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Actian is a global computer software company headquartered in California, resulting from a long history of companies and acquisitions, including Relational Technology, Inc., Ingres Corporation, Versant, Pervasive, and ParAccel.


Relational Technology, Incorporated (RTI), was founded in 1980 by Michael Stonebraker and Eugene Wong, and professor Lawrence A. Rowe.[1] Its initial public offering was held in May 1988 to raise $28 million.[2] By this time, RTI had fierce competition in the database management system (DBMS) market, including Oracle Corporation (which had started with the similar name Relational Software Incorporated), Informix Corporation, and Sybase, but was one of the largest DBMS companies.[3][4] RTI was renamed Ingres Corporation late in 1989.

ASK Computer Systems announced in September 1990 a deal in which ASK would acquire Ingres, funded partially by investments from Hewlett-Packard and Electronic Data Systems.[5] The deal met resistance from a shareholder,[6] but did complete by November 1990.[7] Computer Associates (CA) acquired the ASK Group in 1994. Despite a loyal customer base, CA failed to develop the technology much further.[8]

Ingres Corporation was spun out of CA as a separate private company in November 2005, with private equity firm Garnett & Helfrich Capital as largest shareholder. Terry Garnett served as interim chief executive, and CA retained a 25% interest.[9] In July 2006 Roger Burkhardt became president.[10] He promoted open source software, and helped form Open Source for America in 2009.[11]

Ingres announced they had acquired the VectorWise technology in 2010, which had spun out from the Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI, the Dutch National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science) in 2008.[12] In November 2010 Garnett & Helfrich Capital acquired the last 20% of equity in Ingres Corporation that it did not already own.[13] In July 2011 Steve Shine became chief executive.[14] In September 2011 Ingres changed its name to Actian, using the marketing phrase "Action Apps".[15] CEO Steve Shine said the new focus would be on lower-cost sales for its cloud action platform.[16] In late 2012, after rejecting an offer by Unicom Systems, Versant Corporation announced it agreed to be acquired by Actian, promoted using the term big data.[17] It closed in December 2012 for an estimated $37 million.[18] By January 2013, Actian also announced acquisition of Pervasive Software. It had originally offered about $154 million in August 2012, and closed in April 2013 for almost $162 million.[18][19][20]

ParAccel was acquired by Actian in April 2013.[21][22] Analysts expected Actian to market ParAccel for larger databases, and VectorWise for moderately sized applications.[23] In February 2014, listed Actian at #5 in its "Top 10 Big Data Pure-Plays 2014" citing $138 million in Actian revenue for 2013.[24]


  1. Curt Monash (May 23, 2005). "Mike Stonebraker". Computer World. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  2. "Finance Briefs". The New York Times. May 19, 1988. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  3. Lawrence M. Fisher (September 17, 1989). "Oracle's Envious Ascent". The New York Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  4. Curt Monash (November 14, 2005). "Ingres memories". Software Memories. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  5. "Company News: ASK Computer To Buy Ingres". The New York Times. September 12, 1990. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  6. Template:Cite book
  7. "ASK Computer Dissenter Fails". The New York Times. November 1, 1990. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  8. Eric Lai (December 5, 2005). "Ingres Loyalists Cautiously Hopeful For a Reversal of Database Decline". Computer World. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  9. CA, Inc. (July 31, 2006). "Annual Report for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006". US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  10. "Redwood City's Ingres names COO". Silicon Valley Business Journal. July 11, 2006. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  11. "Open-Source Backers March on Washington". The New York Times. July 23, 2009. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  12. Charles Babcock (June 8, 2010). "Ingres Unveils VectorWise Database Engine". InformationWeek. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  13. "CA Technologies sells last of Ingres stake". Silicon Valley Business Journal. November 9, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  14. Patrick Hoge (July 25, 2011). "Ingres Corp. gets new CEO". San Francisco Business Times. Retrieved December 7, 2013.
  15. Don Clark (September 22, 2011). "Database-Software Firm Tries 'Action Apps'". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  16. Iain Thomson (September 23, 2011). "Ingres rebrands as Actian, tackles low-end BI apps: Big BI goes boutique". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  17. "Giving Thanks for Versant and Actian". Blog. Enterprise Strategy Group. November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Doug Henschen (February 1, 2013). "Actian Builds Mini Big Data Empire". Information Week. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  19. Sarah Drake (September 13, 2012). "Pervasive Software to solicit potential bids". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  20. Christopher Calnan (April 12, 2013). "Software maker Pervasive completes merger with Actian". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  21. Maria Duetscher (April 29, 2013). "Actian Picks Up ParAccel to Boost Analytics Portfolio". Silicon Angle. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  22. Doug Henschen (April 25, 2013). "Actian Acquires ParAccel, Fuel Behind Amazon RedShift". Information Week. Retrieved November 19, 2013.
  23. Jack Clark (April 25, 2013). "Actian grabs Amazon Redshift's secret sauce: ParAccel for analysing 20TB and above data stores". The Register. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  24. Gil Press (February 11, 2014). "Top 10 Big Data Pure-Plays 2014". Retrieved March 31, 2014.