|Successors||Computer Associates International|
|Key people||Sterling Williams, Sam Wyly, Charles Wyly, founders|
Sterling Software was an American software company founded in Dallas, Texas in 1981 by Sterling Williams and brothers Sam and Charles Wyly. The company was acquired by Computer Associates International in 2000 in a stock-for-stock transaction worth $3.3 billion. Computer Associates sold Sterling Software's Federal Systems Group to Northrop Grumman in 2000. 
It was known for its aggressive acquisitions, most notably the hostile take-over of Informatics General Corporation in 1985.
Informatics was one of the first established software and services companies. It developed the MARK-IV Fourth-generation programming language in the 1960s. MARK-IV became the first software package exceeding $1 million in revenue, after IBM was forced in 1969 to unbundle software from their hardware.
Helped by financing and counseled by Werner Frank, one of Informatics' founders who had left this company a year before, Sterling Software started the hostile take over by offering to shareholders an interesting price per share and increasing it slowly until the Informatics board was no longer able to reject it. Overnight, Sterling Software became a $200 million in revenue company up from $20 million. After only 2 years, they started again acquiring new companies.
Acquired Reston, VA-based Systems Center, Inc. in 1993 in a stock-for stock transaction worth $185 million, Sterling Software's 20th acquisition. In the process of this acquisition, Sterling Software was completely restructured along lines of business, as opposed to the previous practice of absorbing acquired companies as essentially equivalent divisions.
Acquired Atlanta-based KnowledgeWare in a stock-for-stock transaction worth $74 million in 1994, in the process eliminating about 250 jobs in the combined companies. KnowledgeWare's founder Fran Tarkenton joined the Sterling Software board of directors as part of the deal.
Acquired Texas Instruments's Dallas-based software division (known as TI Software) for $165 million cash in 1997, about 66% of its previous year's revenue. The acquisition included the rights to Information Engineering Facility.
- "STERLING SOFTWARE INC Amended Annual Report (10-K/A) ITEM 10. DIRECTORS AND EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT". Edgar Online. 1995-01-26. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "SEC Info - Computer Associates International Inc - 425 - Sterling Software Inc - On 2/15/00" (Press release). U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 2000-02-14. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "COMPUTER ASSOCIATES INTERNATIONAL INC - CA Quarterly Report (10-Q) NOTES TO CONSOLIDATED CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS". Edgar Online. 2001-02-07. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Northrop Grumman - Who We Are - History - Joining Northrop Grumman in 1997" (Press release). Northrop Grumman. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Bauer, Walter F. (July–September 2006). "Informatics Acquisition by Sterling Software: Unsolicited Offer, Takeover Attempt, and Merger". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (IEEE Computer Society) 28 (3): 32–40. doi:10.1109/MAHC.2006.51. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Desmond, John (June 1991). "Cautiously approaching client/server computing - Sterling Software Inc.'s Systems Software Group". Software Magazine. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- Adelson, Andrea (1993-04-02). "COMPANY NEWS; Sterling Software to Buy Systems Center". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Sterling Software Finished Deal For Knowledgeware". The New York Times. 1994-12-02. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Sterling to Buy Texas Instruments Unit". The New York Times. 1997-08-22. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Sterling software announces agreement to purchase Cayenne Software" (Press release). Johannesburg, South Africa. 1998-08-31. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- "Sterling Software to acquire Interlink computer Sciences for 2.0 times revenue". Weekly Growth Report. 1999-03-29. Retrieved 2008-08-20.
- Oral history interview with Sam Wyly. Charles Babbage Institute, University of Minnesota. Interview by David Allison, 6 December 2002, focuses on ongoing developments at University Computer Corporation, the eventual sale of this firm to Computer Associates, Wyly's formation of Sterling Software, its acquisition of Informatics, the sale of Sterling, and his ideas on the future of information technology.
- Going in for the CA kill - interview with Sam Wyly.
- Biography of Sam Wyly