CAP Group

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
CAP logo (1974).
Alex d'Agapeyeff — co-founder and chairman of CAP.

CAP Group was a British software house. Computer Analysts and Programmers Ltd (CAP) was founded in May 1962 and grew to be one of the foremost IT companies in the UK before merging with French company Sema-Metra in 1988 to form Sema Group.

History of CAP Group[edit]

Computer Analysts and Programmers Ltd (CAP) was founded by Alex d’Agapeyeff, Barney Gibbens, and Harry Baecker in May 1962 and chaired by d’Agapeyeff for the following 20 years.

CAP initially worked on compilers and system software. Its first job was the creation of a version of ALGOL for the English Electric KDF6 computer, and later the Elliott 503.[1] [2] During the 1960s it produced CORAL compilers and a real time operating system for the Royal Navy.

d'Agapeyeff coined the term 'middleware' to describe the interface between application and system software at a presentation to a NATO conference in 1968.[3]

By 1974, CAP operated three divisions — commercial, financial, and industrial — which covered mainframe and minicomputer systems and industrial control systems. It had offices in London, Reading, and Alderley Edge (Cheshire).

In 1975, CAP UK split from CAP Europe, a partnership formed in 1966 with CAP France, which was a separately-founded company. The name 'CAP' in Europe remained with CAP Gemini Sogeti. CAP UK formed CAP International, which operated outside Europe and had several branches in the Middle East.

In the mid 1970s, d'Agapeyeff recognised the potential of microprocessors and the newly developed microcomputers. He created BOS (Business Operating System), a portable environment to run commercial software on the emerging microcomputers. In 1976, CAP Microsoft was formed to market services based on BOS and MicroCobol.

In 1978, CPP (Computer Program Products) was formed to sell IBM mainframe products and subsequently CAP was renamed CAP-CPP to distinguish itself from the European CAP, but later it changed to CAP Group.

CAP Scientific, which did defence-related work, was formed in 1979.

In 1988, CAP merged with Sema-Metra, a French company and the merged group was called Sema Group. The name 'CAP' was dropped because it could not be used in Europe.


  1. ^ “Crisis, What Crisis?” Reconsidering the Software Crisis of the 1960s and the Origins of Software Engineering
  2. ^ "Elliott 503 anecdotes". retroComputingTasmania. 2003-12-30. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 
  3. ^ Brian Randell (2008-05-15). "Some Middleware Beginnings" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-12-28.