April 18, 2003
Authorization Assistance

Jack Gray on the Lispworks mailing list [via Rainer Joswig]:

I have worked for American Express on the Authorizer Assistant (AA) project since its inception in the mid-1980s. I've been told that AA is generally recognized as one of the oldest and most successful commercial LISP-based applications - and I personally believe that the prime reason for that success is LISP.

The AA project staff has been asked to reassess AA from top to bottom, with an eye toward developing a future direction for the application. (As you can probably guess, there will be pressure for us to consider a re-write in some environment other than LISP.)

And then he asks for testimonials by people using lisp in business. “The goal here is to demonstrate to our management that there is a viable segment of the marketplace that continues to see superior value in LISP.”

This old ComputerWorld article says that “The first prototype [of AA] took almost six months to complete and consisted of 520 rules (over the years, it has grown to more than 1,000 rules).” and “ American Express claimed it saved tens of millions of dollars per year using the Authorizer's Assistant. It did the work of 700 authorization employees...”

(Here I save you 6 seconds of valuable time by providing a pre-built google query.)

Posted by jjwiseman at April 18, 2003 03:18 PM

Jack Gray asks for testimonials by people using Lisp in business. Here are some relevant pages at the ALU CLiki site (http://alu.cliki.net): Success Stories (http://alu.cliki.net/Success%20Stories), Commercial companies using Lisp (http://alu.cliki.net/Industry%20Application), Research organizations using Lisp (http://alu.cliki.net/Research%20Organizations) and Evaluating Lisp as a language (http://alu.cliki.net/Evaluate%20Lisp). I encourage all Lispers to provide more information, the site is publicly editable.

Posted by: Paolo Amoroso on April 19, 2003 08:57 AM

Paolo, it looks like your links are getting the closing parentheses included in them. Here are the links without parentheses:


Oh, and I notice the very first success story is a link to lemonodor.com.

Posted by: Jeremy Leader on April 22, 2003 01:51 PM

Yeah, sorry, that bug in Movable Type has annoyed me forever.

Posted by: John Wiseman on April 22, 2003 02:07 PM
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