Adam Gartenberg's Blog

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Celebrating DB2’s 25th Anniversary

I didn't want to let the week go by without adding my own congratulations to DB2 on its 25th anniversary. (Joining the chorus of others, like Willie Favero, Database Magazine, and the Peoplesoft/Oracle News blog.)

An article in Information Week highlights what made the introduction of the relational database so important...

Predecessor systems like IBM's IMS and VSAM on the mainframe could store megabytes of data, but it had to be entered and retrieved in the same structured way every time. Changing the structure or sequence of data meant taking the database offline, with programmers laboring over it for hours to make sure the changes didn't torpedo the handful of systems that depended on the storage mechanism. With relational database, dozens or hundreds of applications can be added to the same system, each getting the data it needs in the desired format.

...As well as what the skeptics were saying at the time:
At first, relational database was a highly mocked product, halting in its performance compared to the programmed-path systems. Skeptics like John Cullinane, founder of Cullinet Software, once took this reporter aside to instruct him that relational database would never amount to anything compared to his firm's IDMS product. Last year, relational database represented an $18.6 billion a year market, according to IDC. Ecommerce would be impossible without it.

And in an interview with IT Pro, IBM's Chris Livesey predicts what we'll all be using when 2033 rolls around:
"All these organisations are united together to animate data to get insight into how businesses are responding. DB2 is the bedrock and that makes it as relevant today as it was in 1983. I'm sure we'll be celebrating it in another 25 years from now".

And in case you don't have your own copy, IBM has posted the original press release announcing DB2.