Computer history: FELBIS (1986 – 1989)


Expanding the administrative processing (FELBIS)

In 1986, the Laboratory started with the implementation of the ORACLE-based FEL Business Information System (FELBIS) on a VAX 11/750. In parallel, the administration applications that still ran on the Cyber had to be maintained as well by the new group ‘Bedrijfsautomatisering’. These applications were:

  • the time sheets,
  • the (electronic and mechanical) goods-in-stock system,
  • the MSA-general ledger application that processed all project data for the three TNO Defence Research laboratories,
  • the library system,
  • measurement equipment database (e.g. calibration status), and
  • the MILitary Components Administration (MILCA).

These applications were developed and maintained by 1-1.5 FTE.

As an example, on May 1st, 1988 the Laboratory’s warehouse converted its processes to FELBIS. Some components could be collected for free, e.g. ballpoints and colour markers. ICs and transistors were administered and charged to the requestors’ project.   

The first Business Information System (FELBIS) module was the support for the procurement department and the handling of received goods and materials. The library system and the accounts payable application followed in Spring 1987. Later on, the financial administration, timesheets, goods-in-stock system, and project administration were automated.
The VAX 11/750 was replaced in June 1987 with a VAX 8350 to support the applications. The VAX 8350 was further expanded in several steps. The VAX 8350 configuration at the end of 1989 comprised:

  • Double CPU with a combined performance of 2.4 VAX units of performance (VUPs).
  • A memory size of 28 Megabytes.
  • Disks: 1* RA82 (640 MB), 2* RA81 (456 MB), 1 RA80 (121 MB); total: 1.7 GB.
  • A TU81 tape unit.
  • VAX/VMS 5.3 and Oracle RDBMS version 6.0.27.