Boole & Babbage Incorporated, founded as K & K Associates, was an American automation computer software company based in San Jose, California. It was the oldest systems management company in the world before being bought out in a stock swap by BMC Software, announced in late 1998 and completed in early 1999.

Boole & Babbage Incorporated
FormerlyK & K Associates
Company typePublic
Founded1967; 57 years ago (1967)
  • Ken Kolence
  • David Kaitch
DefunctMarch 1999; 25 years ago (1999-03)
FateAcquired by BMC Software



Boole & Babbage (a reference to 19th century English mathematicians George Boole and Charles Babbage, early theorists of what would eventually become the Information Age)[1] was founded with three employees in Palo Alto, California, in 1967 as K & K Associates by Ken Kolence and David Kaitch.[2] The company, later headquartered in San Jose, California,[3] changed its name to Boole & Babbage after an investment from Franklin "Pitch" Johnson, becoming the first software company in Silicon Valley to receive venture capital funding.[2] Its main product was a computer mainframe monitoring package which was the first software that allowed the tracking of hours. The company had a million dollars in sales in its first year.

By 1972, the company's large expenses outstripped its profits, so Bruce Coleman was appointed as president to lower expenses; this was accomplished by 1978, after which Coleman left the company. Boole & Babbage almost went bankrupt when their products became obsolete due to upgrades in IBM hardware.[4] In the 1980s, the company developed new software and went public. In 1984 IBM changed its operating systems, rendering a number of Boole & Babbage's products obsolete. In response, Coleman returned as president. The company created COMMAND/Post for client/server systems in 1990, and it soon became their main product.[4]

In 1990, Boole & Babbage acquired Avant-Garde Computing, a maker of network management, monitoring, and security software and hardware.[5][6]



In 1993, Boole & Babbage announced at the Computer Measurement Group annual conference that they would pay Paramount Pictures $75,000 a year for a two-year licence to use Star Trek imagery in their advertising for COMMAND/Post and MainView.[4] They used actor Jonathan Frakes, playing his character Commander William Riker from Star Trek: The Next Generation, in their Star Trek advertisements.[1] One of the early advertisements, titled "The Vision", featured Frakes as Commander Riker on the USS Enterprise bridge set.[7]

Decline and sale


In the late 1990s, the computer industry started to become dominated by larger companies and Boole & Babbage were having trouble competing. In October 1998, the board of Boole & Babbage agreed to be acquired in whole by BMC Software, through a stock swap valued at US$1 billion (equivalent to $1.9 billion in 2023).[8][9] The swap was completed in March 1999.[10]


  1. ^ a b Whiteley, Laura E., ed. (1999). International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 25. Detroit: St. James Press. pp. 86–88. ISBN 1558623671. Retrieved 2023-03-10.
  2. ^ a b "History and Background". Management System Report for Boole & Babbage, Inc (PDF) (Report). Tarrytown, New York: Burton Grad Associates, Inc. 1978-05-01. pp. 1.0–1.1. Retrieved 2023-03-10 – via Computer History Museum.
  3. ^ "Boole & Babbage booms". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 1997-02-03. Archived from the original on 2005-03-02. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  4. ^ a b c "Boole & Babbage, Inc. History". FundingUniverse. 1999. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  5. ^ Reitman, Valerie (1989-06-07). "Avant-Garde takes action to end its financial woes". The Philadelphia Inquirer. pp. 1-F, 9-F – via
  6. ^ "Court clears way for Avant-Garde sale". Courier-Post. 1990-01-19. p. 19 – via
  7. ^ "Commander Riker highlights Boole blitz". Software Magazine. 1997-01-01. Archived from the original on 2014-06-29. Retrieved 2014-05-16 – via HighBeam Research.
  8. ^ Holson, Laura M. (1998-11-02). "BMC Is Expected to Buy Boole & Babbage". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 2013-05-18. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  9. ^ "Boole & Babbage sold to Houston software maker". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 1998-11-08. Archived from the original on 2014-05-22. Retrieved 2014-05-16.
  10. ^ D'Armond, Dan (1999-03-30). "BMC Software Completes Merger with Boole & Babbage" (PDF) (Press release). Houston, TX: BMC Software. Retrieved 2023-03-10 – via Computer History Museum.