1961 Development begins on Integrated Data Store, or IDS, at General Electric. IDS is generally considered the first “proper” database.” It was doing NoSQL and Big Data decades before today’s NoSQL databases.
1967 IBM develops Information Control System and Data Language/Interface (ICS/DL/I), a hierarchical database for the Apollo program. ICS later became Information Management System (IMS), which was included with IBM’s System360 mainframes.
1970 IBM researcher Edgar Codd publishes his paper A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks, establishing the mathematics used by relational databases.
1973 David R. Woolley develops PLATO Notes, which would later influence the creation of Lotus Notes.
1974 Development begins at IBM on System R, an implementation of Codd’s relational databases and the first use of the structured query language (SQL). This later evolves into the commercial product IBM DB2. Inspired by Codd’s research, University of Berkeley students Michael Stonebraker and Eugene Wong begin development on INGRES, which became the basis for PostGreSQL, Sybase, and many other relational databases.
1979 The first publicly available version of Oracle is released.
1984 Ray Ozzie founds Iris Associates to create a PLATO-Notes-inspired groupware system.
1988 Lotus Agenda, powered by a document database, is released.
1989 Lotus Notes is released.
1990 Objectivity, Inc. releases its flagship object database.
1991 The key-value store Berkeley DB is developed
2003 Live Journal open sources the original version of Memcached.
2005 Damien Katz open sources CouchDB.
2006 Google publishes BigTable paper.
2007 Amazon publishes Dynamo paper. 10gen starts coding MongoDB. Powerset open sources its BigTable clone, Hbase. Neo4j released.
2008 Facebook open sources Cassandra.
2009 ReadWriteWeb asks: “Is the relational database doomed?” Redis released. First NoSQL meetup in San Francisco.
2010 Some of the leaders of the Memcached project, along with Zynga, open source Membase.