Versant Corporation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Versant Corporation
Industry Software
Founded 1988
Headquarters Redwood City, California, USA
Key people
Bernhard Woebker, CEO
Products Object Database
Revenue Increase 25,3 million USD (2008)[1]
Parent Actian

Versant Corporation is an American-based software company building specialized NoSQL data management systems. Versant products are deployed in industries including: telecommunications, defense, life sciences, biomedical, transportation, finance, and online gaming. Versant was founded in Fremont, California (USA) in 1988. It is headquartered in Redwood City, California. Engineering teams are located in Hamburg, Germany and Redwood City.

Versant offers NoSQL object database technologies, including, Versant JPA, Versant Object Database, FastObjects and the open source database db4o.


The company was founded by Kee Ong in August 1988 as "Object Sciences Corporation". Among the first employees were CEO Michael Seashols and kernel engineers Hong-Tai Chou, Stephen Au-Yeung, and C. P. Chou.[citation needed] Ong previously worked with the open-source relational database management system Ingres. Around this time object-oriented programming (OO) became popular, and the company used research done at the University of Wisconsin[2] for a commercial database system to complement OO languages.

In early 1990 the company was renamed “Versant Object Technology.” In April 1993 David Banks took over as CEO.[3] On July 18, 1996 Versant had their initial public offering (IPO) on the NASDAQ stock exchange and traded under the symbol VSNT.[4] The company raised $14.9 million from the IPO, and was based in Menlo Park, California at the time, but moved to Fremont, California in 1997.[4] In January 1998 Nick Ordon succeeded Banks as CEO.[5] on July 15, 1998 the company was renamed again to Versant Corporation.[6]

In March 2004, Versant acquired Poet Software GmbH, a European-focused company targeting the Windows product market which had traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. In 2005, Jochen Witte, president of Poet Software, took over as CEO of Versant Corporation. In August 2005, the common stock had a 1-for-10 reverse stock split. On December 1, 2008 Versant acquired the assets of the database software business of Servo Software, Inc. (formerly named db4objects, Inc.). It developed the open source embedded database technology db4o.[1][6]

The original implementation of Versant was targeted at C, C++ and Smalltalk users. In 1995 Versant introduced support for the Java programming language and then in 2009 for C# and the .NET platform. In 2012 Versant introduced Versant JPA, a Java Persistence API 2.0 compliant interface for its object database, with a technical preview of an analytics product including Apache Hadoop support.

In late 2012, after rejecting an offer by Unicom Systems Inc., Versant Corporation announced it was being acquired by Actian Corporation, the commercial developer of Ingres and the relational database, Vectorwise. The acquisition was promoted using the marketing term big data.[7] It closed in December for an estimated $37 million.[8]


Versant markets three commercial object-oriented database management systems (OODBMS), “Versant JPA,” "Versant Object Database" and "Versant FastObjects". In addition, Versant offers the open-source database "db4o".

  • Versant JPA is a JPA 2.0 compliant interface for its object database that includes a technical preview of an analytics platform including Hadoop support.[9] It is available as a server and SDK for use with Windows and Linux operating systems.
  • Versant Object Database is used primarily for Java, .NET and C++ applications, especially those with high concurrency and performance requirements and very large data sets. The Versant Object Database is available for use with the operating systems Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX and can be integrated in Java, .NET or C++ programs. Unlike in a relational database management system (RDBMS, e.g., Oracle), complex logical models can be directly stored, read and modeled as domain objects without having to model them first in relational tables.[10]
  • "Versant FastObjects" is a developer-friendly, object-oriented alternative to a relational database for .NET persistence.[11]
  • "db4o" is an open source embedded object database for Java and .NET. db4o is coded in Java and translated to C# by an open-source tool called Sharpen.[12]


Versant markets products for complex data models, ingesting large amount of data, and large numbers of concurrent users. Versant is found in applications within industries where those characteristics come into play: global trading platforms for the world’s largest stock exchanges; network management for the world’s largest telecommunications providers; intelligence analytics for defense agencies; reservation systems for the largest airline/hotel companies; risk management analytics for banking and transportation organizations; massive multi-player gaming systems; network security and fraud detection; local number portability; advanced simulations; and social networking.


  1. ^ a b "Revenues of $6.0 million for Q4 2008 / Versant acquires db4objects’ database business / Share repurchase program announced". Press release. December 4, 2008. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008. Retrieved December 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ H.-T. Chou, David J. Dewitt, Randy H. Katz and Anthony C. Klug (October 1985). "Design and implementation of the Wisconsin storage system". Software—Practice & Experience 15: 943–962. doi:10.1002/spe.4380151003. 
  3. ^ Versant Object Technology (April 30, 1997). "Proxy Statement". Schedule 14A. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Versant Object Technology (March 28, 1997). "Annual Report for the fiscal year ending December 31, 1996". Form 10-KSB. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  5. ^ Versant Object Technology (April 30, 1998). "Proxy Statement". Schedule 14A. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Versant Corporation (January 14, 2009). "Annual Report for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2008". Form 10-K. US Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved December 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Giving Thanks for Versant and Actian". Blog. Enterprise Strategy Group. November 26, 2012. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  8. ^ Doug Henschen (February 1, 2013). "Actian Builds Mini Big Data Empire". Information Week. Retrieved December 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ [3] “New Versant JPA Delivers Multiple NoSQL Analytics,” Dr. Dobb’s Journal. October 28, 2012.
  10. ^ [4] "",
  11. ^ [5] “FastObjects Tutorial,” YouTube. January 9, 2012.
  12. ^ [6] Db4o website [1]

External links[edit]