Thursday, June 19, 2008

Applied Data Research Software Products Division Records

Applied Data Research Software Products Division Records
"Historical Note

Applied Data Research (ADR) was founded in 1959 by seven former UNIVAC I programmers: Martin Goetz, Sherman Blumenthal, Ellwood Kauffman, Dave McFadden, Bernard Riskin, Robert Wickenden, and Stephen Wright. Headquartered in Princeton, New Jersey, the company provided independent contract programming to companies including RCA, Bendix, and Sperry Rand, as well as to the United States government.

In 1965, ADR established its Proprietary Software Division (renamed the Software Products Division in 1973) and released AUTOFLOW, an automatic computer documentation system which produced flow charts. With the release of AUTOFLOW, ADR became the first company to sell a software product commercially, independent of hardware. Martin A. Goetz headed the Proprietary Software Division from its inception and in 1968 was awarded the first U.S. patent for a software computer program for his “Sorting System.” Although the patent was assigned to ADR, the program was never developed as an ADR product. Goetz received a second patent in 1970 for his “Automatic System for Constructing and Recording Display Charts,” the computer program behind the ADR product AUTOFLOW. Other ADR software products included Vollie (an online programming tool), ROSCOE (Remote OS Conversational Operating Environment, an online programming tool with a timeshare facility), MetaCOBOL (a COBOL programming aid), Librarian (a source program retrieval and maintenance system), and IDEAL (Interactive Development Environment for an Application’s Life-cycle, an application development tool).

ADR filed a civil antitrust suit against International Business Machines (IBM) in April 1969, accusing IBM of limiting competition in the computer industry and specifically noting IBM’s bundling practices. The ADR suit was one of a series of similar suits filed against IBM in 1968 and 1969, including Programmatics, Inc. (a subsidiary of ADR) v. IBM, Control Data Corporation v. IBM, and Data Processing Financial & General Corp. v. IBM. These four cases were consolidated for pre-trial proceedings and discovery in the District of Minnesota in July 1969. One year later, ADR was awarded a temporary restraining order against IBM which prohibited IBM from offering free distribution of CRJE, a bundled IBM software product in direct competition with ADR’s proprietary product ROSCOE. Three of the four consolidated cases were eventually settled and dismissed, including ADR v. IBM, which was settled out-of-court in August 1970 for two million dollars. The U.S. Justice Department also filed suit against IBM for antitrust violations in 1969, starting a case that lasted thirteen years. In June 1969, while involved in these cases, IBM announced that, with the exception of its operating systems, starting in January 1970 it would unbundle its software from its hardware.

Ameritech acquired ADR as a wholly owned subsidiary in 1986. In 1988, Computer Associates purchased ADR and integrated the company into its Systems Products Division and new Information Products Division."