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Software AG founder Dr. Peter Schnell receives the Federal Republic of Germany's Order of Merit

(PresseBox) (Darmstadt/Wiesbaden, ) .
- Germany's top civilian award recognizes Dr. Schnell's institution of the Software AG Foundation
- The Software AG Foundation is Software AG's largest shareholder
- The award is being presented during the 40th Anniversary of Software AG
- Recognition of Dr. Schnell's lasting impact on the software industry

Software AG announced that the company's founder, Dr. Peter Schnell, has today been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. Germany's highest civilian award was presented by Roland Koch the Prime Minister of the State of Hessen. Dr. Schnell received the award for the Foundation's services in youth education, helping the disabled and senior citizens in Europe and South America. The Foundation, Software AG's largest shareholder currently donates ca. €25 million annually as well as project advice and consulting. The recognition comes during Software AG's 40th anniversary, itself a tribute to the vision and foresight of Dr. Schnell and a lasting testimony to his impact on the software industry in Europe and globally.

The Software AG Foundation was established in Darmstadt in 1992 by Dr. Schnell when he donated all the shares of Software AG to the Foundation. The donation formed the start capital of the Foundation, which today is one of the largest Foundations in Germany. The Foundation finances many different projects in areas including science and research, care and support for the elderly, education and training, care and support for children and young people, the environment and care for the disabled. Under the principle of a "self-help grant", the Foundation supports nonprofit organizations not only with financial support but also with consulting services in promoting project sustainability and further developments.

Dr. Schnell was one of six employees at the consulting firm AIV (Institut für angewandte Informationsverarbeitung) that established Software AG in Darmstadt in 1969. His development of software for an adaptable and extremely versatile database management system resulted in the company's first product Adabas. Adabas, with 320,000 transactions a second, is still the fastest, commercially available database in the world today.

"Dr. Schnell is a true software industry pioneer and not only for his ground breaking database technology", said Software AG's CEO, Karl-Heinz Streibich, "His rapid internationalization and growth strategy, 'born global', established Software AG as a major player in all large IT markets early in the company's development. This still points the way for the further development of the European software industry today".

Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2009, Software AG has just reported 2008 as its most successful year from a financial perspective and in technology innovation. Over the past twelve months, Software AG's products have been recognized as a "leader" by major industry analysts in eight separate categories. Building on the visionary ideas and work of Dr. Schnell, today's integration software for modernizing IT systems and automating business processes play a key role in helping organizations counter the recession.