Subscribe to our e-mail newsletters
For more info on a specific newsletter, click the title. Details will be displayed in a new window.
Computerworld Daily News (First Look and Wrap-Up)
Computerworld Blogs Newsletter
The Weekly Top 10
More E-Mail Newsletters 
Computerworld 2007Subscribe to Computerworld
40 years of the most authoritative source of news and information for IT leaders.

The Story So Far

 

Sign up to receive Security Resource Alerts

April 15, 2002 (Computerworld) -- Fifty years ago, data management was simple. Data processing meant running millions of punched cards through banks of sorting, collating and tabulating machines, with the results being printed on paper or punched onto still more cards. And data management meant physically storing and hauling around all those punched cards.

That began to change in 1951, when Remington Rand Inc.'s Univac I computer offered a magnetic tape drive that could input hundreds of records per second. In 1956, IBM rolled out the first disk drive, the Model 305 RAMAC. The drive had 50 platters, each 2 ft. in diameter, that could hold a total of 5MB of data. With disks, data could be accessed at random, not just sequentially, as with cards and tape.

But for decades, most firms had only used data in batch runs for accounting, and it took time for an idea like navigating through data to catch on.

Data Management Is Born

In 1961, Charles Bachman at General Electric Co. developed the first successful database management system. Bachman's integrated data store (IDS) featured data schemas and logging. But it ran only on GE mainframes, could use only a single file for the database, and all generation of data tables had to be hand-coded.

One customer, BF Goodrich Chemical Co., eventually had to rewrite the entire system to make it usable, calling the result integrated data management system (IDMS).

In 1968, IBM rolled out IMS, a hierarchical database for its mainframes. In 1973, Cullinane Corp. (later called Cullinet Software Inc.) began selling a much-enhanced version of Goodrich's IDMS and was on its way to becoming the largest software company in the world at that time.

Meanwhile, IBM researcher Edgar F. "Ted" Codd was looking for a better way to organize databases. In 1969, Codd came up with the idea of a relational database, organized entirely in flat tables. IBM put more people to work on the project, code-named System/R, in its San Jose labs. However, IBM's commitment to IMS kept System/R from becoming a product until 1980.

But at the University of California, Berkeley in 1973, Michael Stonebraker and Eugene Wong used published information on System/R to begin work on their own relational database. Their Ingres project would eventually be commercialized by Oracle Corp., Ingres Corp. and other Silicon Valley vendors. And in 1976, Honeywell Inc. shipped Multics Relational Data Store, the first commercial relational database.

By the late 1960s, a new kind of database software was being developed: decision support systems (DSS), designed to let managers put data to better use in their decision-making. The first commercial online analytical processing tool, Express, became available in 1970. Other DSS systems followed, many developed inside corporate IT departments.

In 1985, the first "business intelligence" system was developed for Procter & Gamble Co. by Metaphor Computer Systems Inc. to link sales information and retail scanner data. That same year, Pilot Software Inc. began selling Command Center, the first commercial client/server executive information system.

Also that year, back at Berkeley, the Ingres project had mutated into Postgres, with a goal of developing an object-oriented database. The next year, Graphael Inc. shipped Gbase, the first commercial object database.

In 1988, IBM researchers Barry Devlin and Paul Murphy coined the term information warehouse, and IT shops began building experimental data warehouses. In 1991, W.H. "Bill" Inmon made data warehouses practical when he published a how-to guide, Building the Data Warehouse (John Wiley & Sons).

With the widespread adoption of PC-based client/server computing and packaged enterprise software in the 1990s, the transformation of data management was complete. It was no longer just storing and maintaining data, but slicing, dicing and serving it up in whatever ways users demanded.

And now, on with the story. . . .

1951: The Univac uses magnetic tape as well as punched cards for data storage.

1956: IBM introduces first magnetic hard disk drive in its Model 305 RAMAC.

1961: Charles Bachman at GE develops the first database management system, IDS.

1968: IBM offers the IMS hierarchical database for System/360 mainframes.
1951: Univac uses magnetic tape as well as punched cards for data storage.
1951: Univac uses magnetic tape as well as punched cards for data storage.
1969: Edgar F. "Ted" Codd invents the relational database.
1969: Edgar F. "Ted" Codd invents the relational database.


1969: Edgar F. “Ted” Codd invents the relational database.

