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: May Edition

Posted on in Categories Smalltalk Digest Archive

Smalltalk DigestWelcome to the May 2019 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest.  In this exciting edition, we will talk about the following:

  • Celebrating the Birth of Cincom Smalltalk, Part 1
  • REMINDER: Cincom® ObjectStudio® 8.9.2 and Cincom® VisualWorks® 8.3.2 Are Here!
  • How Can PUL Users Receive the Latest Release?
  • Hidden Gems Screencast: How to Create Your Own Application Object Database in Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks
  • ESUG 2019 Registration Is Now Open!
  • Plan to Attend the 2019 Smalltalks Conference and FAST
  • Opportunities to Network with Smalltalkers and Programmers
  • Helpful Customer Links and Information
  • Popular Product Resources

Celebrating the Birth of Cincom Smalltalk, Part 1

Do you remember 1999? Were you still in grade school?  College?  As you reflect back to your personal journey in 1999, let us take you on a journey of two products that eventually found their way to the doorstep of Cincom Systems, Inc.

Later this year, we will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Cincom Smalltalk here at Cincom. Although our beloved object-oriented programming language has been around since before 1970, it wasn’t until late 1999 that Cincom brought ObjectStudio and VisualWorks together under the umbrella of Cincom Smalltalk. Beginning this month, we would like to take you on that journey as we lead up to the anniversary.

The Early Years of Smalltalk

The year 1970 brought us memorable events in world and US history. That year, US troops invaded Cambodia, prompting four students at Kent State University in Ohio to be slain by National Guardsmen at a demonstration protesting the incursion. The People’s Republic of China also entered the United Nations. That year also brought about the Beatles breaking upJimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin both dying at the age of 27 and James Taylor winning a Grammy. In the sports world, Pele played in his last World CupMonday Night Football debuted on ABC with Howard Cosell, while Ohio State shared a football National Title with Texas and Nebraska and the Cincinnati Reds were defeated by the Baltimore Orioles in the World Series.

Meanwhile momentum at Cincom continued as several “firsts” happened for the company. Cincom became the first to integrate database and data communications through ENVIRON/1®, a control system for teleprocessing networks. With this innovation, Cincom introduced the virtual paging technique to the IBM marketplace—three years ahead of IBM. TOTAL® and ENVIRON/1 were the first and only database/data communications systems available for IBM’s 360/370 series computers. Cincom also set up a technical support office for TOTAL in the tiny basement of the Alms Hotel, near the Victory Parkway office, creating what was probably the first customer service department in the software industry and also formally initiated technical support centers, still nearly five years ahead of IBM.

Cincom also became the first company to sponsor user group meetings, called Knock-Abouts, which gave Cincomers and the actual users of the company’s products a chance to “knock about” ideas for new products and technologies. 

In the middle of 1970, the Xerox Corporation opened the door of its brand new research center in Palo Alto, California. The Xerox Palo Alto Research Center—or PARC, as it came to be known—was established as a research lab for a computer subsidiary that Xerox had acquired. What PARC became was no less than the birthplace of the personal computer, among other innovations of modern computing.

Most of the elements of the now-ubiquitous personal computer were included in the Smalltalk-powered Alto, which introduced and unified most aspects that we now take for granted:

  • The mouse
  • Computer-generated color graphics
  • A graphical user interface (GUI) featuring windows and icons
  • The WYSIWYG text editor
  • InterPress (a resolution-independent graphical page description language and the precursor to PostScript)
  • Ethernet
  • Fully formed, object-oriented programming in the Smalltalk programming language and integrated development environment (Smalltalk-71)

After significant revisions, Smalltalk-76 was created. This system had a development environment that featured things that are familiar with the current tools, including a class library code browser/editor. A few years later, Smalltalk-80 added metaclasses that would help maintain the “everything is an object” paradigm by associating properties and behavior with individual classes, and even primitives such as integer and boolean values. Smalltalk-80 was the first version of the language to be made available outside of PARC.

In 1983, a general availability implementation, known as Smalltalk-80 Version 2, was released as an image (platform-independent file with object definitions) and a virtual machine specification. When Smalltalk-80 upgraded to Version 2.5, this would eventually lead to the creation of what would be later called, VisualWorks

Be watching next month, as we develop the history of Cincom VisualWorks further and introduce the creation of Cincom ObjectStudio.

Have a story about the early days of Smalltalk, specifically about ObjectStudio or VisualWorks that you’d like to share? Direct message us on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll cite you as a contributor to this story.  Also, feel free to share any comments on our social accounts, as well.


REMINDER: Cincom ObjectStudio 8.9.2 and Cincom VisualWorks 8.3.2 Are Here!

Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorksFast forward to May 2019, and it is our pleasure to bring you the current version of Cincom Smalltalk. This release includes the releases of Cincom ObjectStudio 8.9.2 and 
Cincom VisualWorks 8.3.2.

Cincom is the leading provider of commercial Smalltalk, adding value and simplicity to application development software, web application development tools and deployment environments.

ObjectStudio is “The Business Analysts Thinking Tool” and is an ideal solution for developing custom applications for Windows®.  The value in ObjectStudio is the tools for analysts and developers to work effectively together on a solution in the analyst’s language.

