The Story of Dick Barry, BMC, and CDB Software


In 1979, Dick Barry departed IBM® to develop the first IMS tooling products in the first days of BMC Software. Dick designed and wrote products like BMC/LOG+. Over the next six years, with Dick Barry as head of development, BMC began to rapidly grow, yet it maintained a small-company culture. Holiday parties included all employees and their families. Children, including Dick Barry’s who would one day join him in the industry, enjoyed running in the company hallways and playing in the machine room.    

By 1985, BMC was expanding quickly as a company. Mr. Barry decided to venture out on his own, establishing CDB Software to focus on IBM® DB2®, the newest database from IBM. CDB’s initial products were administration tools that let users explore and understand DB2. Then, in 1992, CDB shifted its focus to utilities.  

As DB2 grew, data began to outpace the capabilities of the native utilities. Some of the innovations of these early utilities are still unique to the solutions today. For example, a reorg that never calls a SORT, incredible parallelism, and built-In automation that eliminates the need for pre-processors are still unique highlights today. Over the years, startups came and went in the DB2 for IBM® z/OS® space. CDB continued to grow, maintaining a focus on innovation in the industry. In 1996, they launched the only reorg that never takes an object offline. 


In 2008, CDB again revolutionized the industry with an entirely new architecture that exploited the design of the IBM z Systems™.  New innovations, such as server technology that increased throughput and spread work across an IBM Parallel Sysplex®, made the CDB utilities the leading solutions for environments that struggled to handle the limitations of the native utilities.  

Now it’s 2015. Mr. Barry, CDB Software, and some of those children that played in the hallway are returning to BMC, marking the most interesting development in the DB2 utilities space in quite some time. In recent years, BMC has become a private company that operates like a small, agile business. The corporate culture promotes innovation and teaming to achieve common goals, and nimble development that promptly addresses customer needs. It’s completely fascinating to see how two pioneers in the DB2 industry will combine technologies to offer the “best of the best” in elapsed time execution and application availability. Employees, customers, and analysts alike are expressing their excitement and watching the future with hopeful eyes, anticipating true innovation on the mainframe, particularly in DB2-land, helping drive the digital economy and the next wave of the information age.  


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