Redgate Software Celebrates 20 Years
October 31, 2019

Redgate this month celebrated its 20th anniversary as a software company dedicated to creating advanced database development solutions.

In that time, the company has grown from one product to a portfolio of over 30 related products, a single office in Cambridge UK to five around the world, and two staff to 400.

On the way, it has topped half a billion dollars in sales, 65% of which are in the USA, and more than 3.5 million users have actively used its products. Surprisingly in the tech sector, it has also resisted venture funding and remains a privately owned, debt-free company.

Founded in October 1999, Redgate released SQL Compare in December of the same year. The first ever product designed to compare the structures of SQL Server databases, it was an immediate success and has remained the industry standard for comparing and deploying databases.

That desire to create what Redgate calls ingeniously simple solutions to resolve the problems faced by database developers and administrators every day has been central to the company’s philosophy ever since. It now offers a complete portfolio of database DevOps products which have evolved over the years to keep pace with changes in the way databases are developed, with the latest solutions in areas like data masking and data cataloging.

The evolution in database development has been matched by a similar evolution in Redgate’s own software development approach. When SQL Compare was first being developed, the typical Analysis, Design, Implementation, Testing, Installation and Maintenance steps of the Waterfall model were used, and new versions were released every six months.

The 20 years since then have seen the adoption of Lean and Agile methodologies with, for example, scrum teams and sprints, Kanban boards and A3 processes becoming increasingly common in development teams. Redgate has adapted, updated and improved its own software development process to follow suit and teams now regularly release weekly and sometimes daily, with 1,295 releases already in 2019.

As Simon Galbraith, CEO and Co-Founder of Redgate commented: “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.”

Redgate’s R&D division, Foundry, continues to explore new areas and is currently 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.

Simon Galbraith concluded: “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. 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.”

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