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

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Cincom Smalltalk Digest: February Edition

Smalltalk Digest

Welcome to the February 2021 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest. In this month’s valuable newsletter, you will find the following:


  • How Can You Contribute to the Smalltalk Community?
  • Recent Questions about MacOS and Cincom® VisualWorks®
  • Have You Checked Out the Cincom Discovery Zone?
  • Have Any Feedback for Our Team?


  • Looking for Smalltalk Examples and Ideas?
  • The “Wow” Moment when Using Cincom Smalltalk
  • Are You Ready to Create Your Own “WOW” Moment?
  • Where Can You Find Cincom Smalltalk Resources?


How Can You Contribute to the Smalltalk Community?

Here is a chance to build up the Smalltalk community by sharing your techniques and unique usage with other developers. When you contribute work to Cincom Smalltalk, you: 

  • Let others see your effort, skills and talent.
  • Help in continuing to build the Smalltalk community.
  • Pair with like-minded developers.
  • Inspire others to contribute their own work. 
  • Help others succeed in their Smalltalk efforts with your contribution.
  • Use your skill to reach other tech stacks while still using Smalltalk. 

Your contribution could make a huge difference to our community of developers.  

Become a Contributor

  • Let other people know about your amazing tools, enhancements, frameworks, examples and applications. You’ve put the time into this, let other people see your efforts and recognize what you’ve accomplished.  
  • Contributing also helps you get valuable feedback, suggestions for improvement and ideas for enhancing your work.   
  • If you have created something you think would be of value and interest to other Smalltalk developers or could help attract new users to Smalltalk, please apply here.  
  • Review these guidelines for the final documentation of your contributed work so your item has the best chance for other developers to find, understand, utilize and appreciate your efforts.

Promote Your Work 

  • Better organization and description of your work gives additional visibility to it, letting more people see and use your contributed item.  
  • More visibility and usage could lead to a success story about it, which would further promote you, your work and your business. Click here for more on submitting a story idea.  
  • Your contributed item will also have more visibility on our website in the Cincom Smalltalk Store Repository, newsletters and social media platforms, as it’s promoted to our followers across our community. 

Share your work, inspire others and help push the Cincom Smalltalk community to greater heights.

Recent Questions about MacOS and Cincom VisualWorks

In recent times, Apple has made some significant changes in its platforms and operating systems. Here are some questions we have recently been asked about these changes: 

  • Does VisualWorks run on MacOS 11 (Big Sur)?
    It is our recommendation that you do not upgrade your MacOS platform to MacOS 11 until you have received VisualWorks 9.1 if you need to run VisualWorks on that platform. VisualWorks 9.1 (when released) is the first version to support Big Sur 64-bit only as required by Apple.
  • Does VisualWorks run on the new M1 Arm processor?
    VisualWorks will run currently on an M1 CPU, using the x86_64 emulation software (Rosetta 2) from Apple. It will likely run, albeit very slowly.  Cincom continues to work on a native VisualWorks VM for the MacOS ARM platform, and it remains in active development.  Release date TBD.
  • Does VisualWorks run on MacOS Catalina (10.15.x)? 
    VisualWorks 9.0 and newer will run on MacOS Catalina (10.15.x) 64-bit only as required by Apple. 

More questions?  Please send them or other comments and suggestions to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at

Have You Checked Out the Cincom Discovery Zone?

Maximizing productivity and efficiency is critical right now as companies seek to not only survive changing times, but also maintain their revenue streams and creatively seek growth opportunities. Does that sound like you?

Helping our customers and partners with their success is our main priority, and our Services team has decades of experience in discovering and maximizing productivity. Even during this time when many companies are working from home, our Services team can still assist you with your needs. We have the knowledge and creativity to discover opportunities for growth, productivity and added value in your application and business.

What? The Cincom Discovery Zone, you ask? It’s a place where our experienced Services team helps increase your profitability and success and adds more value to your business. Sound good? Here are some of the ways our team can assist you:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Ready to get in the zone? If so, you can see more details and learn how to get started finding hidden value, growth and profit in your business here.

Have Any Feedback for Our Team?

Is the content of this newsletter working for you?  Does the messaging and the information provided give you the details you need? Maybe what we share each month in this newsletter is not enough, or you would like to see different information. We are here to listen! 

Listening is one of the greatest components of effective communication. 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, our social platforms or in our newsletters and periodicals?

