Lawrence J. Ellison (Larry Ellison) has served as Oracle's CEO for several years. He also as of 2003 functions as chairman of the company. Forbes magazine once adjudged Ellison the richest man in the world.
Ellison was inspired by the paper written by Edgar F. Codd on relational database systems named A Relational Model of Data for Large Shared Data Banks. He founded Oracle in 1977 under the name Software Development Laboratories, later to be renamed Oracle after the flagship product Oracle database. He had heard about the IBM System R database, also based on Codd's theories, and wanted Oracle to be compatible with it, but IBM stopped this by keeping the error codes for their DBMS secret.
As of 2003 Oracle Corporation still shipped release 9i as the latest version of the Oracle database. Oracle 9i application server (9iAS) using J2EE comprises the server part of that version of the database, making it possible to deploy web technology applications. The strong interrelationship between Oracle 9i and Java has enabled the company to allow developers to set up stored procedures written in the Java language, as well as those written in the traditional Oracle database programming language, PL/SQL.
Oracle Corporation's tools for developing applications include Oracle Designer, Oracle Developer, Oracle JDeveloper, and several more. Many external and third-party tools make the Oracle DBA's tasks easier.
Besides databases, Oracle now also sells applications (and the application server called 9iAS) that run exclusively through a browser and the internet. Their slogan is "You can't break it, You can't break in", to signify the increasing demands on information safety. Oracle Corporation also stresses the reliability of networked databases and network access to databases as major selling points.
External link: The Oracle Corporation website
Other corporations which produce products relating to Oracle databases include: