking for. Here are some helpful instructions from Kimberly on how you can access these valuable tools on the Cincom Systems, Inc. website:

Who Should Use the Academic Personal Use License Version of Cincom Smalltalk?

August is the time of year many institutions of higher learning open their doors for eager students to begin the next chapter of their educations.  To kick off the “Back to School” season, we highlighted our Academic version and the other academic programs we offer. To learn about the Cincom Smalltalk Academic Personal Use License (APUL), watch this short video of Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director and Engineering Manager:

Another program we highlighted this month was our internship program. Students have a completely different perspective of the Smalltalk programming environment and could provide valuable insight that could benefit enterprises in many ways. Since Cincom is the leading provider of commercial Smalltalk and we have many enterprise customers, what better place to start looking for internships than through the Cincom Smalltalk STAR Team. We offer this program as both a resource to the student, as well as another valuable benefit to our customers. Listen to Suzanne talk about that program here:

I AM CINCOM – Celebrating Our Shared Cincom Experience

In September, Cincom celebrated its 50th anniversary. Over the past several months leading up to our anniversary, Cincomers from across the globe have contributed thoughtful statements, testimonials and interviews describing their experiences at Cincom for a series of video interviews called “I Am Cincom.” These videos were made to demonstrate the shared experience all Cincomers have and will be playing on the video boards in the lobby at Corporate Headquarters and our international offices.

Suzanne Fortman was one of the interviewees, and you can watch her Cincom experience here

How Does Smalltalk Fit into Cincom?

“To understand the future, you’ve got to go back in time.” – PitBull

As we think through these last 50 years of Cincom, we often overlook the details of how each product came into being. Whenever we are onboarding new people for the Cincom Smalltalk product group, or meeting with customers here in Cincinnati, we always take them down the History Hallway on the first floor at Corporate Headquarters to show them Cincom’s past and also the interesting history of how Cincom acquired Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks.

Listen as Suzanne Fortman takes you down the journey of Cincom Smalltalk and how we got here. You won’t want to miss this fascinating story:

Are You Fiscally Responsible? If Not…

Whether or not customers work for a government agency, spending their budget in a fiscally responsible way is something every company’s leadership wants to see. But, how can they balance their budget needs and be responsible in their spending, yet ensure that they have flexible spending for the following year?

For Cincom Smalltalk partners and customer, there are several ways in which they can wisely spend that budget on Services, while improving the value and profitability of their company or application. These things include product upgrades, mentoring, troubleshooting, performance enhancements, migrations and proof of concepts.

In October, to help illustrate these suggestions and to give examples, Suzanne discussed these and other valuable topics in a series of videos:

The Idea behind a Smart Parking App Proof of Concept

Finally, in November, we talked about the ParcPlace Smart Parking App Proof of Concept.  An anonymous customer of ours set out looking for solution-provider opportunities with significant future growth where Cincom Smalltalk would be a good fit.  They wanted to avoid a low return on investment (ROI), high liabilities and competing against behemoth companies.

After reviewing the Commercial segment of IoT, they discovered a few areas of interest: Parking Management, Traffic Management and Automatic Name Plate Recognition (ANPR). They settled on Parking Management. Once settled on their area of interest, they began developing their proof of concept for the ParcPlace Smart Parking Solution.

Check out the ParcPlace demo below:

Want more information about this, including a few other ideas for creating Smart Parking Management apps? 

NEW! “Getting Started in Smalltalk” Screencasts

Cincom is the leading provider of commercial Smalltalk in the world.  Cincom Smalltalk adds value and simplicity to application development software, web application development tools and deployment environments. Both Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks share the same core libraries and foundation

To help new users get started, Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, produced four short screencasts, demonstrating the simplicity in installation, as well as creating a first app with each product.

Installing Cincom ObjectStudio

Cincom ObjectStudio is an ideal solution for developing custom applications for Windows®. Known as the “business person’s thinking tool,” and based on the powerful Smalltalk language, ObjectStudio provides a powerhouse development environment, which is necessary to create innovative applications that capture complex business models and processes. This brief screencast demonstrates installing ObjectStudio on a Windows 10 platform.

A Simple ObjectStudio App

Once Cincom ObjectStudio is installed, this screencast demonstrates how to build a simple application using ObjectStudio. It demonstrates the use of a few ObjectStudio tools and how to use them to construct and test an application.

Installing Cincom VisualWorks

Cincom VisualWorks is the premiere Smalltalk environment and is an ideal solution for enterprise-class, multilingual, cross-platform, application development. VisualWorks includes components for any type of work that is required—Client, Server, Client-Server, Distributed, Grid or Web—and allows users to build them with superior development tools. This brief screencast demonstrates installing VisualWorks on a Windows 10 platform.

A Simple VisualWorks App

Once VisualWorks is installed, this screencast demonstrates how to build a simple application using VisualWorks. It demonstrates the use of a few VisualWorks tools and how to use them to construct and run an application.

Here’s Your Chance to Make a Difference in 2019

Want to make a difference for the programming language you love?
Smalltalk enthusiasts throughout North America are looking to put together a series of Camp Smalltalk-style events in 2019 and REQUEST YOUR INPUT. They’ve put together a survey to gather more information from both those who love Smalltalk as well as those who are unfamiliar with this awesome programming language.

If you have a current meetup or camp-style event already scheduled and you’d like to see a bunch of Smalltalkers join in the fun, please add your feedback to the comments section of the survey below. WE NEED YOU TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS so conference organizers can deliver events you want to attend and are excited to bring friends to.

  • HERE’S YOUR CHANCE: Click here to share your thoughts with us!

Camp Smalltalk Charlotte 2019

We would like to invite you to Camp Smalltalk Charlotte on March 29–March 31, 2019 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

  • Event details and registration info are available here.

Upcoming Events in 2019

We are on the doorstep of a new year and there are some great conferences and meetups already planned for 2019. Mark your calendars now so you won’t miss out on these valuable opportunities to meet with other developers, learn more skills, grow in knowledge and network with other like-minded individuals: