Infodata Systems

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Infodata Systems, Inc. was a software development and database manufacturer based in Northern Virginia.

Infodata developed a database system from the early 1970s to the late 1990s. The Infodata database program, Inquire, was well regarded and widely used in the 1970s and 1980s. Inquire was one of the first "text" databases and used for publication storage, litigation support, and other text intense problems.

Infodata's Inquire was a fully functional DBMS. It included an easy to use but non-SQL, query language. The basic architecture was "inverted list", not relational.

A full decade before Oracle, Access, Alpha Five, dBASE, DB2, and other DBMS programs were available, Infodata had a working database solution. Infodata sold many hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Inquire and invested in new capabilities and features.

Unfortunately, Infodata misjudged the scope of the market and declined to offer a low cost, desktop or server based version of their database program. As other vendors entered the market, Infodata's market share eroded. In a sense, Infodata is a case study of a company that had the market to themselves, then did everything wrong. They did not lower their product costs. They chose to avoid new markets. Year by year they reduced their support and offerings until customers had no choice but to go elsewhere.

In the 1990s, Infodata branched out and became a consulting firm as well, specializing in Enterprise Content Management systems, primarily Documentum. They also developed their own content management system, called Virtual File Cabinet, which was a simple and quick out-of-the-box document-sharing solution for the enterprise intranet.[1] In 2001, they created an integration between Adobe Acrobat and Documentum for use in annotating documents called AnnoDoc.

In 2005, after several years of losing money from decreasing Inquire revenue and poorly executed consulting engagements, Infodata sold its Acrobat related products (AnnoDoc, Compose, and Signet) to Image Solutions and was acquired by McDonald Bradley.

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