The Pick relational database model was devised by the legendary Dick Pick during the Vietnam war as a means of better tracking helicopter parts and has still never been bettered as a database model that combines ease of use with efficiency. Although never as well known as it deserved to be it was adopted by most major players in the business systems arena throughout the 80’s and 90’s and is still widely adopted today. It has suffered from the lack of a unique identity, different sources have called it different names in an attempt to protect their corner of the market. UniVerse, UniData, jBase, RealityX, D3 and MV-Base are all variants of the Pick relational database and many feel that all players would have benefited from a consolidated approach to the market rather than the fragmentation that has always limited Pick’s commercial success.

However most of these variants have seen changes of ownership and are benefiting from improved marketing, continual development and the resurgent popularity of “NoSQLMulti-Value databases that are scalable from the small enterprise right up to “big data” solutions.

UniVerse and UniData (known collectively as U2) have both been through the ownership of Informix and IBM, with investment from both, and are now owned by Rocket Software. The ongoing investment made keeps U2 at the forefront of modern database technology and provides the type of development environment, tools and connectivity expected by today’s professionals.

Likewise D3 (arguably the direct descendant of the original Pick System) and MV-Base (from Adds/EDP roots) are now also owned by Rocket Software.

The Open QM product, which is similar to Prime Information, UniVerse and UniData, is available in both commercial and open source (GPL) distributions for several platforms including Windows, Linux, FreeBSD, Mac OS X, AIX and PDAs.

Bringing Pick to the modern era there’s Pick Cloud – Cloud Computing for Pick/Multi-Value.

Not forgetting JBase and Reality both of which have actively enthusiastic user bases.

Here is a promotional video from the 1990’s:

Click here for an informative “family tree” – a colour PDF from Tin Cat, with more twists and turns than the history of Fairport.

And here is an archive of historical images from Pick Cloud’s Blog.

Here is a non-exhaustive, US-centric list of companies that use Pick.

Wikipedia articles:

The International Spectrum organisation publicises Pick model databases and organises an annual conference. They publish a summary of Pick model databases.