SAS Institute, a vendor which delivers integrated data warehousing, decision
support, and information delivery software, has announced the production
availability of SAS/Warehouse Administrator software, Version 2.1. Demonstrated
at the Data Warehousing Institute conference in Boston, this new version,
as stated by the vendor "makes it easier to build a data warehouse through
a new collection of built-in transformation and data utilities that eliminate
much of the previously required (i.e., manual) coding". With an open component-based
architecture, improved data access and management capabilities, thin-client
interfaces, and other enhancements, it is an important component of the
new SAS software V8.1, and the vendor states that it lays the foundation
for new e-intelligence solutions from SAS.
According to Frank Nauta, SAS Institute's Warehouse Administrator product
manager, "IT and business users will find significant enhancements when
building and designing warehouses and ETL (extraction, transformation
and loading) processes. SAS/Warehouse Administrator is designed for the
IT professional responsible for creating and managing data warehouse processes.
It is a customizable solution that offers a single point of control making
it easier to respond to the ever-changing needs of the business community.
All the while, SAS/Warehouse Administrator is creating a new corporate
asset called metadata which documents all the processes involved in deploying
your data warehouse."
continued his explanation of the product with "SAS Integration Technologies
provides support for distributed object models, open systems messaging
and object middleware, and enterprise directories. It also includes a
new publishing framework for automated information delivery through subscribers
to say, despite the quote from Mr. Nauta, they haven't created metadata
(generally defined as "data about data", either at the database schema
level or the business process level), it's been around for a long time.
What SAS has accomplished is to integrate many of the pieces of the warehouse
process into one suite, much as Oracle has attempted to do with Oracle
Warehouse Builder (for more information see "Oracle
Warehouse Builder: Better Late than Never?"). SAS Institute can give
Oracle and other "integrated data warehouse suite" vendors, such as Microsoft,
a run for their money if they calculate their pricing and sales strategy
Companies looking at the capability to "two-stop-shop" for data warehouse
tools should include the SAS Institute on their short list. SAS has long
been known for their capabilities in the data-mining arena, and has expanded
into most of the rest of the data-warehousing world. They are not a major
player in the database engine area (i.e., Oracle, Microsoft, IBM).
SAS Institute is currently the largest privately held software company
in the world, although there have been numerous rumors around the industry
that they may be strongly considering going public in the near future.
TEC does not feel that this possibility affects either their short-term
or long-term viability. They also have one of the lowest employee turnover
rates in the industry.