Berkeley, Calif. -- Tom Sawyer Software has been selected as one of seven
grant awardees for Component-Based Software Technology  Development
(competition 95-09), from the Advanced Technology Program at the National
Institute of Standards and Technology.

Founded in 1990, the Advanced Technology Program (ATP) invests directly in the nation's economic growth by working with industry to develop innovative technologies with strong commercial potential. The Advanced Technology Program provides cost-shared funding for industries with high-risk R&D projects with the potential to spark important, broad-based economic benefits for the United States. The ATP accelerates, and in many cases enables, potentially important R&D projects that industry would otherwise not undertake because of the technical risks involved.

ATP awards are made on the basis of a competitive review based on both scientific and technical merit. The program in "Component-Based Software Development" supports research on practical technologies. The program emphasizes approaches based on semantic analysis of software components, so that each component is automatically transformed at the point of use to be compatible with the target market.

Systems for engineering, database design, systems and network management, telephony, project management, scheduling, work-flow management, software engineering, financial systems management, chemical and biochemical design, and others depend on graphs to portray complex information. Graph drawing theory is a growing academic discipline, seeking algorithms that automate the process of visualizing a graph to depict a particular set of data. While academic papers have been published, it has proven to be very difficult to commercialize this research.

"Tom Sawyer Software, a leading supplier of graph layout and editing tools for the software industry, proposes to develop advanced software techniques that bridge the existing gap between commercial graphing tools and theory," said Brendan P. Madden, president and CEO of Tom Sawyer Software.

"We plan to do this by smoothly integrating techniques that enable interactive and incremental editing of graphs with techniques for global layout. The theory underlying this union is not yet well understood, but if solved and captured in component-software tools, would bring major improvements to a segment of software development that has been handicapped by a lack of high-quality automated solutions," he added.

Tom Sawyer Software will draw extensively on the resources of two leading universities for graph drawing theory.

Tom Sawyer Software is a tools development company that produces portable graph layout systems, portable graph editors and finished applications for specific market segments.