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Annals of the History of Computing, IEEE

Issue 2 • Date April-June 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 18 of 18
  • Front Cover

    Page(s): c1
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  • Table of Contents

    Page(s): c2 - 1
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  • From the Editor's Desk

    Page(s): 2 - 3
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  • Computer Industry Pioneer: Erwin Tomash (1921-2012)

    Page(s): 4 - 7
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  • Relational Database Management Systems: The Business Explosion [Guest editor's introduction]

    Page(s): 8 - 9
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  • The Oracle Story: 1984-2001

    Page(s): 10 - 23
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    This article tells the story of Oracle from 1984 through 2001, primarily through the author's experiences during those years. Andrew Mendelsohn worked on the software development team that built the Oracle relational database management system (RDBMS). During this time, Oracle went from being a small niche software company to becoming one of the giants in the software industry. Although many observers believe Oracle's strong marketing and sales organizations were the primary reasons for its success during this time, Mendelsohn argues that Oracle's success was also due to its highly innovative RDBMS product that was strongly differentiated from its competitors. This article traces the development of the Oracle RDBMS through the mainframe, minicomputer, client-server, and Internet computing eras. It calls out the key competitors at each stage and the key product innovations that allowed Oracle to compete so successfully in the market. Finally, this article also provides insight into the workings of the overall Oracle business and culture. View full abstract»

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  • Oracle Marketing: Killer Ads

    Page(s): 24 - 30
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    Rick Bennett was Oracle's one-man ad agency from 1984 to 1990 as it grew from $15 million to $1 billion in sales. Bennett chronicles the company's approach to advertising, some of its more successful and controversial ads, and his experiences working personally with Larry Ellison. View full abstract»

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  • History of Sybase

    Page(s): 31 - 41
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    One of the cofounders of Sybase tells about the birth of the company in 1984 and its strategy for entering what appeared to be a crowded marketplace. The article discusses how they were able to raise the funding needed. It tracks the technical development of the initial product that supported Sun and DEC computers and was rapidly accepted by the Wall Street community. The technical advantages of Sybase are described along with its marketing thrust to compete with Oracle. It covers the business relationship with Microsoft and Ashton-Tate and how the product performed in benchmarking tests. The problems with acquisitions, growth, and competition are described. It concludes with the changes in management and the company's acquisition by SAP. View full abstract»

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  • Informix: Information Management on Unix

    Page(s): 42 - 53
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    This history of Informix is told from the founder's point of view and his personal experience. He talks about the Silicon Valley of the late 1970s, the "fire in the valley" days, and the feeling that history was going to be made and that computer scientists would be playing a major role in these changes. The relational database revolution, the flourishing success of the PC packaged software industry, and the Unix server victories are the backdrop for this story. Like all stories about a young company, it is about people and what drives entrepreneurs to take oversized chances and accept the risks involved. View full abstract»

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  • The History and Growth of IBM's DB2

    Page(s): 54 - 66
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    IBM's Database 2 (DB2) relational database management system (RDBMS) shipped in the early 1980s and drove billions of dollars of revenue to IBM and other firms within its first decade. The product spawned a wealth of add-on tools, shaped the future of mainframe computing, and provided independent software vendors with a strong, reliable, and scalable platform for mission-critical applications. Today, DB2 spans multiple operating systems and is widely deployed across a broad spectrum of industries. This article explores the beginnings of DB2 and traces its rise to prominence. View full abstract»

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  • Product Managing DB2's Early Development

    Page(s): 67 - 68
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    In late 1979, IBM senior management charged IBM's Santa Teresa Lab with the task of building a new relational database management system for its principal operating system, MVS. Marilyn Bohl became the DB2 product manager for version 1. This article describes DB2's early development organization and product testing and review as well as how it fit in IBM's other divisions and product releases. View full abstract»

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  • SQL/DS: IBM's First RDBMS

    Page(s): 69 - 71
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    In the late 1970s, IBM software labs were aligned with the IBM hardware families. The decisions to commercialize the relational database prototype called System R, which had been developed during the 1970s at the IBM Research facility in San Jose, California, were made based on a hardware family business case. The Endicott Lab, supporting the small- to mid-sized mainframe environments running VM and VSE, had the skills and the competitive pressure to launch the relational database management system (RDBMS) commercialization project in 1979, and delivered SQL/DS two years later. This article traces how SQL/DS, running on VSE and then on VM, became IBM's first commercial relational database in 1982, over a year before the availability of DB2 running on MVS. View full abstract»

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  • The SQL StandarD: How it Happened

    Page(s): 72 - 75
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    Donald R. Deutsch joined the US government agency now called the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the last 1970s and the X3H2 Database Standards Committee (DSC) in Washington DC in April 1978. Initially chartered only to develop a standard Data Definition Language (DDL) for network DBMSs, in time the DSC became the epicenter of US and international SQL standardization. Deutsch became the DSC vice chair at the second meeting and chair at the committee's 11th meeting in May 1980. Throughout his career that included (in addition to NIST) GE, Sybase, and now Oracle, he has continued to chair the DSC. From this perspective, this article describes how the SQL standard happened. View full abstract»

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  • Events and Sightings

    Page(s): 76 - 81
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  • Biomedical Computing: Digitizing Life in the United States[ (November, J.; 2012) [Reviews]

    Page(s): 82 - 84
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  • Machines Who Write [Think Piece]

    Page(s): 88
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  • Software Experts House Advertisement

    Page(s): c3
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  • Rock Stars of Big Data House Advertisement

    Page(s): c4
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Aims & Scope

From the analytical engine to the supercomputer, from Pascal to von Neumann, from punched cards to CD-ROMs -- theIEEE Annals of the History of Computing covers the breadth of computer history.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Lars Heide
Copenhagen Business School
Centre for Business History