Original Design Mandate

Based on their past experience, many people have become accustomed to certain fixed ways of viewing the information dilemma; i.e., how to deal with too much available stored information. However, most of these accepted solutions contain inherent flaws which can be readily seen and solved once one realizes that there are choices now which we did not have not too long ago.

Thunderstone took a fresh approach to text analysis and data search problems from the very core; that is, in the methods of pattern matching itself. It has always been our premise that if we could develop pattern matching algorithms fast and precise enough, we could take a different approach to data research which would provide more accurate and reliable results, while being less labor intensive in the processing of the raw data.

Different algorithms are most efficient for different tasks; therefore we have learned how to make use of the best tool for the best job by integrating a number of smaller programs through a senior program. The Metamorph Search Engine calls upon the right pattern matcher for the right job, encompassing several different pattern matchers: PPM (Parallel Pattern Matcher), SPM (Single Pattern Matcher), Wildcard '*' matcher, REX (Regular EXpression pattern matcher), XPM (ApproXimate Pattern Matcher), and NPM (Numeric Pattern Matcher). Each pattern matcher handles a certain class of search problems and is optimized for a particular type of task, making the overall search environment as fast and efficient as possible.

In light of the rapid advances being made in hardware configurations, we have maintained that the best approach to the creation of all data manipulation tools must be totally software solutions. In this way we can as required modify our software to take advantage of new hardware breakthroughs, rather than be tied to outdated hardware systems. We believe this represents a more cost effective solution to our clients so that only their hardware budget concerns need be weighty, knowing our software will be flexible enough to be portable to the hardware configuration of their choice.

By way of example, we are in fact operational on more than 25 different Unix platforms, evidencing more portability than any other software company around. Using our Application Program Interfaces (API's), we can extend portability of the Search Engine to almost any platform. And now that Metamorph is inside Texis, a complete and multi-faceted Relational DataBase Management System, its use can be extended truly to any application that might be desired, now in this exciting global village of totally connected Internet and World Wide Web applications.

Some hardware pattern matching solutions have surfaced along the way, some quite impressive. However, there are certain inherent problems with these techniques no matter how fast they appear to be. What can be located is limited, and there is limited portability. If the host configuration is greatly changed, an entirely new piece of hardware will in most cases be required. Metamorph on the other hand, being entirely software, always has retained the potential of being moved to a new hardware environment. Our technology has shown flexibility over time in DOS, Unix, MVS, OS/2, MACH, Macintosh, Windows, and NT environments, spanning micro, mini and mainframe applications.


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