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.

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Cincom Smalltalk™ Digest: May Edition

Cincom Smalltalk Digest

Welcome to the May 2024 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest

A Look at Cincom’s Advancements in Commercial Smalltalk

From the software pioneers of Xerox PARC to the capable engineers of Cincom Systems Inc., Smalltalk has revolutionized the field of modern programming. This influential object-oriented programming language has left a mark on the global tech industry, shaping the way developers write and structure their codes.

With its emphasis on simplicity and readability, Smalltalk offers a unique approach to software development. It allows programmers to break down complex problems into manageable components, fostering collaboration and code reuse. This, in turn, increases efficiency and productivity, making Smalltalk a favorite among developers worldwide.

Smalltalk’s impact goes beyond the realm of programming. Its philosophy of “everything is an object” has influenced other programming languages through the years, shaping their syntax and principles. Smalltalk has also paved the way for modern development tools and frameworks, empowering developers to create robust and scalable applications.

Let’s look at what happened to Smalltalk with network connectivity.

From Abacus to Cloud: The Evolution of Network Computing

The evolution of modern computing and data centers is a fascinating journey that began with the convergence of personal computers and ubiquitous networking in the early 1980s. This transformation allowed computing to shift from a hobbyist activity to the backbone of today’s IT architecture. The history of computing before this era was marked by significant inventions such as the abacus, mechanical calculators, and Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine, which laid the groundwork for future developments. The mainframe computer, which emerged as a critical technology for large organizations, evolved over time to become more connected and multiuser, setting the stage for the networked computing era.

The advent of the personal computer (PC) in the 1980s, alongside developments in networking, brought computing power to a broader audience, making it more affordable and accessible. This era set the foundation for the modern data center, a concept that has grown with the rise of cloud providers, allowing companies of all sizes to access vast computing resources on demand.

This narrative not only highlights the technological advancements that have shaped the computing landscape but also underscores the importance of network connectivity in enabling the growth and democratization of computing resources. As we look to the future, understanding this history helps us appreciate the potential for further innovation in networked architectures and data center technologies.

From 5i to “Oh My”: The Enhancement of Network Connectivity by Cincom

In 1999, ObjectShare, Inc. released VisualWorks 5i, which was the first implementation of the product that had network connectivity built in.  Later that year, Cincom acquired the Smalltalk business from ObjectShare. Cincom was already quite successful with ObjectStudio, and with the addition of VisualWorks from ObjectShare, delivered Cincom Smalltalk. Over the last 25 years, Cincom has invested in and is continually improving both products.

One of those Cincom Smalltalk enhancements is to the network connectivity tools. Cincom Smalltalk has an extensive library of internet connectivity tools. We support a variety of protocols including TLS (Transport Layer Security), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), HTTP 1.1/2 (Hypertext Transfer Protocol), SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, OAUTH 2.0 (Open Authorization), IMAP (Internet Message Access Protocol), and POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3), supported by a robust MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) framework. Most protocols can run over a secure connection.

The Cincom Smalltalk Security Library* offers users a wide range of cryptography and related security components implemented within the environment. This enables developers to quickly and easily incorporate a variety of security capabilities into their applications. Components include secret key encryption, public key encryption, hash algorithms, digital signatures, password-based cryptography and support for TLS and HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure). Cincom Smalltalk includes an extensive security library including TLS/HTTPS and mutual authentication. 

*NOTE: These features are only available to Cincom Smalltalk customers.

Seeing Cincom Smalltalk’s Network Connectivity in Action

If you would like to see some examples of the network connectivity enhancements, we have a few Hidden Gem screencasts that provide visual illustration.

A Look at Some DomainMaster Enhancements

The Hidden Gems screencast is a series of live coding examples created for passionate Cincom Smalltalk developers. These screencasts share valuable insight into the products and inform our users about things they may not know about.

In this new screencast, Hidden Gems: DomainMaster Enhancement, we will enhance the DomainMaster so that the application can respond to changes in a  simple manner.

The basic idea of DomainMaster is to simplify and minimize the amount of code you write:

  • Allowing you to get more done, and with well-tested code.  
  • Giving you better productivity, fewer bugs, and much lower maintenance costs.

We will use this DomainMaster enhancement in upcoming Hidden Gems example applications. DomainMaster saves you development time and future maintenance costs. For a few applications, the savings is small but helpful. At scale, the benefits become significant.

You can watch this screencast by clicking here:

How to File New Cases with Cincom Smalltalk Support

For quick access to Cincom Smalltalk Support:

When possible, please provide a test case. Test cases enable Cincom Smalltalk Support to better understand the issue by re-creating it in their environment.

What Useful Resources Can We Help You Find?

We have our customers, partners, user resources, programs, and product information listed here:



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