Corporate/technical timeline :
1977: Larry Ellison and friends founded Software Development Laboratories.
1979: SDL changed its company-name to “Relational Software, Inc.” (RSI) and introduced its product Oracle V2 as an early commercially-available relational database system. The version did not support transactions, but implemented the basic SQL functionality of queries and joins. (RSI never released a version 1 – instead calling the first version version 2 as a marketing gimmick.)
1982: RSI in its turn changed its name, becoming known as “Oracle Corporation”, to align itself more closely with its flagship product.
1983: The company released Oracle version 3, which it had re-written using the C programming language and which supported COMMIT and ROLLBACK functionality for transactions. Version 3 extended platform support from the existing Digital VAX/VMS systems to include Unix environments.
1984: Oracle Corporation released Oracle version 4, which supported read-consistency.
1985: Oracle Corporation released Oracle version 5, which supported the client-server model — a sign of networks becoming more widely available in the mid-1980s.
1986: Oracle version 5.1 started supporting distributed queries.
1988: Oracle RDBMS version 6 came out with support for PL/SQL embedded within Oracle Forms v3 (version 6 could not store PL/SQL in the database proper), row-level locking and hot backups.
1989: Oracle Corporation entered the application products market and developed its ERP product, (later to become part of the Oracle E-Business Suite), based on the Oracle relational database.
1990: the release of Oracle Applications release 8
1992: Oracle version 7 appeared with support for referential integrity, stored procedures and triggers.
1997: Oracle Corporation released version 8, which supported object-oriented development and multimedia applications.
1999: The release of Oracle8i aimed to provide a database inter-operating better with the Internet (the i in the name stands for “Internet”). The Oracle 8i database incorporated a native Java virtual machine (Oracle JVM).
2000: Oracle E-Business Suite 11i pioneers integrated enterprise application software
2001: Oracle9i went into release with 400 new features, including the ability to read and write XML documents. 9i also provided an option for Oracle RAC, or “Real Application Clusters”, a computer-cluster database, as a replacement for the Oracle Parallel Server (OPS) option.
2003: Oracle Corporation released Oracle Database 10g. (The g stands for “grid”; emphasizing a marketing thrust of presenting 10g as “grid-computing ready”.)
2005: Oracle Database 10.2.0.1 — also known as Oracle Database 10g Release 2 (10gR2) — appeared.
2006: Oracle Corporation announces Unbreakable Linux
2007: Oracle Database 10g release 2 sets a new world record TPC-H 3000 GB benchmark result
2007: Oracle Corporation released Oracle Database 11g for Linux and for Microsoft Windows.
2008: Oracle Corporation acquires BEA Systems.
2009: Oracle Corporation acquires Sun Microsystems. Note: as of October 2009 the acquisition awaits approval from the European Commission.
Oracle products have historically followed their own release-numbering and naming conventions. With the Oracle RDBMS 10g release, Oracle Corporation started standardizing all current versions of its major products using the “10g” label, although some sources continued to refer to Oracle Applications Release 11i as Oracle 11i. Major database-related products and some of their versions include:
Oracle Application Server 10g (also known as “Oracle AS 10g”): a middleware product;
Oracle Applications Release 11i (aka Oracle e-Business Suite, Oracle Financials or Oracle 11i): a suite of business applications;
Oracle Developer Suite 10g (9.0.4);
Oracle JDeveloper 10g: a Java integrated development environment;
Since version 5, Oracle’s RDBMS release numbering has used the following codes:
Oracle7: 7.0.16 — 7.3.4
Oracle8 Database: 8.0.3 — 8.0.6
Oracle8i Database Release 1: 18.104.22.168 — 22.214.171.124
Oracle8i Database Release 2: 126.96.36.199 — 188.8.131.52
Oracle8i Database Release 3: 184.108.40.206 — 220.127.116.11
Oracle9i Database Release 1: 18.104.22.168 — 22.214.171.124 (patchset as of December 2003)
Oracle9i Database Release 2: 126.96.36.199 — 188.8.131.52 (patchset as of April 2007)
Oracle Database 10g Release 1: 10.1.0.2 — 10.1.0.5 (patchset as of February 2006)
Oracle Database 10g Release 2: 10.2.0.1 — 10.2.0.4 (patchset as of April 2008)
Oracle Database 11g Release 1: 184.108.40.206 — 220.127.116.11 (patchset as of September 2008)
Oracle Database 11g Release 2: 18.104.22.168 (released 2009-09-01)
The version-numbering syntax within each release follows the pattern: major.maintenance.application-server.component-specific.platform-specific.
For example, “10.2.0.1 for 64-bit Solaris” means: 10th major version of Oracle, maintenance level 2, Oracle Application Server (OracleAS) 0, level 1 for Solaris 64-bit.
The Oracle Administrator’s Guide offers further information on Oracle release numbers. Oracle Corporation provides a table showing the latest patch-set releases by major release, operating-system, and hardware-architecture.(wikipedia)