News in Brief

Oracle Data Mining gets GUI; IBM and Cognos' BI partnership

Oracle Data Mining Gets a GUI Face-lift

Oracle Corp. late last month announced Oracle Data Mining for Java (DM4J), a collection of new Oracle Data Mining (ODM) Components and ODM Browser extensions to its JDeveloper J2EE and XML development environment.

DM4J brings a long-awaited graphical user interface to ODM, which Oracle expects will help data analysts and application developers build new business intelligence applications based on Oracle's data mining technology.

To that end, the new ODM Components provide GUI wizards that step users through model definition and simplify creating Java components for performing data mining in the 9i database. Similarly, the ODM Browser is a separate JDeveloper extension that allows the user to view the results created in the database.

Andrew Braunberg, a senior analyst with research firm Current Analysis Inc., suggests that DM4J should simplify the job of data analysts. Before Oracle released DM4J, Braunberg notes, analysts who used ODM had to write out all of the Java code that was required to build their predictive models. “This was a time-consuming process that slowed model development and deployment.”

With DM4J, Braunberg notes, Java code is automatically written as data analysts build their predictive models. Moreover, developers or data analysts can re-use this code in other Java-based applications. As a result, he anticipates, DM4J will “enhance analysts’ ability to create predictive models using Oracle Data Mining.”

The ODM Browser facilitates a variety of different detailed views, including lift tables, confusion matrices, ABN rules, Association and Cluster results and rules.

Cognos and IBM Partner for BI

Business intelligence (BI) specialist Cognos Inc. last week touted a new three-year global agreement with IBM Corp. The two companies announced that they have entered into a Master Relationship Agreement to market BI offerings that improve corporate performance management (CPM).

Under the terms of the agreement, Cognos and IBM will jointly market and sell integrated solution packages to a variety of different vertical markets and lines of business, including sales, marketing, and human resources.

Both companies have also committed themselves to joint investments in equipment, services, and consulting to optimize Cognos’ Series 7 BI suite across a range of IBM products.

The companies will shop an integrated solution set consisting of Cognos Series 7 along with IBM’s DB2 Universal Database, DB2 Warehouse Manager—a data warehousing platform for DB2—DB2 OLAP Server, WebSphere Application Server and WebSphere Portal software. Cognos has committed to support IBM’s pSeries RISC-based and xSeries Intel-based servers.

Cognos and IBM have partnered for the last seven years under the auspices of IBM’s PartnerWorld for Developers program. The expectation is that the new partnership will increase the use of Cognos’ Series 7 suite among IBM customers—particularly in accounts serviced by its IBM Global Services (IGS) unit.

Andrew Braunberg, a senior analyst with research firm Current Analysis, speculates that the upside for IBM is Cognos’ CPM expertise. Since Big Blue picked up PwC Consulting last year, Braunberg points out, “IGS has developed an expanded emphasis on business process change and business oriented consulting engagements.”

Because Cognos already had a strategic relationship with PwC prior to its acquisition by IBM, he speculates, “that seems to have opened a door at IGS that [Cognos] had traditionally had trouble passing through.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.