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BSL International

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BSL International was a United Kingdom software development house that developed the Fourth-generation programming language (4GL) market through its concentration on Nomad, FOCUS, and Ramis throughout the 1980s.

Alan Bailey bought Brooksave Limited as an off-the-shelf company in 1978 as a vehicle for his sole practice as a software development contractor building Work measurement software and oil rig load modelling applications for Brown & Root. In the early 1980s he added the Nomad customers Bank of America to his client base and was later hired by Esso Petroleum to help build an application to support computer network development as part of Esso's programme of placing a PC on every desk. In 1985 Bailey and four friends he met through his clients bid successfully to build Nomad management information systems for Nabisco. The four friends left their jobs at Bank of America and Esso to fulfil the Nabisco contract and became the management team of the company that they renamed Brooksave Systems Limited.

Contracts with Exxon Chemicals soon took members of the team to Belgium and additional staff were recruited to meet client needs in sixteen countries including the United States. The team extended their interests into other 4GLs and began speaking at conferences to promote the philosophy of rapid application development and extensive end-user involvement. In 1989 the company, which had been trading as BSL for some time, was formally renamed BSL International Limited.

Throughout the 1990s Nomad and the other early 4GLs were overtaken by other database management systems and Computer-aided software engineering tools such as Oracle. BSL did not adapt effectively to this and the management team dispersed. In 1993 Bailey separated from his wife and emigrated to the United States. The business was divided on geographical lines with Pauline Bailey keeping the European operation and renaming the company BSL Europe Limited. It ceased trading in 1998 and was wound up in 2002.


  • 'Company No. 01382633', Companies House (Cardiff)

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