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Now that relational databases are accepted as standard on all platforms it will be interesting to look back at the origin of SQL and relational Systems. Since Codd published the first paper in 1970 on A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks" CACM 13, 6 (June 1970), there has been resarch going on at IBM Lab at San Jose, which was known as System-R Group. One of the pioneers was Don Chamberlin who in fact coined the word SEQUEL (Structred English Query language). Incidentally Don is still wih IBM has even come out with book on DB2 Universal Database. There were several others working at System-R Group. Some of them worked on a prototype which was known as System_d for a while. S. Andler, I. Ding, K. Eswaran, C. Hauser, W. Kim, J. Mehl and R. Williams. "System D: A Distributed System for Availability" Eighth International Conference on Very Large Data Bases, Mexico City (September 8-10, 1982).Some time in early eighties a group left IBM and formed a company called Esvel. Later some of the employees left Esvel and joined HP, Oracle, Tandem etc. Esvel was eventually bought by Cullinet in 1986 and beacme the IDMS/VAX. This later became the basis for IDMS/SQL on mainframe. The first commercial product on SQL was not SQL/DS as many people think. It was in fact Oracle! Orcale was influenced by System-R, but not based on System-R. As one of them original devlopers, Roger Bamford put it "In terms of System R's influence on Oracle: some ideas came from Esvel, and some of those came from System R. But the original code they'd written was really like somebody had a paper that described the language, and they had a computer and nothing else. " Oracle shipped the first product in 1979 on VM. For marketing reasons, it was called Version 2. And there was no version 1 at all. Back to IDMS/SQL (VAX) and Cullinet. The technology from Esvel was indeed a superb buy for Cullinet. This is reflected in the news which appeared in the German issue of Computerworld in 1986. The translation reads as "Cullinet strives higher IBM compatibility:WESTWOOD - Cullinet Software Inc. wants to develop their program products further, in order to achieve a larger compatibility with the large computer often commodity of IBM. The programs are to be modified so that they can operate with the Structured Query language (SQL). Cullinet reacts IBM's (SQL) challenge ever more strongly by competiting with Big Blue. In the opinion of industry analysts Cullinet underestimated so far the effects of the IBM products on own growth. Therefore the conversion to a larger compatibility is highest priority. A first step was the transfer of Esvel Inc., San Jose, in July. The product range of this provider covers also a program, which uses the Structured Query Language, which is intended for minicomputers of Digital Equipment. What happened later did not follow this direction.