Business jungle
Business Systems Research Products Philosophy

Computer Applications Designed and Built

There are ever greater quantities of information to be collected - daily, hourly, by the minute, every second... Gathering data begs questions. WHAT will you do with it, and HOW will you do it?

There are many disparate varieties of information, in business often related to money. Each domain has domain experts who have the knowledge required to make intelligent decisions in their field. We program intelligent decisions.

  • At Graeme Robertson Limited we create reliable computer systems for all sorts of businesses.
  • We welcome big and small volumes of multi-dimensional data, and data connected through complex mathematical relationships.
  • We build fine GUI front ends that achieve business aspirations in accordance with contemporary user instincts.
  • Our solutions are created with the knowledge and advice of your domain experts who supply the relevant information and appropriate guidance.
  • We do our little bit of magic by standing on the shoulders of giants ..


A Practical Introduction to
APL 1 & APL 2

ISBN-13 9780952416715

Published by ROBERTSON(Publishing), UK on 1st May 2008

Available from Amazon at £9.99

or Download FREE pdf file here (for beginners)
APL 1 & APL 2 A Practical Introduction to
APL 3 & APL 4

ISBN-13 9780952416722

Published by ROBERTSON(Publishing), UK on 17th July 2008

Available from Amazon at £29.99

or Download FREE pdf file here (for experts)
APL 3 & APL 4
"I have learnt more than I thought possible with just 4 days of training," wrote one bright actuarial student.
Click here to see a book review by Rebecca Burriesci.

That's the HOW; now the WHO, WHAT, WHEN.

There is no point gathering volumes of data, numeric or linguistic, unless you intend to use it for something. You would be surprised to discover how many very large companies have used, and still use, APL for critical business applications such as top-level management reporting and strategic planning. You can see more details of WHAT some of them use APL for under the Systems and Products tabs.

SSU Logo
The Statistical Services Unit, based in the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Sheffield University, has found our services of value in some of their consulting projects. They requested a number of corrections, speed-ups and improvements to an existing system, including: addition of prior estimates in reports and on screen for outlier zones from the Variance Learning module, an option to store exact mean values if they exist, an option not to colour equations in order to speed up certain reports, a new Find/Replace menu item, flags to label certain user-defined equations as syntactically incorrect, inclusion of certain calculated variables in the audit file, the ability to delete base quantities from a model, an option to output reports directly into Excel via OLE, and an installation executable to install the sofware automatically on users' equipment. Exact calculations were enhanced to allow exponentials of base and derived quantities when no variance is requested, and many other smaller improvements were effected.
NetworkRail Logo
Network Rail requested new features to be added to an existing complex asset management application which they employed for infrastructure maintenance and costing. In particular, when Network Rail took over from Railtrack in 2002, the quality of hundreds of miles of rail track could only be estimated. In order to get a handle on likely rolling costs, Network Rail used an APL system called ABLE, which was originally developed by Tony O'Hagan, John Scholes and Graeme Robertson in 1991, to assist with a similar large statistical elicitation involving fresh and foul underground piping when the UK water industry was privatised.
SimCorp Logo
2004 - 2005
We assisted this Danish company by extending their large asset management product, SimCorp Dimension, in a variety of technical ways, such as the addition of a new data type. SimCorp is the largest employer of APL programmers in the world. Most APL systems have been developed by individuals, and in the early days of APL - in the 70's and 80's - teams of APL programmers working on the same system at the same time were very unusual. However, SimCorp Dimension is such a large body of code, and the SimCorp management are of such competence, that the company is able to fruitfully employ and control over 100 simultaneous APL programmers on their system, while the number of simultaneous users far exceeds 100. Graeme Robertson has encountered some large APL systems over the years, but this one is the most magnificent.
L&G Logo
2005 - 2009
Pension systems were developed and enhanced over a number of years for three departments of this top-tier UK insurance company. Legal & General have more than one pension system that is written almost entirely in APL. The main project carried out for this company by Graeme Robertson Ltd was the automatic production of customer letters in WORD format via Object Linking and Embedding technology which is available in current versions of Dyalog APL. By this means many different customer letters were generated automatically by the software in a timely fashion directly from user data. Many other projects were also completed successfully for L&G Customer Services and Final Salary departments.
2007 - 2010
The Risk Initiative and Statistical Consultancy Unit, attached to Warwick University, found our services of value in one of their consulting projects. Graeme Robertson Ltd was employed to fix some errors in an existing APL application and to incorporate new warning messages into the software. Some of these issues were caused by unusually large temporary data sets that were created during calculations. APL remedies were found for all these errors.
TfL Logo
2007 - 2010
Transport for London (TfL) requested changes to the Variance Learning module of a statistical inference application. As with the UK water industry and the national rail network, privatisation of individual London Underground lines was being considered. In anticipation of that eventuality, Transport for London has used the ABLE application to estimate future maintenance costs and the feasability of private ownership. Graeme Robertson Ltd fixed software problems that transpired as a result of their particular mode of usage of ABLE (A Bayes Linear Estimator).
2010 - 2013
An Aviva pension system was modified and enhanced with an extensive variety of new features and new legal requirements over a number of years by Graeme Robertson Ltd. This is a large system which has been developed by a small team of APL programmers at Optima Systems over a couple of decades. As with all pension systems it is a complicated construction with many varieties of input and output. Retiree pensions to be crystallised are passed automatically, in a timely fashion, in XML format, from Aviva systems to the APL system. Each case is thoroughly analysed and processed, and finally they are all formatted into letters and sent nightly, in bulk, to the printers prior to posting. There are many details such as tax calculations and medical assessments that require constant attention by the programmers and other staff to ensure the whole system is up-to-date and working correctly to the highest standards of accuracy and efficiency.
AdminRe Logo
2010 - 2013
Graeme Robertson Ltd supported Admin Re in their critical, fault-averse scrutiny, and continuous suggestions for improvements of, an Aviva pension system developed by the team at Optima Systems Ltd. In order to fully support the product, Admin Re staff regularly performed manual calculations to verify the accuracy of the APL application. Likewise other staff regularly scrutinized the inputs and outputs of the system to identify any programming errors that required correction, or any improvements that could be made to the system. Graeme Robertson Ltd assisted the team at Optima Systems to effect these fixes and enhancements.
Mouchel Logo
2010 - 2011
Graeme Robertson Ltd assisted Mouchel Rail in developing a civil engineering strategic cost modelling tool for analysing Network Rail infrastructure. Mouchel used ABLE to model the detailed state of all 144,000 railway bridges and underpasses in Britain. Although the ABLE calculation engine could cope with the huge volumes of data, the problem was the outdated, clumsy, inefficient mode of data input. Graeme Robertson Ltd completely rewrote the interface to the ABLE engine in order to allow the VBA programmers at Mouchel to communicate directly with the ABLE calculation engine via a Microsoft .NET assembly, thus fully exploiting the underlying powerful exact and simulation-type calculations and the full core functionality of ABLE.
SKM Logo
Graeme Robertson Ltd supported Sinclair Knight Merz (SKM) in their adoption of the Mouchel Rail strategic cost modelling tool when they bought Mouchel's rail business in 2011. This new software, which enables Visual Basic programmers to drive the complex APL cost modelling tool, was developed for Mouchel and was finished, tested and made ready for SKM deployment. (SKM was acquired by Jacobs Engineering Group in 2013.)

Projects for all these companies were carried out efficiently and with care by Graeme Robertson Ltd (2004 - 2017).

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