Interviewed about his Turing Award, Michael Stonebraker is "modest" about his jointly-with-others contribution:
... the Ingres database [sic] brought Codd’s lofty relational ideas into the realm of ordinary individuals ... turned [them] into constructs that could be manipulated by ordinary people ... it was argued at the time that RDBMS couldn’t perform, but we showed it could be efficient.He gives most of the credit to "Ted" Codd:
What Ted proposed was radical ... a complete change from how things were being done in database [sic] ... he turned the problem of data management into one of relations. That dramatically simplified things ... The conventional wisdom was that you should build for the particulars of how the data is stored. He saw that made no sense ... he [moved] the actual manipulation of data away from assembly language programming of the time to higher levels of abstraction that would later become structured query language, or SQL ... He brought principles of encapsulation and abstraction to programming databases, like with a high-level-language in programming.