DB2-SQL - Relational Database       

Middleware and Datastores Accomplishment | 1969

IBM researchers: Edgar Codd, Donald Chamberlin

Where the work was done: IBM San Jose Lab

What we accomplishedThe modern row-column database and the Structured Query Language (SQL) to program and use it. SQL became the most widely used database language.

From History of Computers and Computing: In the 1960s and 1970s Codd worked out his theories of data arrangement, based on mathematical set theory. He wanted to store data in cross-referenced tables, allowing the information to be presented in multiple permutations. It was a revolutionary approach. In 1969 he published an internal IBM paper, describing his ideas for replacing the hierarchical or navigational structure with simple tables containing rows and columns, but without great success and interest. Codd firmly believed that computer users should be able to work at a more natural-language level and not be concerned about the details of where or how the data was stored.

See also 4th Normal Form.

Related linksComputer History Museum on Relational Databases and Codd, SQL on Wikipedia; A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks

Image credit: A chart showing several of the SQL language elements that compose a single statement. CC BY-SA 3.0