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Smalltalk Digest: June Edition

Smalltalk DigestWelcome to the June 2018 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest. In this edition, we look at support benefits for customers, using MongoDB and Smalltalk together, and monitoring Windows processes with Cincom® ObjectStudio®. Check it out below:

The Extra Value for Cincom Smalltalk Customers Using Cincom SupportWeb®

One of the benefits of being a Cincom Smalltalk customer is having the ability to use Cincom SupportWeb to solve issues that may come up using our products. But, do you know about the extra value available to you through SupportWeb? In this insightful video, listen to Kimberly Thomas, the Director, Global Product Support, explain in detail three additional tools available in SupportWeb that you may not have known about.  Kimberly will discuss:

  • Announcements – monthly technical status reports, new services and offerings.
  • Status of cases – a quick way to see your open and closed cases, as well as solutions that may already be available to you.
  • Test cases – helps Cincom Support re-create your problem in our own environment and help test future releases.

To see more details, watch this video here:

BONUS:  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:

Summer Fun with Cincom Smalltalk Objects and MongoDB

In the old days, database normalization was the thing. Data was to be broken apart into its tiniest constituent pieces, with each being a component stored in a separate table. Addresses were different from invoices, so they belonged in different tables with no wasteful overlap or duplication. But that was then. Now there is NoSQL (Not Only SQL), where gobs of related data are kept together in one piece—a single record as it were—typically in text format using JSON. For example, an entire customer transaction might be in the same “row” of a NoSQL table. This makes a normalization fanatic uncomfortable! But there is a great gain in speed.

Big Data doesn’t have time to retrieve stuff from many different tables (customer, invoice, shipping, etc.) in order to complete a transaction. The time it takes for a hard drive to seek to a sector is substantial (fractions of a second), but once reached, a contiguous read from that sector takes only a tiny fraction of the seek time. Gathering data from multiple tables multiplies that seek time. It is much faster to grab everything in one go instead of having to fetch from a number of different tables. Space, or disk storage, is cheap, but real-time speed is crucial. So in the Big Data world, speed wins over space.

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.

Hidden Gems: How Cincom ObjectStudio Helps Monitor Windows Processes

Contribution from Arden Thomas, Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager

Monitoring the status of the Windows operating system and its processes is essential to effectively managing system resources, evaluating and making decisions about your system.  But what advantages come with monitoring your Windows operating system?

Among other things, monitoring the operating system can:

  • Access information on the status of running applications, including background tasks
  • Access system statuses in real time
  • Improve the performance of maintenance items and tasks
  • Reduce cost

This month’s Hidden Gems screencast shows a tool in Cincom ObjectStudio that may be of interest to any Windows user. This screencast gives an introduction of where to find and how to load these system tools. The demonstrated tool can explore Windows processes and resources and also serve as an example of how to access low-level Windows functionality from Smalltalk.

Watch this demonstration here:

Cincom Smalltalk Stories

Each Thursday, we highlight a different Cincom Smalltalk story on Facebook and Twitter using the trending hashtag #ThursdayThoughts. In fact, recently, Suzanne Fortman talked about this in a more humorous way.  Check out this lighthearted video by Suzanne here:

Recently, we highlighted:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for these and other updates throughout the month.

What Are the Benefits of the Cincom Smalltalk REV Program?

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.

We created this program for you to become a customer. What does it mean to be 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.

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

In the Mobile App Development for Apple® Products and Android™ Using Cincom Smalltalk story, David Buck of Siberon 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.” 

Just like David, you have an opportunity to use Cincom Smalltalk to grow your business. Here is a valuable opportunity to partner with us, be innovative and rev up your business to the next level using Cincom Smalltalk!  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.  Join the REV program today.

  • GET the Limited Value Added License – $500 

Valuable Customer Resources

Our Customer Portal has links to all the important information our partners and customers need.  Here’s a quick guide:

Valuable Product Resources

Here’s a quick guide to the popular resources we have available on our website:

Upcoming Events

Don’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:

  • July 2, 2018 — Lübeck Smalltalker Meeting (Lübeck, Germany)
  • August 6, 2018 — Lübeck Smalltalker Meeting (Lübeck, Germany)
  • August 6-10, 2018 Agile2018 (San Diego, California)