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Alberta’s developers are doing business in some unexpected places

Think software development only happens in the big city? Think again

Oct 12, 2012

by Alix Kemp

With distribution easier than ever, thanks to the Internet and mobile networks, it’s possible for a software developer to set up shop just about anywhere. That means Alberta’s software industry is thriving not just in Edmonton and Calgary, but also in some of the province’s smaller towns and cities. Here’s a look at some of the companies located off the beaten track.

Aldata Software Management
Location
Hinton
Sector
Forestry
Founded
1991
Population of Hinton
8,640
Creating logging and log management software
20+ years

Aldata has been creating logging and log management software for more than 20 years. Its products allow forestry companies to track inventory, sales, transfers and even service contracts. Combined with their onboard computer TAGASIS, Aldata’s Custody Manager tracks the origin of each load of wood so foresters can prove chain of custody for their products and make audits easier.

Municipal Information Systems
Location
Morinville
Sector
Business services
Founded
1978
Population of Morinville
8,569
The number of modules that can be purchased separately
18

Muncipal Information System’s flagship product, MuniWare, is a suite of financial software for municipal governments. Each piece can be purchased separately, so cities can select the features they need without paying for the ones they don’t.

Modules include systems for:

  • Business licensing
  • Pet licensing
  • Cemetery management
  • Payroll systems
  • Tax and assessment
Alfadata Technologies
Location
Red Deer
Sector
Oil & gas
Founded
1993
Population of Red Deer
90,564

Alfadata specializes in integrity management software that helps oil and gas companies analyze and manage the risk of their pipelines, telling them what the impact of a spill would be and which of their pipelines are the most risky. The software will help to determine if any of the infrastructure needs to be upgraded or shut down.

Alfadata also produces RigFinder, a subscription-based iPhone app that provides detailed information about drilling rigs across Canada.

OBACS
Location
Lethbridge
Sector
Technology
Founded
2006
Population of Lethbridge
89,074

Short for Object Based Advanced Computational Solutions, OBACS is a start-up based out of Lethbridge’s tecconnect. The company creates numerical analysis and 3D visualization tools for use by other software developers in industries from science and research to oil and gas.

Tecconnect, Lethbridge’s tech incubator, is home to several other start-ups in the Internet and software sectors, including Isis Geomatics and Internet Solutions Group.

Auto-Star Computer Systems
Location
Medicine Hat
Sector
Retail
Founded
1978
Population of Lethbridge
60,000

Auto-Star creates point-of-sale (POS) software, and specializes in software for groceries, pharmacies and health and natural product retailers.

In addition to their POS software, Auto-Star also creates Star-Link, supply chain management software for companies with multiple retail outlets.

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