We’re still here for you! Read about Cincom’s response to COVID-19 here.
Largest Provider of Commercial Smalltalk
Cincom is one of the largest commercial providers of Smalltalk, with twice as many partners and customers than other commercial providers.

Tom Nies

Smalltalk Digest: September Edition

Smalltalk Digest

Welcome to the September 2020 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest.  In this valuable edition, we will talk about the following:

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

In these unusual times, being able to serve your customers from anywhere is critical. Customers are adapting, make sure your business is, too. Cincom can help. #InThisTogether

  • How Can Cincom Help Your Business Grow?
  • Customers and Partners, Let Your Voices Be Heard

BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS

  • To Understand the Present, You Have to Know the Past
  • Why Is Web Development a Good Investment for Your Business?
  • AppeX: a Lightweight, Web App Framework
  • An Opportunity to Learn More about AppeX from Cincom Smalltalk Engineers
  • Using AppeX with Cincom Smalltalk to Meet the Demand for Whisky
  • Are You Ready to Try Cincom Smalltalk?
  • Where Can You Find Other Online Meetups and Conferences?
  • Come Be a Part of Our Amazing Team
  • Quantitative Gem: Improving Performance with Cincom Smalltalk
  • Where Can I Find Cincom Smalltalk Resources?

CUSTOMERS and PARTNERS

How Can Cincom Help Your Business Grow?

As a Cincom Smalltalk customer or partner, you have already experienced productivity and simplicity developing with the product. What about your business? Are you maximizing your relationship with Cincom?

Let our experienced Services team help increase your profitability and success and add more value to your business. Our team can assist you with:

  • Product Upgrades – Don’t risk a critical upgrade to a learn-as-you-go, in-house approach. Our senior consultants know the small, impossible-to-document steps that make the difference between an unresolved task and a completed process.
  • Mentoring – It’s easy to learn the basics of installing and using Cincom Smalltalk. However, the most productive use of this sophisticated, pure object-oriented application development suite is achieved best through customized mentoring that is developed to meet your needs at your level of experience.
  • Troubleshooting – Whether it’s identifying and resolving a processing glitch or improving a performance drag, we have experts who can work with you remotely and/or on-site to re-create the problem and then provide an alternative viable approach.
  • Performance Enhancements – A performance-enhancement service reveals how a team is using Cincom Smalltalk, which aspects of the tool they are not using and how they could energize so many more existing capabilities. This service is shaped to meet specific customer needs with defined objectives, clearly delineated areas to review and documented results and recommendations.
  • Migrations – Our Services Team can move your application suite to the most productive Cincom Smalltalk programming environment, giving you fully scalable, web-based and client-server development enhancements.
  • Proofs of Concept – Not sure if Cincom® ObjectStudio® or Cincom® VisualWorks® is the tool you need? An on-site proof-of-concept that uses your data and meets your business goals will provide that last element of confirmation.

Does this interest you?  Learn more and reach out to our team here.

Customers and Partners, Let Your Voices Be Heard

Over the last several months, we’ve highlighted the importance of communication and why it’s necessary for Cincom Smalltalk customers and partners. Being global leaders for commercial Smalltalk and within the Smalltalk community makes communication with customers, partners and users pivotal for the success of everyone involved. Without consistent communication, those who use Cincom Smalltalk may not know what tools and resources are provided through Cincom.

From upgrading products to the current release of Cincom Smalltalk Version 9 and promoting customer and partner offerings, to customer programs and services, tutorials, videos and helpful newsletters, we have it all and so much more listed here.

Maybe what we share is not enough, or maybe we should convey different information. Here’s your chance to get involved! As a customer or partner, do you have any feedback for our team? Is there some content or information you would like to see on our website, on our social platforms or in our newsletters?

Please send your comments or suggestions to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at CSSTARTeam@cincom.com

BEGINNERS, FREELANCERS and DEVELOPERS

To Understand the Present, You Have to Know the Past

Matt Rocker, a documentary film maker who focuses on stories about music, technology and subculture, and his team are creating a documentary that explores questions such as: Has personal computing lived up to its promise? Has this ever-present technology increased our potential as human beings? 

