Have you seen the video on the history of SQL Server?
Microsoft released its first version of SQL Server in 1988. It was designed for the OS/2 platform and was jointly developed by Microsoft and Sybase. During the early 1990s, Microsoft began to develop a new versions of SQL Server for the NT platform.
This post has really useful information on the subject of SQL Server history, written by Euan Garden.
The SAF (SQL Admin Facility) interface from SQL Server 1.1:
This article lists some early notes about the development:
“While it was under development, Microsoft decided that SQL Server should be tightly coupled with the NT operating system. In 1992, Microsoft assumed core responsibility for the future of SQL Server for NT. In 1993, Windows NT 3.1 and SQL Server 4.2 for NT were released. Microsoft’s philosophy of combining a high-performance database with an easy-to-use interface proved to be very successful. Microsoft quickly became the second most popular vendor of high-end relational database software. In 1994, Microsoft and Sybase formally ended their partnership. In 1995, Microsoft released version 6.0 of SQL Server. This release was a major rewrite of SQL Server’s core technology. Version 6.0 substantially improved performance, provided built-in replication, and delivered centralized administration. In 1996, Microsoft released version 6.5 of SQL Server. This version brought significant enhancements to the existing technology and provided several new features. In 1997, Microsoft released version 6.5 Enterprise Edition. In 1998, Microsoft released version 7.0 of SQL Server, which was a complete rewrite of the database engine. In 2000, Microsoft released SQL Server 2000. SQL Server version 2000 is Microsoft’s most significant release of SQL Server to date. This version further builds upon the SQL Server 7.0 framework. According to the SQL Server development team, the changes to the database engine are designed to provide an architecture that will last for the next 10 years.”
If you are just interested in the sequence of events the following timeline by Raksh Mishra summarizes the development history of SQL Server:
- 1987 Sybase releases SQL Server for UNIX.
- 1988 Microsoft, Sybase, and Aston-Tate port SQL Server to OS/2.
- 1989 Microsoft, Sybase, and Aston-Tate release SQL Server 1.0 for OS/2.
- 1990 SQL Server 1.1 is released with support for Windows 3.0 clients. Aston-Tate drops out of SQL Server development.
- 1991 Microsoft and IBM end joint development of OS/2.
- 1992 Microsoft SQL Server 4.2 for 16-bit OS/2 1.3 is released.
- 1992 Microsoft and Sybase port SQL Server to Windows NT.
- 1993 Windows NT 3.1 is released.
- 1993 Microsoft and Sybase release version 4.2 of SQL Server for Windows NT.
- 1994 Microsoft and Sybase co-development of SQL Server officially ends.
- Microsoft continues to develop the Windows version of SQL Server
- Sybase continues to develop the UNIX version of SQL Server.
- 1995 Microsoft releases version 6.0 of SQL Server.
- 1996 Microsoft releases version 6.5 of SQL Server.
- 1998 Microsoft releases version 7.0 of SQL Server.
- 2000 Microsoft releases SQL Server 2000.
- SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 1 – Release date: June 12, 2001
- SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 2 – Release date: November 30, 2001
- SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3 – Release date: January 17, 2003
- SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 3a – Release date: May 19, 2003
- SQL Server 2000 Service Pack 4 – Release date: May 6, 2005
- 2005 Microsoft releases SQL Server 2005 on November 7th, 2005.
- SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 1 – Release date: March 18, 2006
- SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2 – Release date: March 5, 2007
- SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 – Release date: December 15, 2008
- 2008 Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008 RTM on August 2008.
- SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 – Release date: August 27 2009
- SQL Azure
- Microsoft releases SQL Server 2008 R2 RTM on April 21, 2010.
- SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 2 – Release date: September 29 2010
- SQL Server 2011, Code name Denali CTP1 Release date: November 8, 2010
- SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 4 – Release date: December 17, 2010
These is also some (humorous) details from Kevin Kline at this site.