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Ashton-Tate (Ashton-Tate Corporation) was a US based software company best known for developing the popular dBASE database application. Ashton-Tate grew from a small garage-based company to become a multinational corporation. Once one of the "Big Three" software companies, which included Microsoft and Lotus, the company stumbled and was later sold to Borland in September 1991.
Ashton-Tate was launched as a result of George Tate and Hal Lashlee having found and licensed a database program called Vulcan from its author, Wayne Ratliff, in 1981. The original agreement was written on one page, and called for simple, generous royalty payments to Ratliff. Wayne Ratliff had written Vulcan to help run an office football pool at his day job at JPL. Vulcan was a database application that ran on the CP/M operating system, and was modeled on JPL/DIS, a Univac 1106 program used at JPL and written by fellow programmer Jeb Long.