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
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]

Insyte Datacom logo

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, 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] by a decade later that number had doubled.[3]

First software patent[edit]

ADR received the first patent issued for a computer program, a sorting system, on April 23, 1968.[4] The program was developed by Martin A. Goetz.[5]

ADR IBM lawsuit[edit]

ADR instigated litigation in Federal Court against IBM[6] with accusations that IBM was "retarding the growth of the independent software industry" [6] 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.[7]

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.[8] ADR and Nixdorf settled out of court in 1981, with an agreement that Nixdorf could continue to resell ADR's products.[9]

Corporate history[edit]

ADR bought Massachusetts Computer Associates, also known as Compass, in the late 1960s.[10] 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; subsequently rename CA Technologies ). Computer Associates integrated the company into its Systems Products Division and new Information Products Division.[11]


Roscoe (Remote OS Conversational Operating Environment, originally marketed as ROSCOE, last marketed as CA-Roscoe) was a software product for IBM Mainframes.[12] It is a text editor and also provides some operating system functionality such as the ability to submit batch jobs similar to ISPF[13] or XEDIT.


The ability to support 200+ concurrent active users and still have low overhead is based on a Single address space architecture.[14] [15]


The RPF (Roscoe Programming Facility)[16][17] is a scripting language with string processing capability.[18]


  1. ^ "Prerelational DBMS vendors — a quick overview". Software Memories. February 9, 2006. Retrieved August 5, 2011.
  2. ^ Don Leavitt (March 27, 1978), "Software winners' ranks swelling", Computerworld, IDG Enterprise, vol. 12, no. 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. ^ "Nearly 6,500 ... (C) 1988. "The LIBRARIAN - Total Control of Your Software Asset" (PDF).
  4. ^ United States Patent Office, Patent number: 3380029
  5. ^ New York Times , June 12, 1968, "Computer Program Patent", p. 69
  6. ^ a b The Washington Post, April 23, 1969, Dow Jones News Service, "Suit Against IBM Charges Violations", p. D9
  7. ^ New York Times , Douglas W. Cray, August 21, 1970, "A.D.R. Trust Suit Settled by I.B.M.", p. 50
  8. ^ Marcia Blumenthal (August 18, 1980), "ADR asks ruling on Datacom rights", Computerworld, IDG Enterprise, vol. 14, no. 33, p. 76, ISSN 0010-4841
  9. ^ Enterprise, I.D.G. (April 20, 1981), "ADR, Nixdorf Companies Settle Marketing Dispute", Computerworld, vol. 15, no. 16, p. 78, ISSN 0010-4841
  10. ^ Rosemary Hamilton, "Computervision turns believer after Compass helps convert software", Computerworld, July 14, 1986, p. 20
  11. ^ Applied Data Research, Software Products Division Records, 1959-1987, Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota.
  12. ^ "CA Roscoe Interactive Environment". CA Technologies.
  13. ^ There were capabilities available in ISPF and not in Roscoe; ditto for vice versa. "ROSCOE RPF Facility and ISPF Functional Differences".
  14. ^ NOT for the Operating System, just for those using ROSCOE! .. need better Wiki article for WikiLink
  15. ^ "CA Roscoe Interactive (PRODUCT SHEET)" (PDF).
  16. ^ "Step 2 — Create an RPF to Invoke File-AID". The RPF (ROSCOE Programming Facility) shown ...
  17. ^ not to be confused with another RPF - "Rob's Programming Facility... - developed by Rob Prins ... of the ING Bank in Amsterdam" systems programming group, which subsequently "stopped using ROSCOE" for system/administrative tasks. "RPF User's Guide Version 1 Release 9.3" (PDF).
  18. ^ ROSCOE Handbook. Applied Data Research. SR00-20-20

External links[edit]