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It should be possible to develop, debug, and edit services over the Internet, using PC-based graphical tools, in collaboration with other remotely located or mobile developers.

We have seen situations like this before. Before development of spreadsheets, accountants performed spreadsheet computations by asking MIS to write a COBOL program. With the advent of PC-based spreadsheets, professionals could perform such computations themselves far more effectively and could share them with coworkers. Desktop publishing, presentation graphics, and visual application development tools such as PowerBuilder had similar effects. We believe that modern graphical tools will do the same for the construction of Web-based online information services.

Vermeer Technologies and its Mission

Vermeer Technologies Inc. is a venture-capital funded independent software firm founded in 1994 by Charles Ferguson and Randy Forgaard. Vermeer Technologies intends to become an industry leader in Internet software by contributing to the construction of an open, standards-based information infrastructure available to everyone. In particular, we plan to make it easy for anyone to develop a Web-based information service, either for internal use within their organization or for publication on the Internet.

Accordingly, Vermeer is developing open, standards-based, client-server visual tools for collaborative World Wide Web service development. These visual tools will enable end-users and professionals (collaborating across the Internet) to inexpensively develop and operate powerful World Wide Web information services, without the need for programming. (These services currently require complex custom programming.) Nonprogrammers will be able to develop services for the first time, and professional developers will gain highly leveraged productivity tools. Our architecture also supports many usage models ranging from individual self-publishing to collaborative remote authoring for large commercial Web hosting services. Our architecture is platform independent and will be available on all major client and server computer platforms, on all operating systems, and for all standard-conforming commercial Web servers. Our vendor-independent, open APIs will enable us to construct partnerships with other industry leaders in complementary areas such as text indexing, electronic payment systems, high-performance Web servers, and other functionalities to be developed in the future.

Vermeer intends to rigorously support IETF and W3C standards and is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium. Vermeer's architecture relies on and supports all current standards and is designed to accommodate future standards as they are finalized. Vermeer is an entirely independent firm and has no entrenched interests derived from existing or proprietary products or businesses. Vermeer is therefore completely free to focus on the construction of the most open, easy to use, interoperable products possible.

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