Microsoft, SPSS work to embed analytics in SQL 2005

SPSS, a provider of software for predictive analytics, unveiled the results of its behind-the-scenes work with the Microsoft database development team this week. SPSS announced a version of its statistical analysis toolset that can be embedded into the next version of Microsoft SQL Server 2005.

SQL Server 2005 is in its third beta release and is expected to ship in the fourth quarter.

Working with the SQL Server team, the SPSS solution, Statistical Services for Microsoft SQL Server 2005, will integrate into SQLs DSV (Data Source View), the analytical services component of SQL Server 2005.

"Now a user can run our product as a DSV," said Jon Otterstatter, CTO of SPSS.

Bob Blumstein, a research director at IDC, praised the integration effort, saying that when analytics can be done without pulling the data out of the database, there is a gain in productivity and there are fewer chances for errors.

"You don't have to move the records, and it uses all the efficiencies of the way the data is organized in the database," Blumstein said.

Otterstatter also said putting statistical analysis inside the database will make it easier for the database administrator to access data for business analysts.

The integration also means that on the deployment side the results of analysis can be dropped into a Microsoft Sharepoint portal or into an Excel spreadsheet.

The SPSS Statistical Services is also accessible in Microsoft's BI and Visual Studio development environments, giving developers the ability to put predictive analytics into non-BI applications.

"If you are a C# programmer and you want to run a score against something, our capabilities will be built-in," Otterstatter said.

SPSS Statistical Services for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 will be available when Microsoft SQL Server 2005 ships at the end of the year.

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