The film will provide a unique perspective gathered from interviews with the pioneers who helped to invent personal computing and the role of computers in society. As Matt says, “No documentary has comprehensively examined this history from the perspective of the key contributors.”

Matt and his team filmed their first three interviews in November of 2019 and created a “teaser” that is being used as a proof of concept and as fundraising material for further filming. For more information about the film and to watch the teaser, click here.

Why Is Web Development a Good Investment for Your Business?

In, “The Importance of Investing in Web Development for Your Business,” Marc Berman of Programming Insider, writes:

“According to the Digital 2019 report, a typical person spends 6 hours and 42 minutes online every day. The rise of the internet has revolutionized how we live and communicate and moved most of us to live a digitally-driven lifestyle. This is now exacerbated as we live in a ‘new normal’ because of the COVID-19 pandemic where we are pushed more than ever to rely on the internet for entertainment, education, employment, and livelihood among others.”

With regulations put in place for social distancing with minimal in-person activities, most people now depend on the internet for many necessities in life. Things that may be difficult to get in-person like food, appliances, medicines and clothes are good examples of purchases people may make online. This makes website development crucial to the success of nearly all businesses. It also opens the door of opportunity for new ideas as companies look to meet this current demand.

SlashData’s Developer Economics is one of the leading research programs on mobile, desktop, IoT, cloud, web, AR, VR, game and machine-learning developers. SlashData annually tracks developer experiences across those platforms with research based on thousands of developers. As per its 14th Developer Economics global survey,

“JavaScript is the most popular web programming language used by about 10 million web developers worldwide.”

AppeX: a Lightweight, Web App Framework

For Cincom Smalltalk, AppeX is our very lightweight and flexible modern web application framework.  With AppeX, you get the most current web technologies like HTML5, JavaScript, Ajax, JSON and XHR to name a few. AppeX is open and uses any JavaScript libraries you like, as well as automatic session management.

AppeX allows you to manage Smalltalk and JavaScript code within Cincom Smalltalk and provides browser support for JavaScript, which allows you to search senders/implementers and parse JavaScript literals.

“AppeX allows developers to utilize and integrate current web frameworks with a stable,
object-oriented business domain built in Cincom Smalltalk.”
– Arden Thomas, Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager

As demonstrated by the need above, many developers (Smalltalkers included) want to get involved in web development. However, a common misconception is that developers might think that Smalltalk and JavaScript don’t play well together, or that the mindsets are incompatible. We are here to tell you, nothing could be further from the truth!

Smalltalk and JavaScript go together like … beer and bratwurst, lox and cream cheese and chocolate and peanut butter.  Here are a few reasons why:

  • AppeX manages your JavaScript code versioning.
  • AppeX allows you to build client-side JavaScript in an object-oriented manner. In practical terms, this means defining JavaScript “classes” and creating “instance” methods on them.
  • What you write in the JavaScript function template is the JavaScript you get in the web browser!
  • Developing in AppeX is a good way to hone your JavaScript skills while leveraging the Smalltalk IDE.

If you would like additional information about AppeX and JavaScript, check out the videos, presentations and articles below:

An Opportunity to Learn More about AppeX from Cincom Smalltalk Engineers

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, the monthly UK Smalltalk User Group Meetup will take place. The subject of this online talk will be “AppeX: Writing JavaScript in the Cincom Smalltalk IDE.”

This presentation will be given by Cincom’s Niall Ross, a longstanding aficionado of Smalltalk and UKSTUG, and experienced Smalltalk and JavaScript developer, Vladimir Degen, who works on AppeX at Cincom. 

