I'm putting together an article on TPC-C, and while chasing down leads its primary author mentioned the RdbStar project at DEC.

As he described it, the manager of DEC's storage department (Jim Grey? David Schroder?) in Colorado Springs felt that a DB was storage so they should be in charge of DB development. He stated that this led to friction with DEC's main software division (which was located where?) and eventually killed the project. The members then scattered and the many advanced features ended up in many other projects.

This is a fascinating story that I think would make a great article. However, my google-fu turns up only mentions of the project in the early 1990s after the team had been "gutted". By this time the project was being positioned as a multi-vendor query middleware, which was only just announced when DEC sold everything DB related to Oracle and that's the last you see of it

Does anyone have anything on this? I have all the Computerworld and Digital links from the early 90s, and the DEC book for 1995.

UPDATE: I should note that RdbStar is not Rdb. I suspect using the same name was the cause of some of the internecine fighting.

  • re "which was located where?" -- all over New England, mostly. Different teams were in different places; there was no "main" software division, though perhaps the VMS group thought that was them :-) File systems and record management for VMS lived with the VMS team in Nashua NH. I'd certainly believe in turf wars between Colorado Springs and New England.
    – dave
    Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 12:51
  • What are you looking for exactly? Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 14:24
  • Literally anything, but some sort of historical overview of the project would be the most useful. A manual - I understand it was complete and ready for sale - would also have a lot of good info. Commented Oct 26, 2021 at 17:28
  • 1
    The people at Comp.os.vms (if it’s still alive) would know.
    – RonJohn
    Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 5:32


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