ce399 | research archive: (anti)fascism

Oracle Corp Named After CIA Database

Posted in Uncategorized by ce399 on 02/08/2010

Prior to forming Oracle, Bob Miner was Larry Ellison’s manager where they worked at Ampex together on a CIA project code-named “Oracle.” Larry chose Bob as his manager because he liked Bob a lot more than his original manager. Ed Oates, another founder of Oracle, happened to be walking by Bob Miner’s door when Larry Ellison mentioned his (Larry’s) wife’s name. It turned out to be Ed Oates’ lab partner from high school. Bruce Scott, who would be hired upon the formation of the company, is the “Scott” in scott/tiger (Tiger was Bruce’s daughter’s cat).

Oracle Celebrates 30 Years


Ellison and Miner, who worked together at Ampex in the 1970s, started Software Development Laboratories in 1977 to develop database software for the CIA under the code name “Oracle.” The Silicon Valley company had $2,000 in funding from Ellison, Miner and co-founders Ed Oates and Bruce Scott. And the startup had a cardboard sign in front of its first office.

Some of the anecdotes related by Ellison: The company bid $300,000 for the CIA project with the next biggest bid hitting $2 million — an example of how little the founders understood finances. The company kept no real financial books for its first two years and Ellison and company had no idea what a balance sheet was. When they discovered that the man who delivered pizza to the company every night was a Berkeley accounting student, they convinced him to quit school and become the company’s first CFO.

The original “terabit database” project for the CIA failed and in 1982 the company changed its name to Oracle. (“Because the project failed, the name was available,” Ellison said.) The CEO also admitted that the first version of the company’s relational database was dubbed Release 2.0. “Who would buy Version 1 of a database from four guys in California?” Ellison said. He also related a story of a confrontation with a marine guard at CIA headquarters when he lost his security badge while installing the company’s software at CIA headquarters.

Ellison Looks Back As Oracle Turns 30

(Source: Oracle Corp website)


Oracle also announced intentions to triple its investment in Israeli start-ups during 2007

Enterprise software giant, Oracle, is opening a new R&D center based on its acquisition of Israeli company, Demantra, last year. The R&D center, with approximately 30 employees, will develop technology focused on demand driven planning solutions. At the opening of the R&D center, Oracle announced its plans to invest in 12-15 Israeli start-ups this upcoming year, compared to 4 companies in 2006.

Invest in Israel: Investment Promotion Center

Ellison was born in New York City to Florence Spellman, a 19-year-old unwed Jewish mother. At his mother’s request, he was given to his mother’s aunt and uncle in Chicago to raise. Lillian Spellman Ellison and Louis Ellison adopted him when he was nine months old. Ellison did not learn the name of his mother or meet her until he was 48; the identity of his father is unknown.

Larry Ellison: Biography

Forbes Magazine places Larry Ellison at number eleven on their billionaire list, with a net worth of  $21.5 billion USD.


One Response

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  1. Accounting Books said, on 02/08/2010 at 09:10

    The name you place here is the name of the database that is held in the tnsnames.ora file. Accounting Books

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