Artifact Details


Sippl, Roger oral history

Catalog Number





In this interview, Roger Sippl describes his career prior to founding Relational Database Systems (later renamed to Informix) in 1980, including developing the design for the INFORMIX relational database management system while employed at Cromenco. He describes his conviction that UNIX was ultimately going to be a significant platform for commercial users and his goal that INFORMIX would be the relational database for Unix platform. As UNIX was not seriously considered by most commercial users in the early 1980s, Informix had to heavily promote the use of UNIX as well as promoting their own product and Sippl covers how the base of commercial end users developed during the 1980s. He covers how the company used contracts with OEMs to obtain large infusions of cash since they were not able to obtain venture capital funding in the early years. The merger with of Innovative Software of Lenexa, KS in 1988 is discussed including the resulting disruption to their business created by trying to merge the two companies which ultimately led to the decision to bring in Phil White as CEO.


2005-12-13; 2006-01-12


Johnson, Luanne, Interviewer; Editor
Sippl, Roger, Interviewee


Computer History Museum

Place of Publication

Mountain View, Calif.


34 p.




Sippl, Roger; Informix Software; Sippl, Charles; Cromemco; Melen, Roger; Garland, Harry; Jobs, Steven, 1955-; Harrington, Roy; Cromix operating system; Motorola 68000; Onyx computer; Z80 (Computer); Z8000 Development Module (Computer); Relational Database Systems, Inc. (RDS); ALTOS Computer Systems; Innovative Software, Inc.; Siemens; Wingz; White, Phil; Vantive Corporation; Illustra; Unix operating system; Software business history

Collection Title

Oral history collection

Lot Number