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What Is Product Management’s Favorite Hidden Gem?

By Arden Thomas 

Hidden Gems Screencast

How do you make the most productive programming language even more productive? Try DomainMaster.

It was hard picking a favorite because hidden gems are all based on topics that I think are valuable and useful. After looking them over, my vote for favorite is the DomainMaster framework.   

Why? DomainMaster amplifies the key advantages of Smalltalk—productivity and reuse—and offers: 

  • More reuse of well-tested code 
  • More reuse of apps 
  • Less code to write 
  • More understandable code 
  • Easier to maintain applications 
  • Structure for team or app standards 

What is DomainMaster

  • A framework that extends the power and concept of ValueModels 
  • A provider of APIs for applications much like the API for ValueModels 
  • A home for utilities and application standards 

You get an immediate payoff, but the biggest payoff is over time. You have far less code and much easier maintenance, making your return on investment in your system far higher. This is a point I want to emphasize, because the long-term payoff is not obvious in the short term. Done right, the long-term payoff is “Wow!”.  You may find yourself with a large system that is far easier to update and maintain than you would think it has a right to be. 

Want to: 

  • Build reusable mini-apps that you can reuse in plug-and-play fashion to make bigger apps?  
  • Change a value in a domain model and have changes reflected immediately in all the apps connected to it?  
  • Develop some application utility code and use it over and over again in your applications?   

You get the idea. DomainMaster has a big payoff in that it lets you setup, use and change domain objects in a plug-and-play fashion, AND the mini-apps tie into this in a way that makes them highly reusable. Building a new app can be simply selecting and placing these DomainMaster-based mini-apps and writing a minimum of initialization code for how you want it tied together. 

You can also add utility code for things you want to do easily or frequently (or both) and make it simple, clear and easy. Then, all of your apps will have access to this. 

  • There are multiple Hidden Gems videos about DomainMaster and how to use it. You can view them on the Hidden Gems DomainMaster playlist here:

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