JD Edwards was founded in 1978 as an IBM business partner in the Greater Denver, CO area. Focused early on as a software development shop for companies running on the IBM midrange platforms (S/36, S/38). Soon began developing and supporting packaged packaged applications. Early forays were for the Oil/Gas industry. Then became more horizontal in the later 1980’s, getting in Financial applications, Distribution Management, and finally in full Manufacturing. With a full ERP solution available in the early 1990’s, the company flourished and dominated in the IBM mid-range space with the success of the AS/400. This product line went through a few minor name changes but became known as, and still still known today as WorldSoftware. WorldSoftware is RPG based, and intended to run on IBM’s AS/400, now called the i5.
In the mid-90’s JD Edwards embarked on a major re-write in order to branch out to all platforms and multiple databases. The result of this effort was the OneWorld product line, first seen in 1997. By using the same data model, JD Edwards achieved what no other ERP vendor yet achieved: a successful major technology migration forward. JD Edwards at the same time provided their customer unique safety net in jumping from one platform to the next - Co-Existence. By installing both applications on one AS/400, customers could actually run BOTH WorldSoftware and OneWorld at the same time. One user could be using OneWorld, another user sitting right next to the first, could be using WorldSoftware, with both in the same environment, updating the same database.
JD Edwards had a great run thru the Y2K panic ERP buying of the late 90’s and in September of 1997 had the most successful software IPO of year. Post Y2K there was some struggling, some management shake-ups, but the company remained what appeared to be a solid $800M company with 5,000+ customers, when on June 2nd of 2003, Peoplesoft announced they had reached a definitive agreement to acquire JD Edwards, creating the second largest application software company in the world.