MultiValue Myth #1: Old Technology? Really?

There is a story about an old gardener out in his vegetable patch, leaning on his spade and talking to a passer-by. “Oh yes,” says the gardener, “I’ve had this same spade 50 years.” “Really?” Says the passer-by. “You must have taken good care of it, it’s in great condition.” “Yep,” says the gardener, “Same spade. Mind you, I’ve replaced the handle three times and the blade twice.”

I think of this story whenever I hear the assertion that “Oh, MultiValue (MV) is old technology.” Certainly, MV has distinguished antecedents with the original PICK R77 database being released in 1973 – some four years before Larry Ellison and pals started the Oracle journey. But a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. Many MV implementations have come and gone with only the fittest surviving, those whose functionality have evolved in-line with the demands of modern applications.

For Rocket MV this means enhancements such as a 64-bit architecture and support for new languages including native support for Python. Applications for industries with strict compliance requirements now have the audit and security tools they need to help meet those demands. The Internet of Things (IoT) environment is supported by web services and the Cloud is changing the game of application hosting. Truly Rocket MV is not your parents’ PICK.

And yet, in its essence, it is. The genius of the MultiValue data model which makes data design so intuitive, data storage so efficient and application development so rapid is still at the core. That data model that has delighted software designers and developers for decades and delivered innumerable critical business applications, lives on embedded in the very latest technology.

Simon Caddick 3 Posts

Simon is originally from the UK but has lived in the US for over 20 years. Originally a mainframe developer he moved into MV technology in the late 1980’s. Currently, Simon is the Director of Technical Support for all Rocket branded products worldwide.


  • Kathy Larson Reply

    September 1, 2017 at 7:32 am

    From Kathy Gargas: “Great post, Simon. Loved the analogy. Much like the wide range of GUI interfaces available with the database products, I would bet Mrs Gardner has transformed her ‘front end’ as well. Heck, we’re living in 2017… I would bet Mr Gardener has transformed his front end too.”

  • Ross Reichardt Reply

    September 11, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Thanks Simon – good stuff!

    Funny how to some people, MV is ‘old’ technology but as you said, R77 was released just “some four years before Larry Ellison and pals started the Oracle journey”.

    Perhaps those same people forget that SQL technology is just as ‘old’.

  • Bruce Holt Reply

    September 12, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Perception is everything. That’s what needs to be changed. Great article, Simon!

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