Please send your comments or suggestions to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at


In this section, beginners to Smalltalk, freelancers and developers will read informative articles and see specific Smalltalk examples to help users learn new skills or enhance existing skills using Cincom Smalltalk.

Looking for Smalltalk Examples and Ideas?

What Is the Benefit of Opentalk STST?

Long-time readers of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest are well aware of the Hidden Gems screencast series. Beginners in Smalltalk or developers looking at Cincom Smalltalk for the first time may not know the value of this video series.

Arden Thomas, the Cincom Smalltalk Product Manager, started the Hidden Gems screencast several years ago to give specific Smalltalk examples to other developers. Arden crafted this video series to share these examples, shortcuts, tips and techniques that might make it easier for other developers to use.

In this month’s new screencast, Arden talks about Opentalk STST and how it allows simple access to remote objects. Opentalk STST allows distributed object communication for those needing to access data or information from an object in another image.

This Hidden Gems screencast shows you how to get setup and started with Opentalk STST. Watch this new screencast below or click here.


This screencast is part of the Techniques Series. This series shows various techniques of how to accomplish or solve different tasks from automating image build to creating a custom parser. 

How Can You Change Fonts in Your Coding Editor?

The topic of “fonts” is one of the most popular in the FAQ section of our website. This month, Arden has produced a bonus screencast on Coding Fonts. This Hidden Gem screencast shows you how to change the font in your coding editor. Arden also gives examples of fonts that other Smalltalk developers enjoy using to code. 

Watch this bonus screencast below or click here.


This bonus screencast is part of the Tools Series, which explores some tools and product features that developers should find useful. 

If you have questions, comments, ideas for other Smalltalk examples or suggestions for future Hidden Gems, please email the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at

The “Wow” Moment when Using Cincom Smalltalk

A “wow” moment occurs when you exceed your customer’s and partner’s expectations. For Cincom Smalltalk, these are the “wow” moments that we have seen in our customers and partners time and time again:

  • Speed of development
  • Flexibility and adaptability of the developed software
  • The ability to model complex systems more simply than with other systems

Speed of Development Using Cincom Smalltalk

It has been a constant anecdotal refrain that Smalltalk is around two to three times more productive in producing working features than languages such as Java and C#.

We put this down to a tightly integrated development toolset that sits on top of an image. Your image is a read-write application that allows you to make changes to the running code quickly and simply. Errors can be debugged in the running code as you write it.

With our extensive frameworks covering a wide range of functionality, our friendly support staff, and a product that continues to stretch the boundaries of software development, we hope that you too will become an enthusiastic user of the power of Smalltalk.

It is the original home of Extreme Programming and continues to support the inherent practices of XP. Kent Beck tweeted:


Kent doubled down years later with another comment:         


In the words of some of our customers …

“With such a high productivity factor that Smalltalk gives us, reaction times to market changes have enabled us to beat most of our competitors. We have estimated that if we had built Kapital in another language such as Java, we would require at least three times the amount of resources.”

“In our company, technological understanding meets creative and innovative software development. Our early decision for object-oriented technologies pays off. For several years, we have been growing faster than the market. Cincom Smalltalk is and will remain our central development environment in the near future.”
– Margit Steinmayr, CEO of TCC R&D GmbH

Flexibility and Adaptability of Developed Software Using Cincom Smalltalk

In today’s agile world where delivery into production is often demanded multiple times a day, the ability to rework and refactor code and get it back into production fast is a significant advantage. Many of our customers use Cincom Smalltalk’s environment to debug problems in production systems and then move the fixes back into the development pipeline to swiftly deliver a well-tested product back into production.

The environment allows code to be easily refactored and re-architected as it comes with a full set of refactoring tools. Because the language keeps code short and sweet, it is far easier to come to grips with existing code and make the changes needed to cope with changing business requirements.

This adaptability has been delivered without a loss of quality. Indeed it is the superior quality of the systems created with Cincom Smalltalk that has kept many significant customers so enthusiastic about our technology.

Systems, where outages are simply too expensive to contemplate such as computer chip fab wafer plants, nuclear power stations and money-market trading systems, all rely on our technology.

The Ability to Model Complex Systems More Simply than with Other Systems

With a 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 have to evolve over many years. The fact that code is modeled in a simple and elegant manner allows the developers to understand it, enhance it and evolve it simply and easily. We are used to modeling countries’ railway systems, entire financial markets and shipping distribution networks.

