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September 1, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Originally developed by the UK Atomic Research Centre at Harwell, and later marketed to third parties such as Cap Gemini Sogeti SA, the famous Status IBM mainframe text retrieval package is now available in a Unix version and the UCL Information Systems arm of UCL Group Plc has struck a deal with Harwell Computer Power Ltd giving it rights to market the Unix version on its Fortune Formula range in the UK. Status was designed for searching through vast amounts of scientific research on nuclear reactors and a wide range of related scientific data – and was developed so that provided you knew roughly what you were looking for, it would get you to the right documents. Status has been available on proprietary systems from IBM, DEC, Honeywell and Prime, but UCL says it has the first Unix version, having carried out the port in conjunction with Harwell itself. The Fortune range, recently strengthened at the top-end by Arix Corp hardware re badged as the UCL 8000 Series (CI No 904), is mainly aimed at office automation applications, and director of information systems Graham Harrington says that the Status system will be a complementary product to its existing office software. However, the company is particularly looking at those applications needing a particularly large database, such as local and central government, where lengthy council minutes have to be stored and searched. Storage on the Arix-based 8000 Series can be expanded to 10.5Gb or more with optical disks. Harrington said he was looking for the agreement to generate UKP1m in sales over the next 12 months, and that he would be selling the Status system through third parties as well as direct.

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