The Wayback Machine – Short story about Xcential

The Wayback Machine

By 2000, many governments, associations, and agencies, and other rules-centric organizations began a slow move away from paper and into the world of online information. But HTML was too complicated and vendors did not have open and interoperable solutions. Things got stuck. The partial move from paper left our laws, rules, regulations, and policies trapped in PDFs and Word Documents. The transformation of rules into useful units of knowledge was stalled. The promise of digital modernization was unrealized as the bubble burst.

Meanwhile there was a group of engineers working on the problem. The problem of rules as useful units of knowledge and the change management of those living bodies of rules.

They decided a new path was necessary; a new de-facto standard for bringing law to life in the digital world. They saw each body of law (and all related rules) as a living and unique thing which needed to be connected to other bodies of rules. They shared a belief about the new digital world: we must bring the law with us, or the rule of law may not survive modernization. 

There were no guarantees of what would happen, but the team that would become Xcential decided to act.

In 2002, Xcential developed software to enable local, state, and federal governments to create, manage, amend, and publish legislative code (including regulations, policy, and any type of rule) to their constituents. Xcential products were modular applications designed to integrate with existing infrastructure to make the promise of a connected digital experience possible.

LegisPro Law Management System combined mainstream industry tools and standards. It was a leap forward for the management of rules. It was the first “Workflow and Production System” for law and all rules. Beyond mere workflow, the system included Writer for generating amendments and writing new law and rules. The system included DBMS to store and secure rules as individual statutes as useful units of knowledge as well as maintaining structures to decompose and recompile bodies of rules. And the system delivered PUB to publish bodies of rules with linking and cross-referencing of individual statues.

Forward thinking governments like the State of California, the US Congress, and many others partnered with Xcential for the good of their citizens. These governments understood that when the rule of law is paramount, the law must come first in any digital transformation.

That story is true and we thank the good folks at the Wayback Machine and Internet Archive. They are champions of our collective Internet memory and storytelling.

The Progress

Xcential has remained steadfast. You can count on the Xcential Team to evangelize a conservative approach to building the right foundation as the digital age grows and changes. Xcential has continued to promote law and rules as foundational to government modernization; promoting open standards, transparency, inter-connectedness, efficient workflows, and historical documentation.

We have served some of the most respected governments (big and small) on planet Earth. And we continue to serve.

The Now

To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” — Buckminster Fuller

There is still work to be done and today we do the work.  Xcential is proud to announce the latest culmination of technical work with a model for broad adoption by all organizations for whom rules are central and who serve their community through rule making.

Simply powerful, LegisBase makes it accessible for organizations, governments, agencies, and associations to transform bodies of rules (law, ordinance, regulation, policy) into digital databases of connected, useful knowledge.

E-services for citizens and workflow for staff are more effective and efficient with LegisBase; when your operations are centered around law, ordinance, policy and/or regulation

LegisBase provides a simple, yet powerful, database where each rule is a useful unit of knowledge to be search, shared, compared, and managed

You decide which bodies of rules are included.

Read the New White Paper: Laws as a Fundamental Element of Government Digital Transformation
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