A Timeline of Database History
Ancient Times: Human beings began to store information very long
ago. In the ancient times, elaborate database systems were developed by government
offices, libraries, hospitals, and business organizations, and some of the basic
principles of these systems are still being used today.
1960s: Computerized database started in the 1960s, when the use of
computers became a more cost-effective option for private organizations. There were two
popular data models in this decade: a network model called CODASYL and a hierarchical
model called IMS. One database system that proved to be a commercial success was the
SABRE system that was used by IBM to help American Airlines manage its reservations
1970 to 1972: E.F. Codd published an important paper to propose the
use of a relational database model, and his ideas changed the way people thought about
databases. In his model, the database’s schema, or logical organization, is
disconnected from physical information storage, and this became the standard principle
for database systems.
1970s: Two major relational database system prototypes were created
between the years 1974 and 1977, and they were the Ingres, which was developed at UBC,
and System R, created at IBM San Jose. Ingres used a query language known as QUEL, and
it led to the creation of systems such as Ingres Corp., MS SQL Server, Sybase,
Wang’s PACE, and Britton-Lee. On the other hand, System R used the SEQUEL query
language, and it contributed to the development of SQL/DS, DB2, Allbase, Oracle, and
Non-Stop SQL. It was also in this decade that Relational Database Management System, or
RDBMS, became a recognized term.
1976: A new database model called Entity-Relationship, or ER, was
proposed by P. Chen this year. This model made it possible for designers to focus on
data application, instead of logical table structure.
1980s: Structured Query Language, or SQL, became the standard query
Relational database systems became a commercial success as the rapid increase in
computer sales boosted the database market, and this caused a major decline in the
popularity of network and hierarchical database models. DB2 became the flagship
database product for IBM, and the introduction of the IBM PC resulted in the
establishments of many new database companies and the development of products such as
PARADOX, RBASE 5000, RIM, Dbase III and IV, OS/2 Database Manager, and Watcom SQL.
Early 1990s: After a database industry shakeout, most of the
surviving companies sold complex database products at high prices. Around this time,
new client tools for application development were released, and these included the
Oracle Developer, PowerBuilder, VB, and others. A number of tools for personal
productivity, such as ODBC and Excel/Access, were also developed. Prototypes for Object
Database Management Systems, or ODBMS, were created in the early 1990s.
Mid 1990s: The advent of the Internet led to exponential growth of
the database industry. Average desktop users began to use client-server database
systems to access computer systems that contained legacy data.
Late 1990s: Increased investment in online businesses resulted in a
rise in demand for Internet database connectors, such as Front Page, Active Server
Pages, Java Servelets, Dream Weaver, ColdFusion, Enterprise Java Beans, and Oracle
Developer 2000. The use of cgi, gcc, MySQL, Apache, and other systems brought open
source solution to the Internet. With the increased use of point-of-sale technology,
online transaction processing and online analytic processing began to come of age.
2000s: Although the Internet industry experienced a decline in the
early 2000s, database applications continue to grow. New interactive applications were
developed for PDAs, point-of-sale transactions, and consolidation of vendors.
Presently, the three leading database companies in the western world are Microsoft,
IBM, and Oracle.
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