North American Royalty System

Headquartered in Berkeley, CA, peermusic has been a major independent music publisher for over eighty years . peermusic has offices in 29 countries managing an extensive catalog of artists and writers.

Challenge: Create a North American Royalty System

Music publishers receive royalty check payments twice each year. Production of each check requires a series of complex calculations and methods for tracking how the work was used and the rates generated. peermusic’s legacy system was written in Counterpoint; an older and difficult to maintain royalty system running on AS400.

peermusic decided to replatform the CounterPoint system to ensure it could be maintained and supported as the company grew. peermusic knew R.B. Zack & Associates, Inc. had significant experience with royalty processing systems. RBZ&A’s task was to develop the North American Royalty System (NARS). peermusic wanted a system that would be user friendly and they also wanted to have internal technical staff collaborate whenever possible on the solution.

Solution: Windows forms application NARS

RBZ&A believes a critical success component of any project is a thorough understanding of the business processes it will support. Therefore our projects include formal requirements definition, and written functional and technical design specifications. Using our extensive knowledge of royalty processing and a detailed, written spectification, RBZ&A developed NARS using SQL-Server and Windows forms.

The formal design process was new to peermusic and very much appreciated by their technical staff and users. peermusic decided early on to involve end-users in the design process, ensuring the functionality would meet their respective needs. The formal design process enabled peermusic and RBZ&A programmers to collaborate eff ectively to produce the final system. It also gave internal RBZ&A QA testing and peermusic User Acceptance Testing well-established guidelines for evaluating the system.

The result was an attractive, easy-to-use interface that reproduced the old functionality and also added new functionality. Processing time for the North American Royalty run was a full 8 hours in the legacy system, and has been reduced to 45 minutes in the RBZ&A-built NARS system. peermusic is so impressed with NARS, they have asked RBZ&A to assume responsibility for future maintenance and enhancement of their worldwide royalty system.


  • Easy-to-use, attractive user interface
  • Royalty run-time reduced 8 hours to 45 minutes
  • Having NARS in current, mainstream technology allows peermusic the fl exibility to easily maintain and update the system.

Technologies Used

  • VB.NET
  • Crystal Reports
  • .NET Framework 3.5
  • DevExpress Tools
  • SQL Server 2005
  • Authorize.Net Certified Developer
  • Microsoft Certified Partner