I wanted to write the history of SQR, but I can’t. I’ve reviewed dozens of press releases, news articles, websites, state government documents, and SEC filings to create this timeline. But that’s not a history; it’s missing key events that weren’t documented, or weren’t put online, or I just couldn’t find. It’s also missing explanations. I tried to track down the key people who contributed to the history of SQR. Even when I could find them, most of them didn’t respond to e-mails or phone messages. So, here’s what I have.
Setting The Stage
June 1977: Larry Ellison, Bob Miner, and Ed Oates incorporated Software Development Laboratories in Redwood Shores, California.
June 1979: Software Development Laboratories changed its name to Relational Software, Inc. and moved to Menlo Park, California. It returned to Redwood Shores in 1989.
1981: IMRS by Bob Thomson and Marco Arese founded IMRS. It introduced PC-DOS financial and management consolidation software called “Micro Control” in 1983. It was called Hyperion Solutions Corporation when it acquired Brio Software in October 2003 and was acquired by Oracle Corporation in April 2007.
March 1983: Relational Software, Inc. renamed itself Oracle Systems.
1984: Brio Technology was founded Yorgen Edholm and Katherine Glassey in Palo Alto, California. It went public in May 1998, acquired Sqribe Software in August 1999, and was acquired by Hyperion Solutions Corporation in October 2003. PC industry columnist Robert X. Cringely wrote in May 2000 that the pivot function in Microsoft Excel was modelled after the Brio.Pivot product after Microsoft failed to acquire Brio.
November 1984: Mark Hoffman and Bob Epstein incorporated Sybase Inc. in Berkeley, California. Later, it was based in Emeryville, California. Currently, it is based in Dublin, California.
November 1985: Ofir Kedar incorporated Management Information Technologies Inc. (MITI). It was based in Long Beach, California.
July 1987: Bob Davoli and David Newsom incorporated D&N Systems in Burlington, Massachusetts to do integrated database consulting.
September 1987: Dave Duffield and Ken Morris founded Peoplesoft Inc. It was based in Walnut Creek, California for many years before moving to Pleasanton, California. Its first product was a human resources management system, released in April 1989.
SQR Is Born
March 1988: SQ Software released SQR version 1.5, adding begin-select paragraphs. It supported Oracle databases on IBM PCs and minicomputers from Prime, DEC, Data General, and Unisys. Gupta Technologies of Menlo Park, California sold a version of SQR for their SQL Base database.
September 1988: Israel Stern incorporated SQ Software in Cleveland, Ohio.
SQR was marketed by D&N Systems Inc. D&N Systems also developed the SQR Developer’s Kit. SQR was also marketed by Sybase under the SQR Family line.
1989: Ray Ontko joined D&N Systems.
January 1990: D&N Systems merged with SybaseSub Inc., a subsidiary of Sybase Inc. for either $3.5 million in cash or $3.5 million in cash and $3.5 million in pre-IPO stock (the article wasn’t clear). Sybase changed D&N System’s name to SQL Solutions Inc.
Bob Davoli served as an executive officer of Sybase for over two years. He became president and CEO of Epoch Systems Inc. and sold it to EMC in August 1993. He then became Managing Director of venture capital firm Sigma Partners in 1995. Business Week estimated his net worth at $250 million by the end of the decade.
1990: SQR version 2 was released, adding the let statement, operators, and built-in functions.
1990: SQL Solutions had $15 million in revenue.
1991: IMRS introduced MS Windows version of Micro Control called Hyperion.
February 1992: SQL Solutions announced SQR and EasySQR for Informix database on Sun Microsystem’s Solaris operating system.
June 1992: Sybase Inc. bought all rights to SQR, Easy SQR, and Easy SQR for Windows from SQ Software Inc. At that time, SQ Software changed its name to Stern Consulting Inc. In August 1992, Stern Consulting Inc. was dissolved.
August 1992: Ray Ontko incorporated consulting firm Ray Ontko & Company in Richmond, Indiana. The firm contracted and partnered with MITI from 1993 through 1999. The firm has operated the sqrug.org website and discussion list since 1999.
September 1992: MITI released DBAMaster 2.0, an Oracle database monitoring and tuning tool.
1993: Ofir Kedar became chairman and CEO of MITI. (I don’t understand this factoid myself, since Ofir was the founder of MITI.)
February 1993: MITI released SQL*C+, Unix-based software for building object oriented interfaces to relational databases.
The Golden Age
April 1993: Sybase contracted with MITI to develop and support SQR on the Oracle database management system. (Another puzzling item, since SQR supported Oracle in 1988.)
