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

Tom Nies

Get Started

Cincom Smalltalk™ Delivery 2012 — Key Items in the Upcoming Releases

Foundation Improvements (used by Cincom® ObjectStudio® and Cincom® VisualWorks®)


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


  • What:    Speed and functionality improvements for Store
  • Why:     Now that Store (our code repository and management system for CST) has been completely overhauled for future improvements, we have begun improving Store performance.  Store performance is important to customers with a significant CST code base.
  • How:     We have worked with customers who noted areas or particular contexts where they requested performance improvements.

 API Refinements and Tools

  • 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.

Database Driver Refinements

  • 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” and often results 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.

Polycephaly II

  • What:    Polycephaly II in preview
  • Why:     Polycephaly II improves on Polycephaly by adding 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.

 Garbage Collection

  • 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.



Modeling Tool

  • 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.

Mapping Tool

  • 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.

Oracle Cursor Support

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

Unicode Support

  • What:    Unicode support for databases
  • Why:     Unicode is the computing industry’s encoding standard.  We make product changes to support changes and new encodings.
  • How:     Database drivers updated to accommodate newer Unicode standards.

Trippy Inspector

  • What:    Trippy inspector
  • Why:     The inspector used for ObjectStudio has been upgraded to the powerful “Trippy” inspector.
  • How:     The capable “Trippy” inspector has been integrated into the ObjectStudio development environment.

Other Refinements

  • What:    Many refinements and fixes
  • Why:     Customers tell us where our product is not meeting their needs—we respond.
  • How:     Our support and AR process allow us, support and engineering to work together to address customer issues with existing features.



Note:  Many of the VisualWorks improvements are included under “Foundation” since the work will benefit both products.

User Interface

  • What:    “Skins” UI work introduced
  • Why:     There has been a longtime 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 into the product—two widgets (buttons and scroll bars) initially.

64-bit Windows

  • 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.

64-bit Support

  • 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 it is being delivered.