Design Criteria

The Beacon for Business system is under a continuous improvement program, ever aiming for perfection (a moving target).

Keep it Simple, Stupid

Walstan’s development team is committed to the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) principles to produce maximum effect with minimum code.  Each line of code is a potential bug, and we hate bugs.

Data dictionaries

Beacon uses UniVerse (evolved from Pick), under which data is described by dictionary items.  Data definitions include description, length, and format.

Additional dictionary items give user access to related information (eg customer name from customer ID), including calculations.

Parameter driven

Beacon uses these data dictionaries in parameter driven procedures for data entry, queries, reports, forms and searches.

These are easy to assemble, require much less testing that code-written functions, and easy to change to user requirements.


Documentation is available to the user at a keystroke.


Courses take users through basic operations to the most sophisticated processing.  Course notes are used as a refresher each year, as users get more and more out of Beacon.

Modifications may be done onsite by “power users” or  by a Walstan implementer.  These are limited, so basic changes to the system cannot be done without consultation with the Walstan development team.  More complicated changes are done by (or supervised by) the Walstan development team.

Software change tracking means Beacon upgrades can be easily implemented, including reconciliation with any local changes (which may have been implemented into standard Beacon).