Senior developer Leandro Caniglia, speaking at the Smalltalk Solutions 2008 conference* in Reno last month, described use of the Smalltalk programming language by Caesar Systems. Smalltalk was first developed at the famed Xerox Park R&D facility and was one of the earliest languages to use object oriented techniques and an integrated development environment. Caesar Systems uses Smalltalk in its PetroVR flagship application for analysis of worldwide oil and gas opportunities. Caniglia said, ‘Smalltalk gives Caesar Systems and its clients flexibility and reliability for critical decision support and risk analysis applications. PetroVR users adjust key parameters under various ‘what-if’ scenarios. By logging all user changes, PetroVR is able to play any sequence of commands back and forth, thus making the building process repeatable and auditable.’
Caniglia’s presentation showed how Smalltalk’s user change logs can be leveraged in a range of innovative ways—to script and replay complex user interactions, to recover system states, audit user changes, undo actions and to make training demos. Other less obvious uses include the recreation of old projects in upgraded systems, for bug reporting and software regression testing. Change logs have also proved valuable in monitoring user ‘dedication and productivity’ and to see what functions are most used. PetroVR users include Anadarko, BHPBilliton, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Murphy Oil, Pioneer Natural Resources, Shell and Total.
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