Oracle Headquarters

Innovation is the force behind Oracle’s success. Since co-founder and CEO Larry Ellison came across a research paper that described a working prototype for a relational database management system and discovered that no company had yet commercialized the technology, Oracle has continued to debut new products and functionality that advance database technology and applications that help customers access the information they need to respond quickly and effectively to market conditions.

It was in 1977 that Ellison, along with co-founders Bob Miner and Ed Oates, founded Software Development Labs (the company that would become Oracle). Just two years later, the trio released the first commercial SQL relational database management system, which defied the prevailing wisdom that technology would never scale to support large amounts of data or large numbers of users. The relational database software was a resounding success, and led to a revolution in enterprise computing.

Oracle then went on to develop many other successful firsts: the first database with read consistency, the first client-server database, the first UNIX based accounting software, the first media server to support video on demand, the first Web database, the first database with XML support, and the first Internet development suite, among others. Through the expertise of top software engineers and feedback from its Fortune 500 customers, Oracle envisioned and created the products and functionality that information-driven businesses need.

Oracle’s newest products, combined with its historical commitment to open standards and a comprehensive Internet strategy, continue to deliver both innovative technology and results. The turn of the millennium saw the release of Oracle E-Business Suite 11i, the industry’s first integrated suite of enterprise applications. Oracle Real Application Clusters was then added to the Oracle9i Database, giving customers the option of running their IT on connected, low-cost servers. Oracle Database 10g, the first grid computing product available for the enterprise, debuted in 2003. And in 2006, the company announced its Oracle “Applications Unlimited” program, which helps ensure continued enhancements—and the benefits they bring to customers—to Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle’s JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, and Siebel product lines. The company’s Oracle Fusion Middleware, a family of comprehensive, hot-pluggable middleware products that span process management, developer tools, and business intelligence, Oracle Fusion Applications, new architecture which will leverage a Service-Oriented Architecture and the services in Oracle Fusion Middleware, and the release of the latest version of its flagship product, Oracle Database 11g, position Oracle to continue to support and benefit its customers and drive the industry.

For 30 years, Oracle has been building on its thorough knowledge of customer challenges and on its ability to leverage both its great size and strength and the nimbleness of a much smaller company. From its tiny beginning it has grown into an industry-leading powerhouse that is the world’s leading supplier of software for information management as well as the world’s second-largest independent software company. Oracle technology can be found in nearly every industry and in the data centers of 98 of the Fortune 100 companies. The company’s goal is to become the leader in middleware as well as in applications and to continue focusing on solving its customers’ information-management problems.

This history was written in 2008 by the Silicon Valley Historical Association.

Oracle website