Join us as we relive the highlights and celebrate you—the customers, partners and employees who have made us #ProgressProud for 40 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.
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.
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.
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.
“Placeholder for a paragraph of this decade”
We also added technology that our customers needed to fill gaps in their software architecture. In 2011, Corticon was acquired to automate the business rules process, improving workflows across the enterprise. Today, customers are using it in innovative ways, such as counteracting data bias in AI. We were also at the forefront of chatbot development with NativeChat, the platform to create and deploy AI-driven chatbots, a tool that is now highly popular amongst our Sitefinity customer base. More recently, we acquired Ipswitch, which gave us easy-to-use network monitoring in WhatsUp Gold and secure file transfer with MOVEit, both of which have been critical to our customers’ success given the pace of digital adoption and acceleration of remote work following COVID-19.
As we look to the next decade, our business continues to evolve. We’re focused on an acquisition strategy that will add value to our portfolio, such as the 2020 acquisition of Chef, the leader in DevOps and DevSecOps. This growth-oriented strategy will enable us to continue to deliver the best technologies to meet customer needs for years to come.
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.
“Placeholder for a paragraph of this decade”
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.
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