• Where did the basic idea come from? Was it related to a particular application or user? What was the underlying technological approach? What were the special aspects of the product?
• What was the business framework in which the RDBMS was developed? Where did the financing come from? What did it cost to produce and over what period of time? Who were the key developers?
• How did the business case work out? Who were the first customers and for what applications? What were the revenues in the first few years? What was the sales model?
• What happened later to the product? How was it enhanced? What were the major technical challenges? What platforms did it operate on? What was the market share?
• What was the end result in terms of who ended up owning/running the company? If the company was sold, what was the value of the transaction?
Burton Grad has been an active participant in the computer software field since 1954, with General Electric, IBM, and in his own company, Burton Grad Associates. He is currently the cochair of the Software Industry Special Interest Group at the Computer History Museum, which has focused on conducting pioneer meetings, collecting oral histories, and obtaining software company business files. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.