07 - ADS Plus PC and the entrance of Computer Associates

Document created by lindajcasey on Apr 21, 2011Last modified by Lenn Thompson on Jun 15, 2014
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If you are Powerbuilder User and if you think why the code looks familiar, then it is not by accident. Cullinet released ADS+/PC with a single user SQL database and ADS-like language in 1988. The product was wonderful for DOS. But by then Windows was becoming the standard. Besides Cullinet was too busy with the finanacial troubles. ADS+/PC developers all left CA in 1989 and later joined a company which came out with a successful product called Powerbuilder!

 

Enter CA

 

For CA, IDMS Clientbase was a goldmine. From IDMS's client viewpoint credit should be given to CA for completing the IDMS release 11.0 (abandoning Enterprise:DB) and releasing it as Release 12.0. This is what Cullinet should have (and could have) done in 1988! CA also acquired DBMS and the IDMS/PC. Tools are still here with us, but IDMS/PC was not so fortunate. Neither was IDMS/UNIX. VAX/DB was initially used as a foundation for the builtin database of CA-UNICENTER. On the negative side, CA failed (or rather didn't try to market) in marketing IDMS as a viable mainframe server. It seems that the whole industry was expecting mainframe to die by 1995! CA did attempt to give multiplatform solutions but the soul was not there.

 

Though CA released Release 12.0 with full SQL in 1992-93, there was no attempt to popularize SQL. Either CA did not know what they had (in relation to other relational systems) or IDMS's own faithful CODASYL people did not trust SQL. Whatever be the reasons net result is the same: SQL option of IDMS is scarcely used and many industry analysts do not consider (quite wrongly in fact) IDMS as a relational database.

 

When DB2 V 4.x was released, the product had just come of age! Here is one of the features 'proudly' introduced in V 4: the ability to use 'as' clause in SELECT! Version 4 This feature was in IDMS R12.0 and even in ADS+/PC SQL! "As" caluse was also supported in OLQ/SQL of 10.2. It's hard to believe IDMS gave up against such an incomplete product so early and so easily!

 

If DB2 had been the 'IDMS' killer, then by now DB2 should have monopolized the database market, which is not the case today. In fact there were no 'IDMS killers' other than Cullinet's foolish decisions and later CA's 'lack of any decisions'! There was a vacuum in the db market which was filled by products like Oracle, Sybase and Informix. Even here (UNIX market) the better product was Ingres which failed. Oracle with its agressive marketing forged ahead. But is it marketing alone? Not at all. Oracle put their technicians at the site as consultants. It served two purposes: One it made more revenue than the product sale on the mini machines. Secondly, Oracle was able to support the sub-standard database with their own people at the site and mask the errors and shortcomings from the real users. Later years proved that this strategy worked very well in an ever changing "Client/Server/Unix World"!

 

 

Anybody remember where Rini and Heitzman went after leaving Cullinane/Cullinet? Well, they formed BST (Business System Technology) which first came out with RTE ...which was bought by Cullinet and ultimately became PERFMON for IDMS. Later BST built a product called Endevor which was eventually sold to (guess who?) CA, and is now back in IDMS world. How about Flip ... who left Cullinet, started DBMS (DMLO, etc).. Flip's original partner, Ray Nawara, acquired controlling interest in DBMS with the help of Shamrock Holdings (Roy Disney, Walt's brother) so effectively DBMS became a Mickey Mouse organization. DBMS sold the education and consulting to Keane Inc. in 1989 and the products were sold to CA in 1990. Flip then started Platinum Technology, which became a successful DB2 vendor and now in the CA basket!

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