March 25, 2011

Software AG and the commie spies

Something (I’ll drop in a link when allowed) made me recall the story of Software AG and the USSR. Apparently, the USSR attempted to acquire a lot of Western technology, including ADABAS. Software AG of North America cooperated with the Feds to try to catch the Soviet agent in indictable technological espionage — but then, with its usual flamboyance, ran ads bragging about the event. The writeup of all this I found when searching was some subsequent Congressional testimony.

This was all slightly before my time — I only entered the industry and met Software AG in 1981. So does anybody else out there recall more of the story than I do? 🙂


3 Responses to “Software AG and the commie spies”

  1. Mike Dunham-Wilkie on March 28th, 2011 9:44 am

    I can’t remember more details, but the company I was working for at the time adopted Adabas/Natural in 1982. I remember very well the introductory slide show in those pre-Powerpoint days. Slide 1: “The USSR paid $X million (can’t remember what X was) for a DBMS” Slide 2: “That DBMS was Adabas”. We were all very impressed.

  2. Trevor Winer on July 27th, 2011 6:43 am

    I worked for SPL who, from the early 1970s, had the agency to sell Adabas in South Africa, Australia and Israel as subagents of SAGNA (Software AG North America) headed by John Maguire. John and Bob Pregger, who was their ace presenter and demonstrator, both used, at sales presentations, to brag that Adabas was so good that the Russians stole it in preference, obviously, to IBM’s IMS. Either of them, or Richard Currier, or Len Israelstam in Israel could fill in the details.

  3. Mike Maguire on June 1st, 2015 6:12 pm

    My dad John Maguire talked about catching that spy in his oral history, starting on page 12…

    And also in this interview where on page 25 of the pdf (page 22 going by the text’s page numbers) he talks about walking me to my school bus (I was around 10 at the time) with a .38 because he was worried I’d be kidnapped.

    Of course I wasn’t aware of that fear. I just knew that my dad had been involved in some kind of spy stuff, so I thought it was totally cool!

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