CODASYL was formed in 1959 to guide the development of a standard programming language that could be used on many computers. Members came from industry and government data processing departments. Its goal was to promote more effective data systems analysis, design and implementation. It published specifications for various languages over the years, handing these over to official standards bodies (ISO, ANSI or their predecessors) for formal standardisation.
The 1965 List Processing Task Force worked on the IDS/I database extension. It later renamed itself to the Data Base Task Group (DBTG) and publishing the Codasyl Data Model, the first to allow one-to-many relations. This work also introduced data definition languages (DDLs) to define the database schema and a data manipulation language (DML) to be embedded in COBOL programs to request and update data in the database.
Interest in CODASYL declined with the rise of relational databases beginning in the early 1980s.