VA Smalltalk Forum 08: Integrating VA Smalltalk into today’s IT Landscapes

One of my 2 talks was about how VA Smalltalk fits into today’s corprate IT landscapes. A funny thing about many Smalltalk projects today is that many developers and managers tend to think that Smalltalk is only a suitable development environment for Client/Server or Fat Client systems.

Newer developments like web technologies or XML-based data exchange still are regarded as a pure Java domain in some IT shops. I try to show that neither Web Services or Web Applications are restricted to any language, and I show that VA Smalltalk supports these technologies very well. There are projects out there who use Web Services in production environments and do a successful job in doing so.

Most of today’s important technologies are based on only a few building blocks: HTTP as a transport protocol and some data marshalling and transport formats like XML, HTML or JSON. One very popular example currently are RESTful Web Services. They are in wide use and carry a very small backpacker of syntactic overhead  as compared to “big” Web Services which can be extremely complex and hard to maintain.

In my talk I gave a little demo to show that VA Smalltalk can play with RESTful Web Services pretty nicely. I demoed a Smalltalk-based Client for Yahoo! Traffic, which is a service to request for current incidents on the roads across the US.

I also demoed a prototype of a RESTful Web Services Server which serves Smalltalk Objects as Resources. I used the generic RESTful Web Services client from the first demo as a client to the service as well as Firefox. The server used a little Object Database as a storage medium which we use for prototyping and smaller applications internally and for customer projects.

Unfortunately, you can’t see the demos on the slides, but you surely get the idea when looking at the presentation slides.