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A ticket for the future
The birth of Eclipse Scout goes back to 1998, when today’s CEO, Christian Rusche, worked for BSI as an intern. Having some time to spare, he used it to develop a ticketing system in SQLWindows. It showed remarkable similarities to later BSI products, such as the left column with the meanwhile patented tree structure or the right-hand side of the page with lists and dialogue fields.
Many projects, a single platform
The third year of BSI’s existence in 1999 was marked by several projects that contributed to the development of a uniform platform, including an assignment from Landis+Gyr in which a solution was to be found for the configuration of electricity measurement devices. Both the ORS CRM application (today’s BSI CRM) and the ticketing system also needed further development. And last but not least, the pharmaceutical industry sought a way to simplify data processing during clinical trials. To efficiently carry out these projects, BSI created a data browser called "Scout" and thus made 1999 the year in which the present platform was born. The framework, which was essentially developed by Christian Rusche and Alex Schroeder, enabled the configuration, but not yet the development, of software applications. The tree structure used in the platform was granted a US patent in the same year.
From SQLWindows to Java and XML
Christian Rusche and Ivan Motsch replaced SQLWindows with Java and XML in 2001. Instead of generating heavy databases, it was now possible to extract a single XML file and deliver it to the customer. Among the first applications to use the new Scout framework were the CRM solutions for ABB, Sika and Schlatter as well as specification applications for Landis+Gyr and the Swiss Post. They all profited from the significant time-savings and cost-efficiency in development.
A technological quantum leap
The third generation made a good platform into a technological trendsetter. Scout 3.0 freed itself from a rather rigid and meanwhile outdated XML database model and instead made use of Eclipse and Java. This represented not only technological improvement but also enormous conceptual progress: The present technology is significantly more flexible and far more attractive for developers. The advantages of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) are obvious: BSI products can use all functions developed by the Eclipse community as plug-ins. The new openness has also convinced BSI’s customers: Despite the costs and efforts of migration, more than two-thirds of them have implemented Version 3.0.
Open for further successes
On the initiative of Andreas Hoegger BSI became a member of the worldwide Eclipse Foundation in 2009. Thanks to his and Matthias Zimmermann's further dedicated effort Scout is an official Eclipse Project since 2011 and available open source as Eclipse Public License (EPL). Through this commitment BSI has created the basis to continue offering its customers world-class quality software solutions in the future.
To be continued.