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Redgate Software celebrates 20 years, half a billion dollars and 3.5 million users

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Redgate Software has celebrated two decades in business - during which time it has achieved half a billion dollars in sales.

Redgate marks its 20th anniversary. Picture: James Billings (20833669)
Redgate marks its 20th anniversary. Picture: James Billings (20833669)

More than 3.5 million people have used Redgate’s products since it was founded by Simon Galbraith and Neil Davidson in October 1999.

The database tools developer released SQL Compare in December that year - the first product designed to compare the structures of SQL server databases.

It proved an instant hit, and had remained the industry standard for comparing and deploying databases.

Redgate’s portfolio has grown to more than 30 related products, it has expanded from two staff to 400, and from a single office to Cambridge to five around the world. The latest to open was in Berlin in August.

Meanwhile, it has enjoyed great success in the US, which accounts for more than 65 per cent of its sales.

The leading Microsoft SQL Server tools vendor, it has resisted venture funding and remains a privately-owned, debt-free company.

It is leading the way in showing how the database - traditionally an area where regular software updates were resisted - can benefit from the practice of DevOps, which combines software development with IT operations through collaboration to shorten the system development life cycle and help roll out fixes and updates more rapidly.

Simon Galbraith, CEO and co-founder of Redgate Software. Picture: James Billings (20836614)
Simon Galbraith, CEO and co-founder of Redgate Software. Picture: James Billings (20836614)

Simon said: “What’s been fascinating for me personally is that we’ve all been on a journey over the last two decades.

“The whole industry is moving from big bang releases based on the features companies think users want to daily releases based on what users actually need.

“Database development has changed too, with the database now being included in DevOps and businesses needing to deliver value quicker while keeping data safe.

“This has become a boardroom issue and enterprises like BMW, Prudential, Aberdeen Standard Investments and PASS all now see the need for advanced database development solutions.”

When SQL Compare was first developed, the Waterfall model was used - featuing the steps of analysis, design, implementation, testing, installation and maintenance - leading to new versions being released every six months.

Now ‘Lean and Agile’ methodologies are preferred with scrum teams and sprints, Kanban boards and A3 processes part of the language of today’s development teams.

Redgate’s software development process has moved with the times - the company has rolled out 1,295 releases already in 2019.

Simon Galbraith, centre, with members of the team celebrating awards at Redgate. Picture: Keith Heppell
Simon Galbraith, centre, with members of the team celebrating awards at Redgate. Picture: Keith Heppell

Its R&D division, Foundry, meanwhile, is developing Spawn, a multi-RDBMS Database as a Service platform, and a server estate management solution for proactively understanding, aligning, tracking and annotating data estates.

In August, the company continued its growth by announcing the $10million acquisition of database migration software tool Flyway.

“In many ways, database development has remained constant since 1999 and tools like SQL Compare are as relevant now as they were when they were launched,” said Simon.

“At the same time, developments like the cloud and increasingly stringent data protection regulations are bringing fresh challenges and we’ll continue to introduce new solutions to help enterprises address them over the next 20 years.”

More than 100,000 companies use Redgate solutions, including 91 per cent of those in the Fortune 100, meaning 800,000 IT professionals rely on its tools.

And the company’s name? It was inspired by Via Porta Rossa - meaning Red Gate Street - in Florence, Italy, close to where Neil Davidson used to live.

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