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: June Edition

Welcome to the June 2024 edition of the Cincom Smalltalk Digest

Cincom World Headquarters

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 code.

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 in terms of platform portability.

The Fundamentals of Platform Portability

Platform portability is a fundamental concept in software development. It refers to the ability of software to run on various hardware and software environments with minimal changes. This capability ensures that applications:

  • Achieve cross-platform compatibility.
  • Reduce the need for code rewrites.
  • Simplify maintenance.

Essentially, platform portability allows software to execute across different environments without modification, making it a crucial element for broad reach and cost efficiency.

In the early days of Smalltalk, Xerox PARC developed a portable virtual machine that was used by companies implementing Smalltalk. Smalltalk code is compiled into bytecode, which the VM executes on any platform, supported by extensive standard libraries that provide consistent behavior.

Understanding platform portability allows developers and stakeholders to strategically leverage it in their projects, pushing the boundaries of cross-platform software development. Developers can create robust, flexible, and scalable software solutions that meet the diverse needs of today’s technology landscape.

The Enhancement of Platform Portability in Cincom Smalltalk

Platform portability has revolutionized software development by enabling accessible and maintainable applications across diverse environments. It enhances collaboration by facilitating development across multiple platforms and encourages innovation by allowing for the creation of solutions that can be widely adopted without platform constraints. Future trends in virtual machines, cloud computing, and containerization promise further enhancements in portability.

A powerful feature of Smalltalk is the virtual machine, which enables Smalltalk source code portability across multiple operating systems. It was first used at Xerox PARC with ST-80, and continued with the ParcPlace Systems spin-off, which then became ObjectWorks and what is now known as VisualWorks. 

All Smalltalk implementations use a similar concept, including ObjectStudio (originally known as Enfin), and Digitalk/Visual Smalltalk Enterprise, which both had Windows and OS|2 versions.

When Cincom acquired the Smalltalk business from ObjectShare, it included VisualWorks.  VisualWorks platform portability is one of many outstanding features that continue to be developed and enhanced.  Today, Cincom VisualWorks is instantly portable across a wide range of platforms, both 32-bit and 64-bit, including:

  • Windows
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Unix (AIX, Solaris)

The Next Chapter for Cincom: PartnerOne

In our “What Happened to Smalltalk” series, we’ve outlined numerous topics that demonstrate what Cincom has done with Smalltalk. We will be celebrating the 25th anniversary of Cincom Smalltalk in the coming months and we are excited to share the next chapter in the Cincom story.

Cincom Systems, Inc. is proud to announce that we have been acquired by PartnerOne, one of the fastest-growing enterprise software groups in the world. As a leading provider for Global 1000 and mid-market companies, Cincom brings a strong array of configure-price-quote, customer communications management, business application and development software solutions and services to the vast PartnerOne portfolio of enterprise software companies.

  • Learn more details about this acquisition here.

What Is the Cincom Smalltalk Foundation?

Cincom is the market leader in commercial Smalltalk. Cincom Smalltalk enhances the value and ease of use of enterprise-level, custom application development software, web application development tools, and deployment environments. Developers who are looking for native Windows® applications will find that Cincom® ObjectStudio® is the ideal choice. When cross-platform development is required, Cincom® VisualWorks® is the perfect solution. 

The Cincom Smalltalk Foundation and the core libraries are shared by ObjectStudio and VisualWorks. This means that foundation enhancements benefit both products. Recent updates to the Foundation include:

  • Store merge improvements 
  • Store auto reconnect 
  • Database API enhancements 
  • Faster editing of long methods  
  • Enhancements to the AppeX framework editor 
  • Security plug-in enhancements 

To learn more and read details about the recent Foundation updates, visit

Smalltalk Perspectives Series: Cincom Smalltalk Foundation, Part I

You may have heard the term the “Cincom Smalltalk Foundation” and wondered what it is, and how do we use it. We give you answers and perspective in this premiere screencast of the “Smalltalk Perspectives Series.”

New Case Submission Instructions for Cincom Smalltalk

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

Where Are Cincom Smalltalk Customer and Partner Resources Found?

Looking for something and can’t find it? Here, you can find our customer and partner resources, programs, and product information conveniently listed:

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