BizSpark member Global-Regulation employs Azure in conjunction with PHP packages to provide the world’s most comprehensive jurisprudential search engine.
Canadian startup, Global-Regulation Inc., is changing the way governments, researchers, lawyers, and businesses access and apply international law. Global-Regulation recently launched a legislation search engine enabling users to search over 1,000,000 laws and regulations, from 31 countries, including the European Union, United States, Canada, China, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Germany, and Japan.
“Our software automatically translates laws into English so people have easier access to the world’s laws,” says CTO Addison Cameron-Huff. “Automatic translation makes the world’s laws instantly accessible to researchers, regulators, lawyers and businesspeople.” The company aims to help regulators make better regulations and in turn help businesses and lawyers better understand the international legal landscape.
Global-Regulation’s software provides a comparative perspective of existing laws and regulations. While there are other tools on the market geared to lawyers that enable searches by country, Global-Regulation offers a comprehensive global search. By indexing laws from national databases around the world, Global-Regulation is able to normalize the data and translate it to English, when needed. The current database is the equivalent of more than 5 million printed pages.
A Microsoft BizSpark plus member, Global-Regulation has made inroads into the academic community, already counting Northwestern, Cal-Berkley, New York University, University of Toronto and the University of Oxford among their clients. In addition to academics, Global-Regulation is making headway into the government sector, securing contracts with various branches of the Canadian Provincial and Federal government. According to CEO Nachshon Goltz, “We want to help the people who write our laws by giving them the tools they know they need, but no one is making. Google does not cater to governments.”
Global-Regulations became a part of the Bizspark Plus program due to their affiliation with the LegalX team at MaRS Venture Services. Aron Solomon, head of LegalX at MaRS, is helping to facilitate the growth of Global-Regulations consumer base. “We have worked with Global Regulation from their launch and were very familiar with one of their co-founders even before then. Working with us at LegalX here at MaRS and taking advantage of the Microsoft Bizspark relationship will go a very long way to making this Canadian legal innovation startup successful on a global scale…” says Solomon.
A self-funded startup, Global-Regulation platform is hosted on the Azure cloud platform and utilizes Azure Project Manager, Virtual Machines, and Microsoft Translation services to enhance the quality and usability of their product. Being a member of Bizspark Plus has enabled Global-Regulation to consume up to $10K/month in Azure credits and reach a quota of up to 250m characters of translation through Microsoft Translator all for free. “For larger scale indexing and parsing we use Azure Project Manager because of the breadth of our database. The main advantage we found with Microsoft translation is that it preserves formatting – a critical feature for law translation. We are re-translating what we originally translated using other services because the Microsoft software is much better. As we grow we’ll probably make use of more features but at the moment we’re keeping it simple,” says Goltz.
Azure’s ability to support a wide variety of open source helped to cement Global-Regulation’s decision to leverage the Azure platform explains Cameron-Huff. “We’re currently running a series of PHP-related packages. The great thing about Azure is how easy it is to get started. We just installed the necessary base packages for our server and moved the processing functionality, PHP scripts and bash scripts, to Azure, and we were basically up and running. We used the extra processing power to do our translating and parsing much faster than we were doing before. Configuring the virtual machine took only minutes from the time we started until we were running our code. There’s no messing around with port configurations or anything. I don’t know how it could be made easier.”
Global-Regulation points to BizSpark as key to their early success. According to Goltz, “If we weren’t a part of the program we would not have been able to use translator API. Our product would be nowhere near as in depth, nor as successful.”