HRworks is a web-based employee portal, offered as Software as a Service via Internet. It is used by 80,000 user in more than 550 companies in Germany. Administrative processes, e.g. travel expense calculations or vacation planning, are self-served by the employees based on user-roles. HRworks is entirely developed in Smalltalk and consists of 300 views. The HTML-based interface is used via browser.
While defining the widgets-tree-structure callbacks are placed additionally for certain events, like e.g. pressing a button. These callbacks are referred to the appropriate view instances automatically, all changes accomplished by the user in the browser are transferred to the Smalltalk-image.
Moreover, special features have been developed for displaying and directly editing collections of even thousands of objects in grids. Smalltalk meta-programming was utilised for this purpose, as well.
This results in a browser interface which can be developed directly from Smalltalk comfortably and utterly object-oriented and is not distinguishable from a native interface.
In 1995, Thomas Holzer graduated from university of applied sciences Furtwangen. After working in several consulting projects he set up HRworks GmbH in 1997. While studying, he was inspired by object-orientation and detected the basis for his business idea: Smalltalk. His intention was to take advantage of Smalltalk for economic software. The internet boom during the years of the turn of the millennium provided the basis for browser-based, specialized employee portals like HRworks. Conventional programming languages do not effectively meet the complex requirements of applications for such specific themes. And on the other hand occupying these niches is not of interest for the global players in the software business. As a result, HRworks developed and enhanced step by step and is now a successful product at the disposal of over 80,000 users.