VisualAge Smalltalk

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An industrial strength multi-platform Smalltalk development system originally developed by IBM in the early 90's, commonly known as VA Smalltalk in the OS/2 world, VAST in the Microsoft Windows and UNIX spheres and inside IBM often simply as "visualage".


The company had in the 80's realised the need for a rapid development system with a more modern and standardised language for application programming (as opposed to systems programming), that scaled across platforms and offered support for concepts like object-orientation and dynamic typing. After trialling Enfin Smalltalk internally for a few years the company settled on the language and started developing their own system that supported anything from PC's to mainframes from the same codebase, with the end result being VA Smalltalk.

IBM VisualAge Smalltalk Enterprise 6.0 is the development tool for the Smalltalk language. It was also used by IBM to develop all other VisualAge tools.

IBM transferred VisualAge Smalltalk to Instantiations, Inc. It was announced on 2005-04-27 that Instantiations will develop, market and support a new VisualAge-compatible version called VA Smalltalk.

The last IBM version is 6.01 and it can be upgraded to 6.03.

Add on systems

  • Tenacity - Persistent Object Database - Freeware - Current.
  • TORest - Regular Expressions Parser - Freeware - Current.
  • TOScript - Smalltalk scripting interpreter - Freeware - Current.
  • Totally Objects Readability - Source formatter - Freeware - Current.
  • Totally Objects SocketSet - TCP/IP sockets library - Commercial - Current.
  • Visibility Color - Enhancement for the report generator - Commercial - Current.
  • VOSS - Database/transaction/object persistence system - Commercial/open source - Discontinued.
  • WindowBuilder Pro - Simplifies the creation of user interfaces.
Code snippets, archives and collections

By Matt Sims (Totally Objects):

By David Pennington (Totally Objects):

By Adriaan van Os:

  • - A repository of VA Smalltalk functions, only a subset of these will work with the OS/2 version of VisualAge Smalltalk 6.x.


IBM copyright notice
  • Oct 1995:
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Standard for OS/2, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Professional for OS/2, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Distributed for OS/2, AIX, Windows, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Reports for OS/2, Windows, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Database for ORACLE, for OS/2, AIX, Windows, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Communications/Transactions for OS/2, AIX, Windows, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, IMS Connection for OS/2, for AIX, Windows, V3.0
    • VisualAge for Smalltalk, AS/400 Connection, for OS/2, Windows, V3.0
  • 1998:
    • VisualAge Smalltalk Enterprise 4.5
  • 1999:
    • VisualAge Smalltalk Enterprise, Versión 5.0
  • 2000: IBM VisualAge Smalltalk 5.52
  • Latest Version: IBM VisualAge Smalltalk Enterprise 6.02



Discontinued commercial software. Version 6: IBM. Trial version is available.


Version 3.0
  • Introduction to Object-Oriented Programming with IBM Smalltalk, Version 3.0 (SC34-4491)
  • IBM Smalltalk User's Guide, Version 3.0 (SC34-4536)
  • IBM Smalltalk Programmer's Reference, Version 3.0 (SC34-4493)
  • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Getting Started, Version 3.0 (SC34-4535)
  • VisualAge for Smalltalk, User′s Guide, Version 3.0 (SC34-4518)
  • VisualAge for Smalltalk, User′s Reference, Version 3.0 (SC34-4519)
  • VisualAge for Smalltalk, Programmer′s Guide to Building Parts for Fun and Profit, Version 3.0 (SC34-4496)
Version 5.5


IBM Redbooks
  • SG24-4828 - VisualAge for Smalltalk Handbook, Volume 1: Fundamentals
  • SG24-2219 - VisualAge for Smalltalk Handbook, Volume 2: Features
  • Michel Brassard; William Nadal: VisualAge and Transaction Processing in a Client/Server Environment - Prentice Hall 1996, ISBN 0-13-460874-7
  • Liwu Li: The VisualAge for Smalltalk Primer - Cambridge University Press 1998, ISBN 0-521-64669-3
  • Skublics; Klimas: Smalltalk with Style - Prentice Hall 2002, ISBN 0-13-165549-3
  • Grady Booch: Object Oriented Design with Applications - 1990, ISBN 0-8053-0091-0
  • Brad Cox: Object-Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach - Addison Wesley 1987, ISBN 0-201-10393-1

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