Applied Data Research

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Applied Data Research
FounderMartin Goetz, Sherman Blumenthal, Ellwood Kauffman, Dave McFadden, Bernard Riskin, Robert Wickenden, and Stephen Wright
Princeton, New Jersey
United States
Servicesindependent contract programming

Applied Data Research (ADR) was a large software vendor from the 1960s until the mid-1980s. ADR is often described as "the first independent software vendor".[1]

Founded in 1959, ADR was originally a contract development company. ADR eventually built a series of its own products. ADR's widely used major packages included: Autoflow for automatic flowcharting, ROSCOE (Remote OS Conversational Operating Environment), MetaCOBOL, an extensible macro processor for the COBOL language, and Librarian for source-code management. ADR later purchased the Datacom/DB database management system from Insyte Datacom and developed the companion product, IDEAL (Interactive Development Environment for an Application’s Life), a fourth-generation programming language.

Another popular ADR product was The Librarian, a version control system for IBM mainframe operating systems, now known as CA Librarian. In 1978, it was reported that The Librarian was in use at over 3,000 sites.[2]

First software patent[edit]

ADR received the first patent issued for a computer program, a sorting system, on April 23, 1968.[3] The program was developed by Martin A. Goetz.[4]

ADR IBM lawsuit[edit]

ADR instigated litigation in Federal Court against IBM [5] with accusations that IBM was "retarding the growth of the independent software industry" [5] and "monopolizing the software industry", leading to IBM's famous unbundling of software and services in 1969. In 1970, ADR and Programmatics, a wholly owned subsidiary of ADR, received an out-of-court settlement of $1.4 million from IBM. IBM also agreed to serve as a supplier of Autoflow, which meant another potential $600,000 in revenues for ADR.[6]

Dispute with Nixdorf[edit]

ADR licensed DATACOM/DB to TCSC, a firm which sold modified versions of IBM's DOS/360 and DOS/VS operating systems, known as Edos. When, in 1980, Nixdorf Computer bought TCSC, Nixdorf sought to continue the licensing arrangement; ADR and NCSC went to court in a dispute over whether the licensing arrangement was terminated by the acquisition.[7] ADR and Nixdorf settled out of court in 1981, with an agreement that Nixdorf could continue to resell ADR's products.[8]

Corporate history[edit]

ADR bought Massachusetts Computer Associates, also known as Compass, in the late 1960s.[9] ADR was sold to Ameritech in 1986 and was kept intact as a subsidiary. In 1988 Ameritech sold ADR to Computer Associates (unrelated to Massachusetts Computer Associates). Computer Associates integrated the company into its Systems Products Division and new Information Products Division.[10]


  1. ^ "Prerelational DBMS vendors — a quick overview". Software Memories, 9 February 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2011.
  2. ^ Leavitt, Don (27 March 1978), "Software winners' ranks swelling", Computerworld, IDG Enterprise, 12 (13), p. 2, ISSN 0010-4841, The Librarian from Applied Data Research, Inc, Panvalet from Pansophic Systems, Inc. and the Westinghouse Disk Utility from Westinghouse Electric Corp. continue to top the "systems" list with more than 3,000 sites to each of their credits.
  3. ^ United States Patent Office, Patent number: 3380029
  4. ^ New York Times , June 12, 1968, "Computer Program Patent", p. 69
  5. ^ a b The Washington Post, April 23, 1969, Dow Jones News Service, "Suit Against IBM Charges Violations", p. D9
  6. ^ New York Times , Douglas W. Cray, August 21, 1970, "A.D.R. Trust Suit Settled by I.B.M.", p. 50
  7. ^ Blumenthal, Marcia (18 August 1980), "ADR asks ruling on Datacom rights", Computerworld, IDG Enterprise, 14 (33), p. 76, ISSN 0010-4841
  8. ^ Enterprise, I.D.G. (20 April 1981), "ADR, Nixdorf Companies Settle Marketing Dispute", Computerworld, 15 (16), p. 78, ISSN 0010-4841
  9. ^ Rosemary Hamilton, "Computervision turns believer after Compass helps convert software", Computerworld, July 14, 1986, p. 20
  10. ^ Applied Data Research, Software Products Division Records, 1959-1987, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.

External links[edit]