Leading Vendors Join Forces to Create ASF

By Jim Martin

Some of the biggest names in the software industry are joining forces to create the Analytical Solutions Forum (ASF), a non-profit industry consortium chartered with establishing performance criteria and interoperability requirements. Some of the founding members include IBM, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Oracle and Intel.

The key initiatives for the ASF will be accomplished through special interest groups (SIGs) that are open to any ASF member. There are currently three ASF SIGs—Benchmark SIG, Conformance SIG and DSS interoperability SIG.

The Benchmark SIG’s goal is to create solutions-oriented analytical benchmarks that reflect real-world problem solving needs, the Conformance SIG’s goal is to establish levels of conformance relative to existing APIs, and the DSS Interoperability SIG’s goal is to identify, for each tool type represented in the ASF, the area where the tool-type should connect with other tool-types in the DSS space, what the interface to the connection should look like, and the critical metadata that needs to be exchanged.

“Corporations can no longer survive on traditional transaction-based reports,” says Erik Thomsen, Chairman of the ASF and chief scientist at the DSS Lab in Cambridge, Mass. “There clearly needs to exist an industry body with participation of the end-user community to ensure that analytical applications provide the level of interoperability and performance required for enterprise-wide deployment.”