40 Years of Progress

Browse highlights from 40 years of celebrating you--the customers, partners and employees tho have made us #ProgressProud for 40 years--and counting!

Progress Through the Years

Four decades ago, four visionaries came together to create a better way to build applications. Many companies have come and gone since then, but we’re still here with an unwavering commitment to bring you the best products to develop, deploy and manage high-impact business applications in an ever-changing digital world.


1980sFour Visionaries Bring an Idea—and a Company—to Life

In 1981, four software visionaries—Joseph Alsop, Clyde Kessel, Mary Székely and Chip Ziering—came together to create a better way to build applications. Seeing microcomputers as the wave of the future, they worked to have a UNIX-based application development system ready for market in 18 short months. Much of the initial development was done on Mary’s dining room table using a PC-AT with a 256K floppy drive and no hard disk. Shortly thereafter, Data Language Corporation (DLC) was born. By the mid-80s, DLC was thriving with its first round of funding and first major customers, including Bell South. We also hosted our first user conference in Holland. By the end of the decade, DLC was renamed to Progress Software, the company had expanded operations into Europe and quadrupled sales to over $25 million.


1990s A Decade of Growth

As we entered a new decade, Progress showed no signs of slowing. In 1991, we went public on the NASDAQ, with our initial IPO netting $18.1 million after expenses ($23.25 per share). The following year, we hit $100M in revenue, delivering a compound annual growth rate of 54.7%. We also introduced an industry game changer: our first GUI-based product written completely in 4GL. At the time 4GL was leading-edge, programmer-friendly, powerful and versatile and was considered by many to be the first form of low-code development. By the middle of the decade, we had expanded into 60 countries and employed 1,000 people.


2000s Into the 21st Century

The first year of the new century saw Progress’ third stock split. Meanwhile, the technology landscape was evolving faster than ever. Service Oriented Architecture Services were on everyone’s lips and Progress stood tall with industry-leading technologies including the Sonic Enterprise Service Bus and Actional Web Services. At the same time, enterprise data was exploding and customers needed a better way for their applications to harness it. To meet that need, we acquired DataDirect, which to this day is the de facto data-connectivity standard with some of the most forward-thinking data connectivity tools available today, including Hybrid Data Pipeline and Autonomous REST Connector.


Committed to the Community and Our World

In addition to our customer-first focus, Progress and its employees have always been actively involved in giving back to our communities through a diverse array of cultural, philanthropic and environmental initiatives. Whether through the creation of our Women in STEM scholarship series, our commitment to social justice initiatives, or our charitable donation and volunteerism programs, we strive to be an inclusive community that celebrates the diverse backgrounds and experiences of all people.

Learn more about our community commitment, embodied in our corporate social responsibility program: Progress for Tomorrow.

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Then, Now and Tomorrow

Progress CEO Yogesh Gupta and co-founder and former CEO Joseph Alsop, along with Progress Marketing VP Jennifer Ortiz and former CMO Jennifer Smith explore the past,
present and future of the company.

Thank You!

Forty years in business wouldn’t have been possible without you and we’re looking forward to being your trusted provider for many more years to come!


I found out about Progress in the mid-1980s. We were customer No. 98, I believe. We had been using COBOL, where you had to enter a lot of code before you could retrieve any data. The rep. had me type out, ‘FOR EACH customer. DISPLAY customer,’ and it worked. I was hooked. Version 2 had just been released from Data Language Corporation (remember that name?). Been using it since.

Paul Duggan President, Great Data.com Inc

It’s amazing that after 30-plus years of working with Progress, after our business has changed so much, that we still gain a significant advantage by using Progress technology.

Mike Liewehr Founder & CEO of AKIOMA Software

Having Progress as your partner means stability. The way they treat partners is one of the reasons I’ve been a loyal customer since 1993 and with two companies. Great work, great technology, and I always have a great time working with the team.

Mehrdad Komeili Founder of MyOffice Apps 2.0

My favorite part about working with Progress is the collaboration, which ultimately comes down to the fantastic people we’ve worked with for eight years. Our partnership has delivered success to our customers.

Matt Annes Director of the Sitefinity program at American Eagle

The thing I like most about working with Progress is the clear, powerful ABL and the ability to interface with everything from Microsoft Office to radiology software.

Anne Disney Lead software engineer, Great Valley Technologies, LLC
Started working with Progress when it was Data Language Corporation in 1986

There are multiple solutions on the market, but none can create mechanisms to produce software as fast as Progress.

Adriano Correa Devops Coordinator, Totvs S.A.
Started working with Progress in 1989

Progress supported us in revising the [application] architecture. In close cooperation, new frameworks were selected and implemented, and user experience and maintenance efforts were optimized as well. All stakeholders had full involvement in the process.

Stefan Geyer Managing Director, OSIV Solution Center, Swiss Disability Insurance
Started working with Progress in 1996

The compatibility of newer Progress releases, combined with continuous integration of new technologies, gave us the option to leverage those technologies without being forced to rewrite significant parts of the application again and again.

Martin Wolf Internal Advisor/Wizard, proALPHA
Started working with Progress in 1992

Using Progress OpenEdge gives us that needed edge and help us stand out over the competition, whether it is for developing our own ERP system, integrating with other leading industry solutions, or exposing business logic as an API. Without Progress it would be impossible to run our business.

Damir Huljev Founder and co-owner INFODESIGN, Croatia
Started working with Progress in 1996