1973: Cullinane, led by John J. Cullinane, ships IDMS, a network-model database for IBM mainframes.

1976: Honeywell ships Multics Relational Data Store, the first commercial relational database.


1979: Oracle introduces the first commercial SQL relational database management system.

1983: IBM introduces DB2.

1985: The first business intelligence system is designed for Procter & Gamble.

1991: W.H. “Bill” Inmon publishes Building the Data Warehouse.
1991: W.H. "Bill" Inmon publishes Building the Data Warehouse.
1991: W.H. "Bill" Inmon publishes Building the Data Warehouse.


Special Report


Taming Data Chaos
Stories in this report:



Print this Story Send Us Feedback E-mail this Story Digg! Digg this Story Slashdot this Story
"When white pages searches come up empty, it's often easier to let your fingers do the walking. It shouldn't be..." Read more...
"Enterprise search continues to lag behind commerical search because companies lack a "findability" strategy, says one researcher...." Read more...
Read more Business Intelligence posts or See all Blogs
DNS hole prompts synchronized patching effort by IT vendors
Microsoft plugs nine holes in Windows, DNS, SQL
Symantec warns of new Word attack
More top stories...
Microsoft sets XP SP3 automatic download for Thursday
Don't give Google a free pass on data collection, privacy advocates say after YouTube ruling
XP SP3 to reach most users 'shortly,' says Microsoft
All it takes is a couple hours and about $125 to breathe new life into an old laptop. Here's how.
Is Microsoft's Golden Age over? What are Gates' most memorable quotes? Find out in Computerworld's complete coverage of the end of the Bill Gates era at Microsoft.
There are some things your CIO definitely doesn't want to hear. Also don't miss the flipside, Five things you should always tell your boss.
With its latest version, Mozilla's browser continues to raise the bar for what Web browsers should be.
Reviews, analyses, how-tos, visual tours, hot issues and predictions about Microsoft's new OS.
Four years from now, the IT field will be a vastly different place. Will you be ready?
All Zones
Application Performance Zone
Business Continuity Zone
Data Center Management Zone
Enterprise-Class Security Zone
The File Data Management Zone
Grid Computing on Windows Zone
Security Management Zone
ITIL Best Practices Zone
The SAS Zone
Storage Virtualization Zone
Business Intelligence and Analytics Zone

Ads by TechWords

See your link here
Speeding the time to intelligence
Get this Computerworld report free for a limited time, compliments of SAS.
Time To Intelligence -- a concept defining how long it takes to get accurate and timely information into the hands of workers who need it most. Do it slower than your competitors and your company is toast. Do it faster, you scorch them. Business Intelligence is the key to optimizing Time To Intelligence, and success there is a combination of people, policies, and technology.
Download this executive briefing download
Why SaaS is Vital to Email and Web Security
Why SaaS is Vital to Email and Web Security
Download this webcast, free, compilments of Webroot Software
Go to the webcast 
Rapid application development, rapid results
Download this special report now!
(Source: Intersystems) All too many businesses suffer from IT infrastructures that are a hodge-podge of disconnected databases and applications. What's needed is the ability rapidly develop connected applications under a unified service-oriented architecture. InterSystems Ensemble integration environment and Cache database are effective tools in answering this need, delivering a rapid ROI.
Download this white paper go
White Papers
Read up on the latest ideas and technologies from companies that sell hardware, software and services.
Virtualization Analysis for VMware
A Guide to Understanding Messaging Archiving
Archiving Compliance with Sunbelt Exchange Archiver
View more whitepapers 
SAS Information Management Kit

SAS is the leader in business intelligence and analytical software and services. Only SAS offers leading data integration, storage, analytics and business intelligence applications within a comprehensive enterprise intelligence platform. SAS gives 97 of the top 100 companies in the 2007 Fortune 500 THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Webcast: The Information Management Roadmap
Imagine high-quality data, cleansed, analyzed and delivered throughout your organization. Join Computerworld, IT visionary Thornton May and a panel of experts to learn how SAS® can help you make it happen.

View this webcast 
Research Report: Information Management Initiatives at Midsize and Large Organizations
See the top-line results of this Computerworld sponsored survey to see how IT and business leaders are handling information management implementation.

Download this report 
White Paper: Information Management: Better Information for Winning Decisions.
This white paper explains how the SAS Information Evolution Model aids companies in assessing how they use this information to make strategic decisions and drive business.

Download this white paper <