As Alan Kay, the father of Smalltalk, said:

“Simple things should be simple. Complex things should be possible.”

Are You Ready to Create Your Own “WOW” Moment?

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 in Smalltalk and compare.

If you are not getting enough speed with your development, flexibility and adaptability in your developed software, simpler modeling of your complex systems, or you just want to create your own “WOW” moment for your business, we have two special offers for you:

  1. Try Cincom Smalltalk─ The Personal Use License is ideal for developers who are looking to sharpen their skills by adding new tools to their “developer toolbox.” With Cincom being a leading provider of commercial Smalltalk, the PUL also presents an opportunity for existing Smalltalkers to build their businesses and partner with a global commercial company. Regardless of the reason, the PUL allows the freedom for users to evaluate our products before realizing that Cincom Smalltalk is the right fit for their business or project needs. 
    1. Step One: Listen as Suzanne Fortman, the Cincom Smalltalk Program Director and Engineering Manager, discusses the value you can create using Cincom Smalltalk here.
    2. Step Two: Click hereto start exploring Cincom Smalltalk and all that it can do for you.
  2. Buy Cincom Smalltalk─ The PUL program has been very successful over the years. During that time, we’ve often been asked for an option between the PUL and full product licensing. Tom Nies, the Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cincom Systems, Inc., challenged the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team to come up with an offering that would answer this request, and our team delivered the REV Program.The REV Program is a bridge between the free evaluation of the PUL and full licensing. It allows for easy entry into the Cincom platform, providing both the full product (the current release of Cincom Smalltalk Version 9) and full support for a one-year/12-month time period. REV Program participants also have access to Cincom marketing and branding through the Cincom Smalltalk Partner Promotion Program that can help with the kickoff of the application or business. We’ve seen many REV members successfully move from the REV Program to full licensing even before their 12-month cycle is complete.
    1. Step One: Listen as Suzanne discusses the REV Program and the benefits a user receives by becoming a partner with Cincom here.
    2. Step Two: Contact the Cincom Smalltalk Product Teamfor more information about purchasing. 

Where Can You Find Cincom Smalltalk Resources?

Looking for something and can’t find it? We have all of our resources, programs and product information listed here:

  • Customer Product Request Form
  • Our customer, partner and developer programs
  • Links to participate in product management mini surveys
  • Places to subscribe to our valuable series of newsletters (links below):
    • Cincom Smalltalk Resolutions– Subscriber-based, Support-led, monthly newsletter to customers.
    • Cincom Smalltalk Digest– Subscriber-based, monthly newsletter that is an index that highlights recent news, events and product information on our website.
  • Hidden Gems Screencasts– Screencasts that are tips and tricks of using Cincom Smalltalk, demonstrating how to be successful with our products.
  • Product Tutorials– As new users begin their journeys with Cincom Smalltalk, it’s important to know where to start and have a helpful guide along the way. That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive list of online video tutorials that help beginners use our products right away. Cincom Smalltalk product tutorials give examples with live coding and are designed to help users become productive with the Cincom Smalltalk suite of products.  Our tutorials are divided into three sections:
    • Common Tools– Many of the tools used for development in Cincom ObjectStudio and Cincom VisualWorks are now commonly shared through the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation, making some of our tutorials applicable for either product.
    • Cincom ObjectStudio – These tutorials demonstrate various steps in the installation and first usage of ObjectStudio. 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.
    • Cincom VisualWorks– Similar to the ObjectStudio videos, these tutorials demonstrate various steps in the installation and first usage of VisualWorks. VisualWorks is the premiere Smalltalk environment and is an ideal solution for enterprise-class, multilingual, cross-platform application development and allows users to build with superior development tools.
  • Frequently Asked Questions (How Do I … ?)– A knowledge base of questions that our Product Team gets asked most often.  Most of these questions start with, “How do I … ?” so we labeled this area the “How Do I … ?” section. It is filled with questions from a variety of subjects about our products—from installation to specific uses in different platforms. 
  • Cincom Smalltalk Twitter
  • Cincom Smalltalk Facebook
  • Cincom Smalltalk YouTube
  • Cincom Smalltalk LinkedIn
  • Cincom Smalltalk Instagram

Reach out to the Cincom Smalltalk Product Team at if you have any further questions or comments.