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Thursday, July 31, 2014

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Company History
Metaphor to Meta5 Software Timeline:
1982 Metaphor founded
1988 DIS created (IBM Licensed)
1991 Metaphor - bought by IBM as a wholly owned subsidiary. Product renamed IBM IDS
2000 Meta5 - IBM licenses technology to Meta5, Inc. (formerly RDS)
RDS to Meta5 Timeline:
1989 RDS founded
1995 RDS becomes IBM Business Partner
1999 RDS develops & markets IDS add on PC integration products
2000 RDS becomes Meta5, Inc.

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 Server (IDS).

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 software vendors.


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