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 System Builder 5.1 reference manual

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Stefano Gallotta's profile image
PARTNER Stefano Gallotta posted 11-16-2023 08:34

Hi all

I have a (old) client with their application in System Builder 5.1 (NOT SB+) - and I am wondering whether anyone out there has a copy of the System Builder manual in some transportable format (aka .pdf)

I need the variable documentation of some subroutines -,, and lookup.

Greatly appreciated :)


Krish Govender's profile image
PARTNER Krish Govender Best Answer

Hi S,

I do have a 'brand new' manual - been keeping it for this occasion lol

David Knight's profile image
PARTNER David Knight

I have never seen a manual and do not know if one ever existed!

This is now SERIOUSLY old tech; so I think you will be out of luck. Taking 1970's???

Your client would be better served migrating to SB+ v5.n as the last non-Universe supported version of SB+.

We [H3O] have successfully migrated SB v5 --> SB+ systems using proprietary AI systems we built to 'intelligently' convert source code originally written for SB systems; as well as using conversion tools to take most [but not all] of the hard work out of such migrations.

This would give your client:

  1. Access to a system that can be developed and taken forward
  2. On supported platform; and
  3. With multiple future paths rather than being at a dead end facing a complete re-write.
  4. Additionally, can then take advantage of more modern tools inherent in d3 such as web, python, ODBC etc etc

If you or your client are interested in such a service; please contact our offices via

One of our business consultants can hold an obligation-free discussion.


David Knight

Will Johnson's profile image
Will Johnson

Not 1970s.  Probably mid-80s

Neil Pratt's profile image
Neil Pratt

Hi Stefano,

I am still in contact with some of the programmers who developed System Builder , SB and SB+ ,  I'll see if they can assist with your request. 

Many moons ago I used the original System Builder before SB and SB+ were born.  Speaking of born, my first Pick job was with a company in Johannesburg South Africa which was about a mile or 2 from where System Builder was born. The company was called Computermatic . Neill and Derek Miller started it I believe. See Neill's LinkedIn link below.  In case you don't have access, I copied some of the relevant info. from his profile.

"My first startup Computermatic a computer services bureau, which I started with one partner and one programmer in 1972 was listed on the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) in 1985.

I also facilitated several mergers and acquisitions, including companies such as Bell and Howell, Micrographix and Business Land, resulting in 4 listed companies on the JSE.

After immigrating to Australia in 1987, I formed a start up computer software company with my cousin Derek Miller called System Builder Development (SBD) to continue to develop the 4GL System Builder and SB+."

Stefano Gallotta's profile image
PARTNER Stefano Gallotta

@Neil Pratt

Yep, knew Computermatic very well.

I met Derrick and Neil when System Builder was being developed way back in 83/84 - whilst using PERTEC equipment. Thereafter ADDS Mentor.
Derrick and Johan Peterson gave me my first courses using the System Builder transaction processing facility - back in the day.

I still developed the aux printing function with Wyse50 terminals, the concept was then facilitated onto SB+

Please scratch and see if you have a copy of the System Builder manual - I know I had one somewhere back in South Africa  (I'm working in the UK now) - I would greatly appreciate it.



Neil Pratt's profile image
Neil Pratt

@Stefano Gallotta I didn't realize you were from South Africa and you probably don't know my family come from GT Yarmouth, UK although I was born in Rhodesia and moved to SA early on where I did some growing up. I pretty much sold everything I had and moved to Los Angeles early 1998 and if I had any SB related manuals, I don't have them anymore. I have reached out to my old colleagues who might be able to assist.