Rocket Software and MultiValue Technology Mark Milestones

In 1965, Dick Pick and Don Nelson originally implemented PICK as the “Generalized Information Retrieval Language System” (GIRLS) on an IBM System/360 at TRW for use by the U.S. Army to control the inventory of Cheyenne helicopter parts. That was 50 years ago and MultiValue is still thriving today. It is a testament to the quality and flexibility of the technology for it to be going strong 50 years after its creation. Coincidentally, Rocket Software is also marking a significant event as it celebrates 25years in business.

“It’s been an outstanding year. We’ve had several events throughout the United States, in Australia, in Germany, in Japan and other locations to commemorate our 25th birthday, and we have several more planned in the next few months. 25 is a milestone for us, but even more so we are really excited about the future of Rocket,” said Andrew J. Youniss, president and CEO, Rocket Software. 

“When you mention these two milestones, I think of Rocket’s relationship with MultiValue. MultiValue is not just surviving, it is thriving. MultiValue is such a natural fit with Rocket because we are so passionate about our customers and our products. We think about solving new problems for our customers every day,” noted Vinnie Smith, senior director of MultiValue Lab, Rocket Software.

Even though MultiValue is turning 50 it still feels modern due to its flexibility, observed Smith. “MultiValue matters for one reason: it still powers major organizations in just about every industry. In a world where everyone is always looking for the newest technology, the reality is, proven standards such as MultiValue never lose relevance.”

MultiValue’s sustained performance in the technology space can be attributed to its versatility in adapting to ever-changing requirements and computing platforms. From the early days of business computing all the way up to mobile, MultiValue has worked “virtually seamlessly,” said Smith, noting that MultiValue continues to extend to the cloud, along with “fresh ways of consuming data” across multiple devices and the Internet of Things.

“Today, we consume data on the go and MultiValue data can be quickly accessed and delivered across multiple devices. Customers use tablets and other mobile devices for many retail and other applications, as how we interact with modern data evolves. Also, we see a bright future in the cloud, as our customers not only host data but also build applications in the cloud,” added Smith.

When Rocket started, the World Wide Web was only a few months old and cell phones were the size of bricks, recalled Youniss. “It’s amazing how connected we all are now, and how small everything is getting, but the most important change in the last 25 years has been the sheer amount of information that exists. I read that every 15 minutes we create as much content as exists in the Library of Congress. If that’s true, then this creates challenges unlike any we’ve witnessed. Today, organizations must collect and analyze an extraordinary amount of data safely and securely to be able to use it effectively. Rocket is leading our customers through this critical data challenge.”

During Rocket’s first 10 years, all its employees were located near the company’s home in Boston, but over time, the company has taken on a global presence as it has acquired companies and opened additional offices. Leveraging these resources, the company recently launched Rocket.Build, an innovation event in which it challenged Rocketeers all around the world to bring new ideas to fruition and solve its customers’ problems through collaboration. 

“In the beginning, we were just a couple of developers writing code,” said Youniss. “Now that we are a lot bigger, not a lot has changed. The majority of our employees are software engineers who spend their time building solutions and solving problems that matter to our customers and partners.”

Rocket will celebrate both the 25th anniversary of the company and the 50th anniversary of MultiValue technology at Rocket MultiValue University, October 5-8, at Harrah's Las Vegas. For information about the event, go to