"REDMOND, Wash., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)
announced the beta release of the OLE DB for Data Mining specification,
a protocol based on the SQL language, that provides software vendors and
application developers with an open interface to more efficiently integrate
data mining tools and capabilities into line-of-business and e-commerce
dozen leading data mining and business intelligence vendors announced
their support for the new protocol, which will enable diverse data mining
products to more easily exchange data and results and allow developers
to more easily incorporate data mining technology into existing data warehousing
solutions. Supporting vendors include ANGOSS Software Corp., Appsource
Corp., Comshare Inc., DB Miner Technology Inc., Knosys Inc., Magnify Inc.,
Megaputer Intelligence Inc., Maximal Innovative Intelligence Ltd., NCR
Corp., PolyVista Inc. and SPSS Inc."
of the OLE DB for Data Mining specification is a significant milestone
on the path to much wider use of predictive and descriptive analytic models
by commercial applications," Stephen Brobst, chief technology officer,
Teradata Solutions Group, NCR. "NCR strongly supports this initiative
to provide standard mechanisms for deploying analytic models obtained
from a variety of sources. We expect significant use of OLE DB for Data
Mining Provider Services by our CRM solutions and application products."
DB for Data Mining has been under vendor review and modification since
its introduction last May at Tech*Ed '99 and now incorporates the Predictive
Model Markup Language (PMML) standards from the Data Mining Group, an
industry consortium that facilitates the creation of useful standards
for the data mining community. PMML is an XML-based language that provides
a quick and easy way for organizations to define and share data mining
models between compliant vendors' applications."
Microsoft is joining a vendor consortium that is proposing a standard
in PMML, which may be supported by many vendors, but will be ignored by
serious Microsoft competitors such as Oracle. Another conspicuous absence
from the list of supporting vendors is the SAS Institute, which is one
of the key vendors in the data mining arena with their Enterprise Miner
has had considerable success in enforcing their standards on the marketplace,
and it remains to be seen whether they will succeed again. We believe
that in order for this effort to succeed, a broader vendor coalition needs
to be created, with active participation by vendors such as SAS and Oracle.
If this effort is not widely adopted within 6 months, it will not succeed.
idea behind the specification is interesting, involving a data mining
model (DMM) which, unlike a standard relational table, stores the patterns
discovered by the data mining algorithm, instead of the raw data. This
approach may take on greater importance in the marketplace, as data mining
becomes more widespread.
Customers evaluating data mining solutions for their data warehouse should
investigate PMML and its potential for widespread acceptance. OLE DB is
a proprietary Microsoft standard, which conflicts with standards from
bodies such as the OMG (Object Management Group). Customers should be
wary of this new standard and make sure that it interacts effectively
with other database and business intelligence products they are considering.
However, existing Microsoft customers may be able to leverage this technology
in a short timeframe.