VisualWorks (we just read about its early history) is “The Cross-Platform Development Tool” and is the ideal solution for custom, enterprise-level, application development. With VisualWorks, the value comes from having the highest developer productivity and successes in solving large or difficult problems.

Because Cincom made the decision to bring both ObjectStudio and VisualWorks together as Cincom Smalltalk, the same core libraries and foundation are now shared between the two products, which means foundation improvements improve both products.

Where Can I Get This Release?

As one of our valued Cincom Smalltalk customers, we’re pleased to offer you this opportunity to request the latest release of Cincom Smalltalk through our Customer Product Request Form. ORDER YOUR PRODUCT


Should you have any questions or problems accessing the request form above, please contact your Sales Account Manager or Cincom Smalltalk Support.


How Can PUL Users Receive the Latest Release?

Speaking of the history of Cincom Smalltalk, we have users who have faithfully journeyed with us through the years. Every time we have a new release, they download our evaluation version—and they have been doing so religiously for over a decade. A few years ago, we made the decision to adjust the availability of releases in order to better serve our active customers and partners. This meant limiting the maintenance releases of Cincom Smalltalk to CUSTOMERS AND PARTNERS ONLY and leaving the major releases of Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks only available as our Personal Use License (PUL) versions. So, if the maintenance releases are limited to customers only, how can the faithful downloaders of the PUL receive this latest release?

The SIMPLE Answer: Become a Customer!

To help facilitate this, we developed an invaluable program for this exact situation. The REV Program is an opportunity for Personal Use License users to take their passion to the next level and create their own businesses by becoming a Cincom Smalltalk customer.  But, what value comes with being a Cincom Smalltalk customer?  What benefits do we give customers that a general user never receives with the PUL? 

Benefits that customers 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 our product and give comments and feedback to help us build out the future of commercial Smalltalk
  • An opportunity to join the Partner Promotion Program to promote their application, help them develop the right markets or find the right space to promote what they have been working on

Are You Ready to Take Your Business to the Next Level?

This quick, easy way to partner with us and grow your business only costs $500 and is a great investment that could pay big dividends as you grow your business. Don’t let another day go by. Let’s grow your business together and take your passion to the next level. Join the REV program today.

Need a little nudge? Watch these two videos from Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director and Engineering Manager, as she shares the value and benefits of being a Cincom Smalltalk customer, as well as a unique methodology you could use to build a solution with us:


Hidden Gems Screencast: How to Create Your Own Application Object Database in Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks

Have you ever wanted an easy-to-use, flexible and fast object database for your Cincom ObjectStudio or Cincom VisualWorks application, but it did not warrant the time, effort or complexity of a commercial database? This Hidden Gems shows how you can have just what you’ve been wanting!

To celebrate the 50th Hidden Gems screencast in our series, we are bringing you not one, but TWO Hidden Gems for this month, showing you how to create a fast, customizable and easy-to-use application database using Cincom Smalltalk’s Binary Object Storage System (BOSS).

These two screencasts demonstrate the same topic showing how to do Smalltalk enumeration on external boss files in both Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks, which gives you the ability to quickly access objects while keeping your memory footprint smaller, and how to perform indexed random access from a boss file, which gives you fast indexed access to objects external to the image.

This Hidden Gems gives developers another great tool and technique to have in their arsenals for delivering great solutions and applications with Cincom Smalltalk.


Plan to Attend the 2019 Smalltalks Conference and FAST

The 13th annual Smalltalks Conference, organized by FAST (Fundación Argentina de Smalltalk), which is an Argentinian non-profit foundation, will be held at Facultad de Informática, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, in the Neuquén province of Argentina.  The workshops, tutorials and introductory talks will take place on November 11-12, and the main event will follow on November 13-15.

The 2019 Smalltalks conference is free and provides a unique opportunity for showing advancements and new projects that are taking place in the global Smalltalk community. This is also a great opportunity for young developers to acquire experience in presenting their work before an international audience.

ESUG 2019 Registration Is Now Open!

ESUG 2019 will take place in Cologne, Germany on August 26-30, and we are happy to announce that registration is now open.

Although conference prices have increased slightly compared to the last 10 years, it’s well worth the money, and it’s something that you don’t want to miss.

Deadlines and Fees

The early registration deadline is July 25, 2019.

  • Early registration fee: 500€ (for all days)/180€ (per day)
  • Late registration fee: 660€ (all days)/210€ (per day)
  • Fee for an extra person at the social dinner while registering: (+60€)
  • Payment by credit card (Paypal): +6% fees 
  • Payment by bank transfer: free of charge

All of the information you need for this year’s exciting conference can be found at: https://esug.github.io/2019-Conference/conf2019.html

See you at ESUG 2019!

Opportunities to Network with Smalltalkers and Programmers

There are several upcoming opportunities to meet with Smalltalkers and programmers from around the world.  These networking and learning opportunities include:


Helpful Customer Links and Information

Attention customers and partners, have you seen the Customer Portal? It has links to all the important information our partners and customers need.  Here’s a quick guide:

Popular Product Resources

Maybe you are new to Cincom Smalltalk or just need help finding something specific on our website. Here’s a quick guide to the popular resources we have available on our website: