CODASYL's members were individuals from industry and government involved in data processing activity. Its larger goal was to promote more effective data systems analysis, design, and implementation. The organization worked on various languages over the years but never actually standardized one. The standardization process was left to ANSI.
In October 1969 the DBTG published its first language specifications for the network database model which became generally known as the Codasyl Data Model. This specification in fact defined several separate languages: a data description language (DDL) to define the schema of the database, another DDL to create one or more subschemas defining application views of the database; and a data manipulation language (DML) defining verbs for embedding in the COBOL programming language to request and update data in the database. Although the work was focused on COBOL, the idea of a host-language independent database was starting to emerge, prompted by IBM's advocacy of PL/I as a COBOL replacement.
In 1971, largely in response to the need for programming language independence, the work was reorganized: development of the Data Description Language was continued by the Data Description Language Committee, while the COBOL DML was taken over by the COBOL language committee. With hindsight, this split had unfortunate consequences. The two groups never quite managed to synchronize their specifications, leaving vendors to patch up the differences. The inevitable consequence was a lack of interoperability among implementations.
A number of vendors implemented database products conforming (roughly) to the DBTG specifications: the most well-known implementations were Honeywell's Integrated Data Store (IDS/2), Cullinet's Integrated Database Management System IDMS, Univac's DMS-1100, and Digital Equipment Corporation's DBMS32. Cullinet, originally known as Cullinane, obtained the technology from B.F. Goodrich. Cullinet was eventually sold to Computer Associates, which as of 2007 still sells and supports a version of IDMS.
Some of the CODASYL committees continue their work today, but CODASYL itself no longer exists. The records of CODASYL were donated to the Charles Babbage Institute and a catalog may be found at their website.
Interest in CODASYL gradually faded due to growing interest in relational databases beginning in the early 1980's.
Keeper of the language; Codasyl Chairman Nelson oversees Cobol innovation. (Don Nelson, Cobol Committee of the Conference on Data Systems Languages)
Mar 01, 1988; Keeper of the Language How Cobol evolves may not be well understood, but it is no dark secret, either. Live human beings make...
PC Cobol is in business: Micro Focus, Realia and Austec battle. (PC compiler and programming tools vendors)
Mar 01, 1988; PC COBOL IS IN BUSINESS What happens when a computer language turns 30? Is it ready to be put out to pasture, or is it mature and...
Standards groups clear way for OO Cobol; industry taking wait-and-see attitude toward feasibility. (object orientation) (CASE: Object-Oriented Development Toolkits)
Mar 01, 1991; STANDARDS GROUPS CLEAR WAY FOR OO COBOL An organizational transition in the Cobol community might give users a chance to see...