Sunbelt Computer Systems, Inc. has been in the business of selling PL/B (formerly DATABUS) compilers and utilities longer than any other company other than Datapoint (the originators of the language).
We sold our first PL/B compiler and set of utilities in 1980 for the Datapoint DOS system. This system was marketed as an alternative to ROLLOUT, as the compiler and all utilities could be run while DATASHARE was in operation.
In 1982 we obtained the rights to a primitive PL/B compiler and runtime for CP/M. The compiler was not used, instead we modified Sunbelt's own PL/B compiler for Datapoint DOS to generate code for CP/M, then actually ported the source code to CP/M. Later in the year we sold our first CP/M versions of the PL/B language.
Now that we had control of both the compiler and runtime, it became possible to add enhancements to the language that had been greatly needed for a long time. It was at this point that SORT, PERFORM, and several other verbs were added to begin to improve the language.
When MS-DOS became available, we immediately started development of a system for it also, and in 1983 sold our first versions of it. Unfortunately at the time, it generated assembler source which was then assembled with the Microsoft Assembler. That assembler was very slow and restricted. We started using the Digital Research Assembler which helped, but not much. Something had to be done, so we developed the single pass SUNDB86A compiler that we still market today (although much improved). This became available in 1984.
Bluebird Systems in California approached us to modify our compiler for their system in 1985. We did that task and they marketed it as their system for many years.
Datapoint also came to us in 1985 to develop a version of our compiler and runtime to run on their Vista-PC (1200). This was accomplished in less than 3 months time. They later came back to us when the STARPORT system (1600) was developed to provide the PL/B system for it.
During 1986 we started developing our PL/B:Unix product and sold the first version later that same year.
During and after the development of each of these products, we have continued to enhance the PL/B language, adding new statements and capabilities to old statements. As such we have been one of the driving forces in modernizing the PL/B language. We were present at the initial meeting in 1988 where it was decided to approach the American National Standards Institute to get a standard approved for PL/B, and have been present at all but one meeting since then. We co-hosted one of the meetings in Dallas. We are very committed to the PL/B language, and to providing quality products for many years to come.
The past eighteen years have been profitable and enjoyable years in the PL/B arena. We appreciate the opportunity we have had to work with such a splendid computer language and especially with our valued customers. We really try to listen to our customers and provide them with responsive services and quality products. We understand Sunbelt's products greatly influence the caliber of our customers' products for the end user. Many enhancements over the years have resulted from our Annual User Conference and feedback from our publication, The Databuzz.
As you can see, PL/B is important to Sunbelt - but not just from a financial viewpoint. All of our employees are dedicated to the language and to our customers. We believe in the future of PL/B.