Jet Propulsion Laboratory Display Information System

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Display Information System

Jet Propulsion Laboratory Display Information System

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Description:
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Display Information System (or JPLDIS) is a file management program written in FORTRAN.

JPLDIS is important because it was the inspiration and precursor to dBASE, arguably one of the most influential DBMS programs for early microcomputers.

History

In the late 1960s, Fred Thompson at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the California Institute of Technology (CalTech) was using a Tymeshare product named RETRIEVE to manage a database of electronic calculators. In 1971 Fred collaborated with Jack Hatfield, a programmer at JPL, to write an enhanced version of RETRIEVE which became the JPLDIS project. JPLDIS evolved into a file management program written in FORTRAN, running on a UNIVAC 1108 mainframe. Jack Hatfield published two papers entitled "Jet Propulsion Laboratory Data Information System (JPLDIS)". The first paper was presented to the Univac Users Group in Dallas, TX (Feb. 1973) and the second paper was presented to the National Science Foundation conference on Data Storage and Retrieval Methods at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri (July 1973). Jack Hatfield left JPL in 1974 and the JPLDIS project was assigned to Jeb Long, another programmer at JPL, who added many advanced features plus a programming language.

In 1978, while at JPL, Wayne Ratliff wrote a database program in assembly language for CP/M based microcomputers to help...
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