does anyone remember a database called "INFORM"?

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Mark Waterbury

May 29, 2022, 8:05:52 PM5/29/22
to Pick and MultiValue Databases
I am thinking of "INFORM" from Standard Information Systems (SIS) a time-sharing service bureau that was based in Kansas City, IIRC, in the 1970s.  They were acquired by a larger company, United Computing Services (UCS), who continued to support and maintain INFORM for a number of years.  They had a database named "INFORM" that ran on their time-sharing services, on CDC mainframes, and allegedly it was written in FORTRAN.   

(Of course, like most time-sharing service bureaus, they were eventually overtaken by the availability of inexpensive personal computers in the 1980s, so their customer bases just dwindled away... Why continue to pay a monthly service fee when that same amount of money easily could pay a monthly payment on a loan or lease where a company could own their very own personal computer system within just a few years of payments.)

From my dim memories of INFORM, it bore a very strong resemblance to many of the PICK "mult-value" systems we are familiar with, especially the English-like user language.

I think I saw a version of INFORM some years later, that had been converted into a  PC based Windows application, but I cannot recall or find anything about it now, and all traces of "INFORM" (and SIS and UCS) seem to have vanished from the interweb. :-/

If anyone has any memories or knowledge of that database, I am curious to learn whether it was in fact a PICK derivative, or only lossely "cloned" based on some users experiences with some of the early PICK databases such as TRW's GIRLS, GIM-1, GIM-II or ITDS.

Thanks for any recollections anyone may have.
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