The advent of the Internet and World Wide Web changed many things in the technology landscape. Information began to become widely accessible. Individuals began to connect with one another online. Merchants began to market and sell their products digitally, sometimes to entirely new markets or customer demographics.
Each new connection and behavior enabled by the web had a corresponding impact on data management systems. In the world of data storage and retrieval, the usage patterns of relational database management systems (RDBMS) had been relatively stable and predictable for quite some time.
Invented in 1970 by E.F. Codd, RDMSs were marketed and used commercially in the 80s for operational data entry. As the Internet and the World Wide Web emerged in the 90s, RDBMSs began to connect with a quantity of end users that designers had never anticipated. Instead of being used only by internal data entry specialists to support manually operated point of sale systems or business oriented reporting and analytic tools, RDBMSs began to be used to build client applications that were websites or email marketing services, directly serving information to and executing transactions initiated by millions (and eventually billions) of individuals worldwide.