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, 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 user instincts.
- Our solutions are created with the knowledge and advice of your domain experts who supply the relevant information.
- We do our little bit of magic by standing on the shoulders of giants..
USING A BRILLIANT COMPUTER LANGUAGE
"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 and WHAT.
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.
||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 for outlier zones from variance learning in reports and on screen,
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
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. |
||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 in 1991 to assist with a similar large statistical issue with pipes when the UK water industry was privatised.|
||We assisted this Danish company by extending their large asset management product, SimCorp Dimension, in a variety of technical ways.
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 quite 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, and the number of simultaneous users far exceeds this number. Graeme Robertson Ltd has encountered some large systems over the years, but this one is the most magnificent. |
||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 to the latest versions of Dyalog APL. By this means many different
customer letters could be generated automatically by the software directly from user data in a timely fashion.|
||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 large temporary data sets created during calculations. APL remedies were found for all these errors.|
||Transport for London 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 is 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 has fixed software problems that have transpired as a result of their particular usage.|
||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 XML data is passed automatically in a timely fashion from the client to the system, it is thoroughily analysed and processed, and
finally it is farmatted into letters and sent to the printers prior to posting. There are many details such as tax calculations and medical assessments that require constant
attention by the programmers to ensure the whole system is up-to-date and working correctly to a very high standard.|
||Graeme Robertson Ltd supported Admin Re in their critical fault-averse use and continuous improvement of an Aviva pension system developed by the team at Optima Systems.
In order to fully support the product, Admin Re staff regularly performed manual calculations to prove the accuracy of the application. Likewise other staff regularly scrutinized the inputs and outputs of the system to discover any
errors that needed to be fixed or improvements that could be made to the system. Graeme Robertson Ltd assisted the team at Optima Systems to effect these fixes and improvements.|
||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 mode of data input. Graeme Robertson Ltd completely rewrote the interface to the ABLE engine to allow a VBA programmer at Mouchel to communicate
with the engine via a Microsoft .NET assembly thus fully automating the underlying APL exact and simulation calculations.|
||Graeme Robertson Ltd supported Sinclair Knight Merz in their adoption of the Mouchel Rail strategic cost modelling tool when they bought Mouchel's rail business in 2011. By this stage the new software developed for Mouchel was finished and tested and ready for use. |
Projects for all these companies were carried out efficiently and with care by Graeme Robertson Ltd (2004 - 2017).