For the Silver
Dear DACIS Subscribers,
With this letter we're marking two happy occasions: the New Year, and the silver anniversary of InfoBase Publishers. At the risk of blowing our own horn: we're 25.
In any industry 25 years would be a long time. But in our particular line of work—online publishing—25 years is pretty much the entire lifespan of the industry itself. When we launched on January 1st, 1996 there was no "online", at least not an online that was ready for our product. And so we bided our time, and we pressed a lot of CD-ROMs. It wasn't until 1999 that one of our big, big customers said that they loved our product, but they were making a push onto the Internet, and how much would it cost for us to provide access to all their operations worldwide? We submitted a WAG, and it turned out to be the right answer. That big, big customer is still with us, along with many others (both big and getting there). CD-ROMs have long since gone by the wayside. And here we are—more than 60 times bigger than when we closed out our inaugural year. Still innovating, and still independent. Few of the peers who began the journey with us can say both.
We began this quarter-century with two modules: Contracts and DM&A. Today there are fourteen. That's a lot of capability… and a lot of search screens. Recognizing that we might be overwhelming our subscribers with too much of a good thing, in 2005 we rolled out what might still be our most appreciated innovation: Sitewide Search. From a single field it searched all of DACIS—every module, and dozens of fields (and related fields) in each. Search results were presented in an orderly, module-by-module format. Even Google didn't do that.
Everyone liked Sitewide Search, and they liked it even more in 2008, when we figured out how to index the thing. Suddenly searches were executing in near-Google-esque speeds. Even the 50 million-plus records added by the 2016 debut of FPDS Pro™ couldn't slow its mighty roll.
Today, I can't think of a better way to usher in our 25th year than with a redesign of Sitewide Search. It presents more information than ever before. The look is cleaner and in keeping with our evolving design paradigm. The new Sitewide Search also lets you know just how much heavy lifting it's doing—has been doing all along, in fact. Sometime during this, our 25th anniversary year, we'll be going over 100 million records of content in DACIS. All searched in the blink of an eye, every time you submit a search request.
We've added two new features to Sitewide Search. First, there's "& MORE", which extends your search requests to some of our favorite government sites:*
  • The Congressional Research Service (CRS) website
  • The Government Accountability Office (GAO) website - both GAO Reports and Protests
  • The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) website
  • The SBIR•STTR website
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission's EDGAR website
  • The USA.gov website
  • The UK's Companies House website
  • The Government of Canada website
Go ahead, give it a try. We think you're going to like this extension of the DACIS value proposition. If you have any suggestions for sites you'd like to see added to "& MORE", please let me know directly.
The second feature is more of a hack. Anywhere in DACIS, if you highlight any word or words… or any contract number… or any CAGE Code… pretty much anything—and then click the "Go" button next to Sitewide Search, it will automatically execute a search for that term. No copying, no pasting. DACIS is built around the idea of saving you time, and that extends to the little things. Who wouldn't want to shave off a few clicks from their busy days?
We're looking forward to bringing you many more innovations in 2021. And like many of you, I'm sure, we're more than happy to ring out 2020. Happy New Year!
Best regards,

Stuart McCutchan
InfoBase Publishers, Inc.
January 7, 2021

* For the privacy minded among you, a note about how "& MORE" works. These are all public-access government websites. Search submissions from "& MORE" will be logged by these sites as having been submitted by our servers, not by you. Only if you click directly on a search result from the "& MORE" page will your interest in a search term be submitted to the government (as indeed it would have been if you had searched that site directly).
Jan 7, 2021