• unknown (b.)


A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, he earned a B.S. in computer science. He and Laura King worked at Cromemco, an early S-100/CP/M company, where they developed a small relational database based on ISAM techniques, as a part of a report-writer software package. They left Cromemco to found Relational Database Systems (RDS) in 1980. Their first product, Marathon, was essentially a 16-bit version of their earlier ISAM work, made available first on the C8000 from Onyx Systems. At RDS, they turned their attention to the emerging RDBMS market and released their own product as Informix (INFORMation on unIX) in 1981. It included their own Informer language. It featured the ACE report writer, used to extract data from the database and present it to users for easy reading. It also featured the PERFORM screen form tool, which allowed a user to interactively query and edit the data in the database. The final release of this product was version 3.30 in early 1986. In 1985, they introduced a new SQL-based query engine as part of INFORMIX-SQL (or ISQL) version 1.10 (version 1.00 was never released). This product also included SQL variants of ACE and PERFORM. The most significant difference between ISQL and the previous Informix product was the separation of the database access code into an engine process (sqlexec), rather than embedding it directly in the client — thus setting the stage for client-server computing with the database running on a separate machine from the user's machine. The underlying ISAM-based file storage engine was known as C-ISAM. Through the early 1980s Informix remained a small player, but as Unix and SQL grew in popularity during the mid-1980s, their fortunes changed. By 1986 they had become large enough to float a successful IPO, and changed the company name to Informix Software. The products included INFORMIX-SQL version 2.00 and INFORMIX-4GL 1.00, both of which included the database engine as well as development tools (I4GL for programmers, ISQL for non-programmers). A series of releases followed, including a new query engine, initially known as INFORMIX-Turbo. Turbo used the new RSAM, with great multi-user performance benefits over C-ISAM. With the release of the version 4.00 products in 1989, Turbo was renamed INFORMIX-OnLine (in part because it permitted coherent database backups while the server was online and users were modifying the data), and the original server based on C-ISAM was separated from the tools (ISQL and I4GL) and named INFORMIX-SE (Standard Engine). Version 5.00 of Informix OnLine was released at the very end of 1990, and included full distributed transaction support with two-phase commit and stored procedures. Version 5.01 was released with support for triggers too.
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  • Noted For:

    Co-developer of the relational database Informix (INFORMation on unIX) and Co-founder of Relational Database Systems (RDS)
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