IBM FAQ

FAQ on Instantiations/IBM Relationship and the VisualAge Smalltalk technology base

Q: What is the big change and when did it happen?

A. On April 27, 2005, Instantiations announced that it has formed a new relationship with IBM under which Instantiations assumes responsibility for ongoing development of the VisualAge Smalltalk technology base.

In August 2005, Instantiations shipped VA Smalltalk, a new 100% VisualAge-compatible version of Smalltalk. This is part of IBM's comprehensive Smalltalk Transition Strategy and Roadmap that ensures the business needs and requirements of existing VisualAge Smalltalk customers continue to be satisfied.

Q: Where can I get help with technical questions?

A: See the Frequently Asked Technical Questions 

RATIONALE AND ROLES

Q: By exiting this business, does IBM believe Smalltalk development is dead?

A: Many of IBM’s largest customers are active Smalltalk users that have business-critical systems built in VisualAge Smalltalk. That said, IBM’s modern development environments are based on Java technology. Therefore IBM has sought out Instantiations as a partner to work with them in meeting the business requirements of these important customers.

You can be sure that Smalltalk isn’t dead at Instantiations. You would have to ask IBM that question to fully understand their position.

Q: Does this move into Smalltalk mean that Instantiations is exiting the Java business?

A: No. Instantiations continues to view Java as strategic to our business. We will continue to innovate and aggressively release new features and functionality for our Java products »

Q: Why did IBM select Instantiations to carry forward the VisualAge Smalltalk technology?

A: The Instantiations team has provided leading edge software products, services and technologies to the Smalltalk community for more than 20 years. For more details, see our Smalltalk History »

Q: Why can Instantiations make a viable business out of Smalltalk if IBM can’t?

A: First, Instantiations is imminently qualified to take the leadership role of VA Smalltalk. Second, Instantiations is a much smaller company than IBM and does not have the demanding cost structure and revenue requirements of an IBM. And finally, IBM is a strong business partner upon which Instantiations can rely for priority support in for business and technical inquiries.

Q: What will IBM’s role be going forward?

A: The relationship between IBM and Instantiations is an integral part of the larger IBM Smalltalk Transition and Roadmap Strategy. The goal is to provide IBM customers with an evolutionary pathway that leads to modern IBM platforms such as Rational and WebSphere and to minimize competitive attrition to non-IBM platforms.

Q: Will Instantiations introduce other products in the VA Smalltalk product line?

A: Instantiations is actively considering the addition of other products to the VA Smalltalk product line.

PRACTICALITIES: UPGRADE & COMPATIBILITY

Q: What is new in Instantiations VA Smalltalk that wasn’t in IBM VisualAge Smalltalk?

A: Bundled in VA Smalltalk is IBM VisualAge Smalltalk v6.0.2, Instantiations VA Assist Enterprise/S v6.0.2, Instantiations WidgetKit/Controls v6.0.2, and Instantiations GF/ST v6.0.2 (as an unsupported "goodie"). For functionality added since version 6.0.2, please see the roadmap page for more information.

Q: How compatible will my current VisualAge Smalltalk systems be with VA Smalltalk?

A: Your current systems are 100% compatible. VA Smalltalk is based on IBM VisualAge Smalltalk v6.0.2. Instantiations intends to maintain full compatibility with VisualAge Smalltalk in VA Smalltalk.

Q: What are the upgrade options for VisualAge Smalltalk customers?

A: IBM VisualAge Smalltalk customers can easily transition to Instantiations VA Smalltalk. Please see our web site for licensing options and pricing.

Q: IBM supports many operating systems with VAST, will you continue to support them all?

A: Over time we will assess the customer need for the various operating system platforms and make decisions accordingly. For the latest information, see System Requirements page in our online product documentation.

PRACTICALITIES: SUPPORT

Q: What are the support options for VisualAge Smalltalk customers?

A: One year of support, maintenance and upgrades is included with the purchase of a new VA Smalltalk license. Please see our web site for licensing options and pricing.

Q: Will you offer support for legacy versions of VisualAge Smalltalk?

A: No. Customers who need support for versions of VisualAge Smalltalk version 6.0 and earlier must negotiate with IBM. We encourage everyone using VisualAge Smalltalk to upgrade to VA Smalltalk.

Q: How long will Instantiations support VA Smalltalk?

A: Instantiations will support VA Smalltalk for as long as our customers have requirements for us to do so.

OTHER SMALLTALKS AND OTHER LANGUAGES

Q: If I have a competitive version of Smalltalk (VisualWorks, VSE, ObjectStudio, or Dolphin), is there a way for me to move to VA Smalltalk 7?

A: Yes, you can “turn in” your competitive Smalltalk product and upgrade to VA Smalltalk .Please see our web site for Upgrade licensing options and pricing.

Q: What are a customer’s options for migration from Smalltalk to other languages?

A: We refer you to our partner Synchrony Systems for more detail on migrating from Smalltalk.

Q: We have VisualAge Smalltalk Server for OS/390 and z/OS. Will you be taking that over and supporting it also?

A: No, when VisualAge Smalltalk Enterprise transitioned to Instantiations, IBM kept marketing and support responsibility for VisualAge Smalltalk Server for OS/390 and z/OS.
On February 3, 2009, IBM announced the end of marketing and support for VisualAge Smalltalk Server for OS/390 and z/OS. For details, please refer to their announcement .

News & Events

Find out what’s going on with Smalltalk -- upcoming and past events.

Partners and Community

Find an Instantiations partner for sales and services of VA Smalltalk.

Instantiations History

And the History of VisualAge Smalltalk

Contact Us

Contact Instantiations.