September 1993: Sybase added EasySQR to SQRWorkbench 2.1.
March 1994: MITI announced Adhawk, a realtime visual monitor for Oracle databases.
May 1994: MITI announced WatchWorks, a monitoring and response tool for Oracle databases.
1994: Brad Stowell founded Business Computing Solutions (BCS) to provide Peoplesoft consulting. BCS later developed SQR Express, an integrated development environment.
November 1994: Peoplesoft Inc. signed a strategic agreement with MITI to use SQR in Peoplesoft’s products. Peoplesoft was shipping version 4.0 at the time.
December 1994: MITI announced SQR3 Workbench which could save and execute compiled versions of SQR programs. It added bar-codes, charts, images, and layouts. It talked to the operating system with the delete, exists, getenv, and rename functions, and supported user-written functions with the array function.
December 1994: MITI established a “technology transfer group” for SQR customer education, on-site consultation, training, and certification.
January 1995: MITI announced SQR Workbench for Informix.
May 1995: MITI shipped SQR3 Workbench for the Informix, Ingres, and Oracle database management systems. This was the first time SQR supported Ingres.
1995: IMRS changes its name to Hyperion Software Corporation.
September 1995: Peoplesoft shipped version 5.0. Presumably, that was the first version that included SQR, and it was SQR3.
October 1995: General Atlantic Partners and Geocapital Partners, private equity firms, bought a minority interest in MITI for $8 million. This was privately held MITI’s first round of financing.
December 1995: MITI enhanced SQR3 Workbench for Windows with SQR ReportMate and an improved SQR3 Viewer.
Warren Weiss joined MITI in 1996 as president.
January 1996: Unisys Corporation agreed to distribute SQR3 Workbench.
February 1996: MITI finished a two-year process of acquiring SQR from Sybase Inc. MITI introduced SQR ReportMate, VisualSQRiBE, and SQR Enterprise Reporting Server. The SQR operations were in Menlo Park, California and Dayton, Ohio.
May 1996: MITI shipped SQR Workbench for PowerSoft Corporation’s PowerBuilder software. PowerSoft had been a subsidiary of Sybase since November 1994.
November 1996: MITI introduced SQR Server and SQR Workbench Version 4.0 for Windows with support for HTML, Y2K, date variables, locales (international dates and currencies), and three new types of numeric data.
SQR Version 4.1 added table-of-contents support. Version 4.2 added multi-byte characters. Version 4.3.2 added CSV and PDF output and ODBC support.
January 1997: MITI changed its name to SQRiBE Technologies.
February 1997: Warren Weiss became president and CEO of Prism Solution, based in Sunnyvale, California. (I presume he left SQRiBE at this time or earlier, having served no more than a year as president.) Later, he became a partner in venture capital firm Foundation Capital.
In 1997, Convoy Corporation of Emeryville, California introduced Convoy/DM (data migration). It was a software product that generated SQR ETL (extract, transform, and load data) programs, running on Windows NT, Unix, AS/400, and MVS servers. Convoy was founded in 1993 as an independent project management software vendor.
1998: Hyperion Software merges with Arbor Software, the makers of Essbase. The combined company is called Hyperion Solutions Corporation.
1998: SQRiBE Technologies had 150 employees. Its financial results were as follows.
|Year ended 12/31/||1994||1995||1996||1997||1998|
|Net income ($000)||1,540||-4,869||-2,659||-7,676||109|
July 1998: SQRiBE shipped SQR version 4.3.
February 1999: Brio Technology agreed to acquire SQRiBE Technologies. By this time, SQRiBE was based in Redwood City, California, not in Long Beach, California.
May 1999: SQRiBE Technologies changed its name to Sqribe Software Inc. and introduced SQR Enterprise Reporting Server and VisualSQRIBE version 5.0. The announcement stated that SQR was used by more than 7,500 organizations worldwide and was embedded in over 40 enterprise applications (i.e. Peoplesoft, PSDI Maximo). Version 5.0 was the result of two years of development. If had a new object data access layer (DDO), a new SDK for accessing proprietary business objects (CORBA, DCOM, Javabeans), and Unicode support.
June 1999: New Era of Networks Inc. (NEON) of Denver, Colorado agreed to acquire Convoy for about $42 million in stock. Convoy’s CEO John Valencia became a Senior Vice President of NEON. Convoy had had $10.4 million in revenue for fiscal year ended March 31, 1999.
1999: Tobias Teschner founded CON+DEV Consulting & Development in Ibbenbueren, Germany. The company develops applications in Microsoft Windows and consults on Peoplesoft HRMS. It later developed Migrator and SQR Runner.