Cuadra Associates, Inc. (Cuadra) was founded in March 1978, as a California corporation, by Carlos A. Cuadra and Judith Wanger, who had previously established and managed SDC Search Service, one of the world's first online retrieval services.
The new company's objective was to develop multi-user information management software that was both more comprehensive and more flexible than the then-current retrieval software and, most important, user-customizable.
While this software was being developed, the company focused on research and consulting services, including multi-client studies, associated with the online information industry. It also developed seminars dealing with online databases (i.e., collections of data) and online database services and offered them in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Those seminars provided the foundation for a new quarterly publication, "The Directory of Online Databases." The first issue, published in fall, 1979, described a total of 400 online databases offered through 59 online services.
In 1985, Cuadra began publishing "The Directory of Portable Databases," which reflected the emergence of CD-ROM and other portable media in the information marketplace. In 1991, to enable the company to focus entirely on software, Cuadra elected to sell its directory business. By that time, the number of publicly accessible online databases had grown from 400 to over 5000.
The development of STAR, designed for operation on a multi-user, multi-tasking microcomputer, began in 1978. The first version was written in assembler for the WD-16 processor, for use on an Alpha Micro, the world's first multi-user, multi-tasking microcomputers. This version was released in 1982, after which Cuadra phased out its consulting service operations.
Unlike many software packages, STAR was designed to serve multiple information management needs in libraries, information centers, archives, museums, records centers, law firms, competitive intelligence units, and publishing organizations. Although such organizations differ in the processes and language that they use, they share a common need for efficient and accurate input of both structured and unstructured data, automatic indexing, sophisticated retrieval, flexible output, and data security. STAR provides these for all of its applications.
In 2003 Cuadra began making STAR available as a service. The Cuadra Hosted Services is now supporting customers in 18 times zones around the world.