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Charles William Bachman (Dec 11, 1924, Manhattan, Kansasmarker) is an American computer scientist, who spent his entire career as an industrial researcher rather than in academia. He is particularly known for his work in the area of databases.


Born during 1924 in Kansas, Bachman attended high school in East Lansing, Michiganmarker before joining the Army Anti Aircraft Artillery Corp, with which during World War II he spent two years in the Southwest Pacific Theater, March 1944 through February 1946 in New Guinea, Australia and the Philippine Islands. Here he was first exposed to and used fire control computers for aiming 90 mm guns. After his discharge from the military, he attended Michigan State Collegemarker and graduated in 1948 with a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering (Tau Beta Phi). In 1950 he graduated with a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. At the same time he had attended Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and completed three quarters of the requirements for an MBA.

Bachman spent his entire career as practising software engineer rather than in academia. Initially starting work in 1950 at Dow Chemical in Midland, Michiganmarker, he rose to the position of Data Processing manager before leaving in 1960 to join General Electric, where he developed the Integrated Data Store (IDS), one of the first database management systems. Working in conjunction with Weyerhaeuser Lumber, he developed the first multiprogramming access to the IDS database. Later at GE he developed the "dataBasic" product that offered database support to the Basic Language timesharing users. Later in his career, he joined a smaller firm, Cullinane Information Systems (later called Cullinet), which offered a version of IDS that was called IDMS and supported the IBM mainframes.

He received the ACM Turing Award in 1973 for "his outstanding contributions to database technology". He was elected as a Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society in 1977 for his pioneering work in database systems. He is listed in the Database Hall of Fame.

Bachman papers from 1951 to 2007 are collected at the Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. This collection contains detailed archival material describing database software development. Includes documentation on Dow Chemical (1951-1960), General Electric (1960-1970), Honeywell Information Systems (1970-1981), Cullinane Database Systems/Cullinet (1972-1986), Bachman Information Systems, Inc. (1982-1996) as well as several professional organizations.


Bachman Information Systems

In 1983, he founded Bachman Information Systems that developed a line of Computer-Aided Software Engineering products. The centerpiece of these products was the BACHMAN/Data Analyst, which provided graphic support to the creation and maintenance of Bachman Diagrams. It was featured in IBM's Reengineering Cycle marketing program, combining:
  1. the reverse engineering of obsolete mainframe databases,
  2. data modeling,
  3. forward engineering to new physical databases, and
  4. optimization of physical database designs for performance and DBMS specifics.

See also


Bachman published dozens of publications and papers, a selection:
  • 1962. "Precedence Diagrams: The Key to Production Planning, Scheduling and Control." In: ProCo Features. Supplement No 24, August 24. .
  • 1965. "Integrated Data Store." in: DPMA Quarterly, January 1965.
  • 1969. "Software for Random Access Processing." in: Datamation April 1965.
  • 1969. "Data Structure Diagrams." in: DataBase: A Quarterly Newsletter of SIGBDP. vol. 1, no. 2, Summer 1969.
  • 1972. "Architecture Definition Technique: Its Objectives, Theory, Process, Facilities, and Practice." co-authored with J. Bouvard. in: Data Description, Access and Control: Proceedings of the 1972 ACM-SIGFIDET Workshop, November 29-December 1, 1972.
  • 1972. "The Evolution of Storage Structures." In: Communications of the ACM vol. 15, no. 7, July 1972.
  • 1972-73. "Set Concept for Data Structure." In: Encyclopedia of Computer Science, 1972-1973.
  • 1973. "The Programmer as Navigator." In: Communications of the ACM vol. 16, no. 11, November 1973.
  • 1974. "Implementation Techniques for Data Structure Sets." In: Data Base Management Systems, 1974.
  • 1977. "Why Restrict the Modeling Capability of Codasyl Data Structure Sets?" In: National Computer Conference vol. 46, 1977.
  • 1978. "Commentary on the CODASYL Systems Committee's Interim Report on Distributed Database Technology." National Computer Conference vol. 47, 1978.
  • 1978. "DDP Will Be Infinitely Affected, So Managers Beware!" in: DM, March 1978.
  • 1980. "The Impact of Structured Data Throughout Computer-Based Information Systems." In: Information Processing 80, 1980.
  • 1980. "The Role Data Model Approach to Data Structures." In; International Conference on Data Bases, March 24, 1980.
  • 1982. "Toward a More Complete Reference Model of Computer-Based Information Systems." Co-authored with Ronald G. Ross. In: Computers and Standards 1, 1982.
  • 1983. "The Structuring Capabilities of the Molecular Data Model." In; Entity-Relationship Approach to Software Engineering. C. G. Davis, S. Jajodia, and R. T. Yeh. eds. June 1983.
  • 1987. "A Case for Adaptable Programming." In: Logic vol. 2, no. 1, Spring 1987.
  • 1989. "A Personal Chronicle: Creating Better Information Systems, with Some Guiding Principles." In: IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering vol. 1, no. 1, March 1989.


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