The Story of Polyjuice

In 1991 Joachim Wester was enjoying life in general. He spent some quality time on his enduro motorbike and had just moved in with his girlfriend. He was running a successful business developing supply-chain and CRM applications together with two colleagues, mostly for the music industry.

Everything should have been fine, but there was one nagging question: Why can’t all computer applications share data and screen automatically?

This question was the start of a long journey that today has led to the invention of the Starcounter Polyjuice platform. The design goal was to create an information operating system, on which all applications can share all data automatically. And that goal is realized today, many years later.

Let’s go back to 1991. When Joachim Wester started to think hard about data sharing between applications, he realized that the problem was the need for common data schemas and common protocols. Without those, applications couldn’t share data, which today is still the case for most applications.

At the same time, humans can share data without common data schemas and protocols. We understand what other people mean, even if we don’t have exact definitions provided to us. Sure, we misunderstand each other frequently, but that’s most often not because we don’t understand what other people are referring to, instead it’s rather because we don’t share opinions or emotions. The idea that then took form in Wester’s mind was to look closely at how the human brain handles information and try to replicate that with computers.

Let’s take a slight detour. Wester realized that in order to create what was to become Polyjuice, a super-fast database was needed to handle the information. He also realized that there was no such database on the market. Those realizations became the birth of Starcounter’s in-memory database. Development of the database started in early 2006 with version 1.0 launched in 2009. The database can be looked upon as a leading-edge product in it’s own right. But it’s also a major building block of the Polyjuice platform.

With the database on the market, research started for Polyjuice. From 2009, to 2014, Joachim Wester and others worked hard at defining what was to become Polyjuice. After that, development started.

2018 the Polyjuice platform was launched and the promise of instant data compatibility for applications was fulfilled.

The ongoing work on Starcounter’s journey is to create and share an ecosystem that let’s ISVs, product companies and independent developers take full advantage of Polyjuice, by packaging applications and components together freely.