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New Year’s Eve is meant for celebrating the end of a past era and the beginning of a new one. On December 31, 2013, ProQuest celebrated more than just a flip to the 2014 calendar. We celebrated the end of a long, storied career for Dialog, the world’s first commercial online search service – and the final transition to Dialog’s next-generation product, ProQuest Dialog.
Founded in 1972, Dialog pioneered the online information industry long before the advent of the internet (read a reflection on its early years, written by inventor Roger Summit). It transformed the research process for information professionals around the world, and you’d be hard-pressed to find an information professional who isn’t aware of Dialog. In recent years, though still a critical resource for many info pros to do their jobs, Dialog had become a niche product, and was in real need of a makeover.
ProQuest purchased the Dialog product several years ago. Armed with market research and industry experience, our development team set to work creating a new product with a completely revamped interface. Our goal was to honor Dialog’s legacy by maintaining its essential values and components, while improving the user experience and providing the flexibility to support searchers of all skill levels and from different types of organizations. The result: ProQuest Dialog, which was developed for R&D organizations in the pharmaceutical, engineering and legal R&D industries.
After months of preparation and testing, we began migrating customers off Dialog and onto ProQuest Dialog late last summer. On December 31, the last of our customers completed their migration to ProQuest Dialog, and Dialog was officially retired (which made for a crazy, but ultimately celebratory, New Year’s Eve for many of us at ProQuest!).
ProQuest Dialog offers a host of new features (Basic, advanced, and command-line searching! Collaboration tools! Flexible pricing! – to name just a few), and customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Now that we’ve finally allowed Dialog to retire, our product team can focus 100% of its efforts on supporting and enhancing ProQuest Dialog. You can read more about ProQuest Dialog here.
As we settle into 2014, we’re excited about our product’s new focus, but still grateful to Dialog for everything it has meant to our customer community and its amazing resiliency over the past 42 years. A celebrated retirement after a successful four-decade-long career…if only all of us could be so lucky!
Did you use Dialog in its early years? We’ve captured short videos of info pros telling their Dialog stories. Share your own in the comments!