I wanted the first blog post of the year to give a little history of Partnet. We are a small business housed on the campus of the University of Utah, in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. The University of Utah is home to one of the first Computer Science Departments and ranks among the world’s top 20 academic programs.  The University of Utah was also one of the initial five sites for DARPANET—the predecessor of the Internet.

I’m not going to say we “Invented the Internet” or anything, but Partnet was there at the beginning. Before Netscape, Internet Explorer, or even Mosaic were around, Partnet developed its own web client to allow engineers to use the Internet to source parts located in remote databases. Partnet obtained a patent for searching distributed databases over the Internet. Today this patent is widely used by nearly all Internet companies that crawl the Web (this includes Google, Yahoo, Amazon, and many others).

In 1992, Dr. Don Brown was so impressed with the ideas of his students that he made a video of the capabilities and sent it to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military. DARPA has been responsible for funding the development of many technologies that have had a major effect on the world.

Impressed with the idea of a distributed architecture that could search for spare parts from multiple databases, DARPA eagerly funded the project. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) soon joined the project. DLA provides supplies to the military services and supports their acquisition of weapon system repair parts and other materiel. DLA saw […]