Attendees will learn:

  • About AppeX, Cincom’s web application development framework
  • Some of the advantages of the AppeX design philosophy—lightweight, plays well with others
  • How AppeX works in the Cincom Smalltalk IDE
  • Some advantages of WYSIWYG JavaScript within AppeX

AppeX allows developers to write and manage JavaScript alongside Smalltalk. To illustrate the advantages of this approach:

  • Niall will show how users can utilize AppeX to learn and improve their JavaScript and then create and deploy JavaScript-intensive modern web applications.
  • Vlad will demonstrate some of the advantages of AppeX web development using the Chrome DevTools, in conjunction with AppeX, for debugging.

Curious? You don’t have to be in the UK to see this presentation. Everyone is welcome to attend this event. To register, click here.

Using AppeX with Cincom Smalltalk to Meet the Demand for Whisky

Dram 242, a family-run whisky shop located in Moorsel, Belgium, has seen the demand for whisky increase across Europe, providing a 5% growth in its local whisky market there in Belgium. When it comes to software, there are many things a whisky shop owner needs to manage the business. Things such as the ability to handle essential business applications like maintaining parameters, tracking inventory and handling sales and invoicing, among other things. Dirk Verleysen, the whisky shop owner, always wanted his managing software to be web-based, so he started using Cincom Smalltalk for his business logic.

He selected Cincom Smalltalk for his business application needs because of the speed of development. Cincom Smalltalk adds value and simplicity to developers like Dirk who are looking for application development tools for the web and other platforms. Dependability is key for businesses, and Dirk felt that the reliability of Cincom Smalltalk is very important in his market because when applications crash, it is very annoying to customers.

When asked if Cincom Smalltalk was easy to implement for his business, Dirk replied,

“Yes … we are small, but deploying an app is pretty easy with Smalltalk. In the 90s, you needed small images because they had to be distributed, and that was done on floppy disks. This is no longer a problem, so there is no need to make the image real small.”

When AppeX and SiouX became available in Cincom Smalltalk, Dirk started to experiment with it, and it is his current setup for managing tools and the public website, dram242.be. As described above, AppeX is a very lightweight and flexible modern web application framework, and SiouX is a general-purpose web server that uses both HTTP and HTTPS protocols while squeezing as much scalability and performance out of it as possible.

Like so many other successful users, Dirk talked about how using Cincom Smalltalk eased some of the burdens in his application development. He also claims that web development is very important for growing his Cincom Smalltalk usage for Dram 242:

“The stability has been great! Developing applications for the web is very stable using SiouX and AppeX in Cincom VisualWorks. I love what AppeX and SiouX provide with integration in existing frameworks like Bootstrap and Angular.”

  • To learn more about why Dram 242 chose Cincom Smalltalk to help grow its business, click here.

Dirk’s whisky shop story started from a simple questionnaire that’s part of a program we’ve made available to customers and partners. Marketing is such a critical piece to the success of any business, which is why we created a program to help our customers and partners market their products or services. Those who have taken advantage of this program see their story distributed and promoted across many channels in their focused vertical.

We make this process quick and easy to help give more exposure and brand awareness to our customers and partners without taking up valuable time that could be used elsewhere. If you are interested in Cincom helping to attract more prospects and grow your business, this simple, three-step program begins here.

Are You Ready to Try Cincom Smalltalk?

In the story above, Cincom Smalltalk has been a powerful force in providing value, simplicity and dependability―essential elements in promoting the success and growth of Dirk Verleysen’s whisky business.  With a development language that is clean and simple, it is far easier to create business models that make sense to developers. These business models form the core of systems that can evolve over many years.

If your software does not really reflect how your business works, or if it does in a way that is hard to understand or change, then your business may pay a price far greater than the costs of the systems you are developing. If you want to see the difference from your existing system, try writing your core business model with Cincom Smalltalk and compare it.

Here are two ways you can do this:

Try Cincom Smalltalk ─ A great opportunity to try Smalltalk! The Personal Use License of Cincom Smalltalk makes it easy for someone to learn and become familiar with our technology.  The Personal Use License is free for you to use for your own private use to explore and experiment with.

Curious? Click here to start exploring Cincom Smalltalk and all that it can do for you.

