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Corporate History

How it Started

Base One International Corporation was formed by a group of data processing consultants who shared a consuming interest in large databases. After years of helping Fortune 1000 companies solve problems in their large database applications, we were struck by the pattern of mistakes and failures that seemed to come up again and again. All too often, people's expectations for simple solutions coming from the major database vendors were dashed by the realities of dealing with hundreds of users, thousands of records, and millions of transactions.

What was most frustrating and inexcusable to us was that not one of the giant software vendors, including Oracle and Microsoft, had done anything to reduce the tremendous cost of error-handling. For the systems we were being asked to build, Windows client/server business applications, the cost of error-handling alone often approached 50% of the total programming expense. Whenever programmers looked for help, all they found is that error-handling details were omitted "to save space" or "as an exercise for the reader". Here's a typical scenario programmers faced:

You just put your new application into production after weeks of preliminary testing, and up pops one of those cryptic error messages, like: "Operation failed. Code 476". The whole system grinds to a halt, and the phone is ringing non-stop for the next two hours while you desperately search the help files for some clue about the mysterious Code 476. Finally, you locate the "documentation" for this message, which of course turns out to be incomprehensible. The next couple of weeks are devoted to a roundabout tour of one vendor's technical support services, only to have them conclude that the problem really lies with another vendor's software...

Beginning with major projects for Marsh & McLennan and Deutsche Bank, we eliminated these problems by painstakingly recording the solutions to every single bug and unexpected error that we encountered in our work. This led us to develop class libraries for making it easy to perform large scale database operations, with built-in provisions for comprehensive error-handling. Over the course of more than 50,000 hours of client/server applications development, we added class libraries for constructing screens, security and administration, graphics, reporting, cluster computing, and numerous general purpose utilities, all with the same attention to rigorous, consistent error-handling.

Base One Foundation Component LibraryThe First Product

After years of fixing bugs and design flaws in our clients' database applications, we realized that instead of just correcting mistakes, our class libraries could create defect-free applications right from the start.

The product that emerged, the Base One Foundation Component Library (BFC), now contains over 100 classes and 2000 functions and is growing every day.  It constitutes the most complete framework for developing large-scale, Windows database applications on the market.  We designed BFC not just to be reliable, but also to make it next to impossible to fall into the usual performance pitfalls.

Base One Internet ServerThe Second Product

As more and more large companies began searching for ways to expand their applications into the Internet, we saw that the fundamental considerations that guided the design of BFC's class libraries were just as relevant to the Internet as they were to client/server systems.

It was a natural step to develop the Base One Internet Server (BIS).  With changes localized to the core database classes, we've made all of Base One's class libraries, including security and transaction processing features, directly usable in a 3-tier Internet/intranet environment. With BIS, any BFC application can operate across the Internet as easily as flipping a switch, without reprogramming.

We saw no need to succumb to the notion that anything Internet-related should be as different and flashy as possible.  We were allowed the luxury of simplicity.  By building applications on Base One's proven class libraries now, you'll be able to plug right into the Internet with neither additional hardware, nor programming problems, nor new training investment.

It's obvious that any large-scale database application will benefit from being built on Base One's class libraries.  Even considering only the problem of error-handling, the case is compelling.  And as the scale and complexity of databases grow, the need for truly dependable applications makes Base One's architecture a necessity.

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