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The 2904 computer was much smaller than the 1906A, with far fewer program development facilities, but it was dedicated to this one application initially. The major requirement of the new system was that update and enquiry of the database should be interactive, via VDUs distributed around SRC Central Office at Swindon. All the work on the new system was carried out in close collaboration with the Swindon Office staff.
The Grants system was completely re-written, but offered the old 1906A interface to users as well as the new one. Fully interactive update and enquiry were added. Two commercial software products were used:
- TPS: teleprocessing software
- TOTAL: Database Management System
Mike Chiu, Mike Claringbold, Ray Walters and Terry Dunwoody from the Atlas Computing Division and one person from Swindon Office were involved in the design, programming, system maintenance and day-to-day administration. Some short term assistance with the programming was provided by contract programmers.
The 2904 Grants System went live and replaced the 1906 system on 25 June 1979.