Buy Cincom Smalltalk ─ A great opportunity to take your idea to the next level and create your own business! This popular program is an affordable investment that was created to give you a low-cost opportunity to partner with Cincom and receive all the benefits of being a customer. As a Cincom Smalltalk customer, you receive:

  • Access to the full products, the current release (Cincom Smalltalk Version 9), for 1 year/12 months
  • Full support for the products during the 1 year/12 months
  • No long-term commitment until you’re ready to deploy your solution. If you need more information, contact the Cincom Smalltalk STAR Team.

Interested? Join other entrepreneurs and get started in this very popular program today! Click here to start your partnership.

Where Can You Find Other Online Meetups and Conferences?

For Smalltalkers, it’s odd not having the usual in-person gatherings to which many have grown accustomed. Over the past few months, the UK Smalltalk User Group, referenced above, has seen increases in attendance as people from around the world virtually sit in on the talks and presentations.

As we look at this model, most other meetups and conferences have altered their plans and are moving to the virtual option, which gives attendees the opportunity to participate in user groups and partake in conferences they normally would not be able to attend.

If you are looking for other events to attend virtually, check out the list below:

You can monitor other future meetups and conferences as well as any changes to their schedules on our Events page here.

Come Be a Part of Our Amazing Team

We’ve highlighted a few of our talented engineers in this Digest.  Now is your chance to come be a part of that team. If you are a software engineer who wants the perk of living where you want and taking your rewarding career with you, then keep reading!

Opportunity: Software Engineer – Smalltalk
Cincom’s Smalltalk group is looking for a software engineer to join its global, fully distributed/ remote development team to develop and maintain Cincom Smalltalk.  

Our People: We have a variety of people like Peloton riders, outdoor cyclists, photographers, coffee drinkers, tea aficionados, whisky connoisseurs, volunteers, yogis, chanters, people sailing the Seven Seas and those climbing the tallest mountains. We have happy people, people with young children, people sending children off to the next room to virtually attend university courses and folks waiting for lockdown to end so they can travel the world and code while doing it. We are a team where you could find a friend or the other three members for your adventure race team!

Job Qualifications:

  • A passion for and experience with Smalltalk (Cincom Smalltalk experience a plus)
  • Significant C experience
  • Language design involving Smalltalk
  • Experience with assembly language (possibly JIT) a plus
  • A background in developing quality Smalltalk code and delivering product feature documentation
  • Problem-solving skills and a can-do attitude are essential in this role
  • Must be able to work individually and in a distributed team environment
  • Experience with API calls and platform libraries on various operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux, Unix)

Don’t ignore this opportunity! Maybe you are happy where you are, but could you be happier by making Smalltalk an exciting part of your career path? It never hurts to check it out. Don’t be scared of change!

If you are a software engineer who might be interested in joining a product group that is ready to share Smalltalk with the world via clean code, cool campaigns and much more, please submit your resume/CV and cover letter letting us know why you want to join our team with salary requirements to Suzanne Fortman with Reference PRF 4644 in the subject line.

Quantitative Gem: Improving Performance with Cincom Smalltalk

Last month, Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, Arden Thomas, introduced a new series of screencasts that served as an introduction to Quantitative Analysis (QA)—a technique that uses mathematical and statistical modeling, measurement and research to understand behavior.

The screencast series includes guided examples of how to do Quantitative Analysis as well as creating charts and indicators in Cincom Smalltalk, walking users through how to build algorithms and interactive charts. 

  • For more information about this new series, click here.

The new Quantitative Gems Screencast for this month discusses ideas on improving performance, demonstrating basic ways to time code, locate bottlenecks and improve code execution time.   

Prerequisites: 

  • The Personal Use License (PUL) or the commercial product of Cincom VisualWorks installed  
  • The example code loaded
  • The needed stock data files downloaded
  • The example setup done

 Tools: 

  • Advanced Tools Profiling

We hope you find the new Quantitative Gems Screencast for this month to be informative and helpful.

Where Can I Find Cincom Smalltalk Resources?

Whether you are new to Cincom Smalltalk or a seasoned veteran, this section will be a handy guide to the popular resources we currently have available: