I was working as a programmer at ACT Financial systems. Their main product was a legacy text based application written in the Mumps programming language that provided investment management back-end functionality to major UK banks.

The application worked well and was functionally very rich, but was looking very dated.

I was placed in a small team and asked to devise a method of putting a modern MS Windows front-end onto the software. My suggestion was to run the existing application in a “server mode”, and feed it keystrokes from a Windows client. Mumps procedures interfaced the requests from Windows, sending the appropriate keystrokes to the underlying legacy code. Output from the legacy code is intercepted and used to automatically generate Windows dialogues which are cached for future use.

My suggestion was adopted, and after around a year of development it was a favourite of the sales team when demonstrating new modules to clients.

This was my first introduction to C++ and MS Windows programming.