Basic translator specialist MS Associates of Bourne End, Buckinghamshire, is diversifying into a hotly contested area with the development of a SQL-compatible relational database built round its own ISAM – Index-Sequential Access Method file handling package. The database is a result of a development commissioned by an existing customer and managing director Keith Maskell claimed that it would appeal to software houses developing their own packages – MS will probably take the approach of a large one-time cost and no run-time licence fees. Maskell stresses the performance of the ISAM and said that a key point in future developments will be flexibility in being able to tailor the appearance of the product. It is built on a server process/message passing architecture which is also said to make it a natural fit for future developments in the distributed database area. Maskell admitted that MS is unlikely to be able to compete with the resources and established position of the major vendors but said that the level of interest was promising. MS, having sold several hundred copies of its various Basic-to-C translators, has now picked up a couple of customers for its DEC Basic+ product and interestingly, Maskell said that 60% of DEC Basic sales leads are from DEC users wanting to move to VMS, not Unix, but unable to do so because DEC’s policy is not to provide Basic+ on the VAX.