Meta5, Inc. was born on March 3, 2000, when IBM
and Relational Development Systems (RDS) entered into an agreement
that allows RDS to license the IBM Intelligent Decision Server (IDS)
product and deliver this technology to the Web and Windows NT environments.
This agreement transformed the RDS consulting company into a business
intelligence software company resulting in Relational Development
Systems changing its name to Meta5, Inc. Meta5, Inc. and the new
meta5 NT product represent the next level of business intelligence.
The foundation of meta5 software is based on Metaphor
technology, which has roots from development efforts at Xerox Corporation's
Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). The group at PARC was the first
to develop iconic and mouse technology. Parts of the group eventually
broke away to form Apple Computer Systems. David Liddle, who was
involved with core efforts at PARC, and Don Massaro, a former president
of Xerox Office Products Division, co-founded Metaphor Computer
Systems in 1982. Their vision was to deliver decision support technologies
to Fortune 500 companies. They developed the Metaphor product, an
integrated set of tools to allow business professionals to make
strategic use of their data without the need for programming. Users
could "program by pictures" so data flows seamlessly through
access, analysis, presentation, and sharing. The unique "Capsule"
tool allowed users to visually take the tools and connect them to
each other, easily creating their own push button applications.
From 1984-1988, the Metaphor product was sold exclusively
on Metaphor's own hardware because existing desktop platforms lacked
the processing power to support such robust software. Metaphor's
product was originally based on Motorola's 32-bit MC68000 microprocessor
technology. When PC 32-bit technology was introduced, the company
developed software based on Intel's 32-bit 80386 chip.
IBM soon recognized Metaphor software as a strategic
product to help them accelerate both PS/2 and OS/2 sales. This lead
to IBM licensing the PS/2 based product from Metaphor in 1988 to
enable a system based on PS/2, OS/2, and Micro Channel technology.
The resulting product was the IBM Data Interpretation System (DIS).
In 1991, IBM agreed to buy Metaphor, which would operate as a wholly-owned
subsidiary. The product was soon renamed IBM Intelligent Decision
In the early 1990's, there were over 150 IDS installations
primarily in Fortune 500 companies spanning across 17 industries.
In the meantime, Jim Kanzler, a leading industry specialist, was
providing a full range of consulting services through his company,
Relational Development Systems (RDS). RDS became an IBM certified
business partner specializing in the IDS product. Working closely
with IBM's development team, RDS was frequently requested to provide
services to many of IBM's IDS clients. RDS consultants provided
clients with a full range of IDS support including application development,
system administration and planning, customized training, and database
design. They also developed a suite of add on products that integrate
IDS with other PC based applications. The repeated success at delivering
value to IDS customers lead IBM to its agreement to license the
product to RDS, which is now Meta5. This break through agreement
allows Meta5 to further develop this technology on standard Windows
operating systems ensuring its place among major Business Intelligence