Oracle: Ahead of Time

Since the second half of 1970, Oracle Corporation remains to be the dominant leader in database software. Oracle Corporation is among the top companies in enterprise software development as it developed innovative technologies and acquired some of the “best-in-class” companies during its more than three decades of existence. Today, Oracle’s product engagements include servers, storage, database, middleware, and cloud technology.

Thirty-two years ago, Larry Ellison, Oracle’s founder, noted that most companies were still lacking something in terms of database software. Thus, when Ellison stumbled upon a prototype for a relational database which worked and found out that no company took interest in the technology, he and co-founders Bob Miner and Ed Oates took the initiative to develop and commercialize this treasure. Their recognition of the huge business potential of the relational database model would soon transform their company as the game changer of business computing.

The three founders of Oracle began with a company named Software Development Laboratories (SDL) which won a contract with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The CIA wanted to have a unique database made for them by SDL. The database project was codenamed “Oracle”.

After the CIA project, Ellison and his group initiated steps to develop a commercial version of the relational database management system which they built for the CIA. The commercial version was completed by 1977. Success soon followed, making Ellison and his partners among the most successful businessmen in the field of technology.

From SDL, Ellison, Oates and Miner renamed their company to Relational Software Inc (RSI). They then aspired to develop a piece of portable software compatible with IBM’s structured query language (SQL) which they intend to install in minicomputers.

After releasing their database, Oracle, in July of 1979, RSI was greeted with phenomenal success with its sales and was soon hired as suppliers for Bell Labs and two government agencies. By the year 1982, RSI was renamed Oracle Systems Corporation (later shortened to Oracle Corporation) after their successful database Oracle.

The story of Oracle shows how instinct, innovation, and commitment can reward success.


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