WildTower Company Background

WildTower Solutions was formed in November 2001 as an independent R&D department for small Independent Software Vendors.  Two products were previously managed by WildTower: Flynet Viewer (now renamed Inventu Viewer+) and Screensurfer.  In its role as a behind-the-scenes development shop, WildTower provided a full suite of R&D capabilities targeted to delivering high quality software as well as documentation and educational materials, including online tutorial videos.  This work has mostly been moved to Inventu Corporation, where Bill Thorne is 100% owner.

The WildTower Name

Bill Thorne, WildTower’s founder, started his career in 1977 as an IBM Systems Engineer in Burlington, Vermont.  In August of 1979, Bill bought his first house: a “winterized camp” far out on a point surrounded by Lake Champlain. The camp had an attached four story tower which featured a deck on top with no railings but spectacular views. It was Bill’s first wild tower, but not his last…

Inventu Viewer+

Wildtower provided R&D, documentation, marketing and support services for the Flynet Viewer product, sold by a company named Flynet in the UK and Inventu Corporation.  Flynet Viewer is now named Inventu Viewer+ which is exclusively available from Inventu.

Inventu Viewer is a product family providing the industries best Web-Based Terminal Emulator as well as Microsoft .NET integration with screen-based host systems. For more information on the FVTerm Web Terminal Emulator service see https://software.inventu.com/help/html/FSVmain/ and for more information on the development tools see https://software.inventu.com/help/html/fvstudio/.

Inventu Viewer components include Win32 C (core service), c# .NET classes (API) and a number of developer tools constructed using c# and Visual Studio WinForm development.  Code Generation is augmented with a special CodeSmith license. ASP.NET Web Services and Web Applications are modeled in a generated framework all through over one hundred CodeSmith templates. Documentation is produced using the Help & Manual product, targeting both Windows Help (CHM) and Web delivery (above links all built using Help & Manual).  Installation programs are a mix of InstallShield and custom MSI construction and packaging tools.  Newer development includes a comprehensive Visual Studio Add-In compatible with Visual Studio 2019 including custom installers built with the WIX tools.


Wildtower currently provides R&D, documentation, marketing and support services for the Screensurfer product, sold by the Inventu Corporation.

ScreenSurfer is a versatile web-to-host application server in use throughout the Americas and Europe. Development of ScreenSurfer as a product (and a business) was performed by Bill on an entrepreneurial basis within iE (www.ie.com), where he was head of U.S. technical operations.  The Screensurfer team eventually grew to include two developers, two pre/post sales technical staff and a documentation specialist. During the tech-wreck, mounting financial pressures at iE forced the closure of their U.S. operations, requiring that the ScreenSurfer business unit be spun-off. The ScreenSurfer unit was eventually acquired by Ives Development (now know as Teamstudio) in the Summer of 2001. Following a successful hand-over of the Screensurfer codebase to the Teamstudio development team (and the 9/11 mini-recession), Bill was quickly transitioned by the entrenched executives of Teamstudio to the role of independent consultant and entrepreneur. From that moment forward, the Screensurfer product suffered rapidly declining sales and the sales and support department was subsequently discontinued in 2003.  At the end of 2003, Bill and Jeff Urbanczyk (formerly a member of the original Screensurfer team at iE) acquired the Screensurfer product and customers from Teamstudio, forming the Inventu Corporation where Bill is the President and now 100% owner.

Screensurfer’s core is Win32 C code, with its own custom HTTP server engine (custom web server) and its own scripting language, which was modeled after the ColdFusion CFML language (at the time Screensurfer was invented, ColdFusion was THE way to build web sites!).  The help is a mix of hand-edited HTML and Javascript and RoboHelp PDF’s developed by a TeamStudio documentation specialist.  Installation is managed using InstallShield tools.

A great deal of Screensurfer delivered functionality is also implemented as HTML and Javascript.

Today’s Opportunities

WildTower has experience in producing a variety of development tools targeting productivity in difficult environments (screen-scraping, which is generally hated for its difficulty).  While implementing these tools, which bridge from the old to the new, we have kept abreast of the latest technologies and are able to assist in the creation of new products which may require:

  • Interfacing to complex service providers (Web Services, REST, proprietary protocols)
  • Custom Scripting support: parsing, p-code and execution implementation
  • Visual Studio Add-Ins specific to your problem space
  • Data Visualization (with customized graphics built from the ground-up)
  • High quality installation experiences
  • Integrated Help
  • Tutorial Videos

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