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Tibco Spotfire 5.0 Casts Wider Big Data Analytics Net

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Posted September 25, 2012 By Pedro Hernandez     Feedback

Tibco's big engine overhaul brings improved capacity and support for more data sources.

How does Tibco follow up on a big in-memory analytics and visualization software release? By diving deep into the code for a radical overhaul.

The result, says Leslie Miller, product marketing manager for Tibco Spotfire, is an in-memory analytics platform that's more capable and "orders of magnitude faster" than its predecessor.  "Compression, memory consumption, calculation and filtering response times" all benefit from the company's efforts, reports Miller.

In May, version 4.5 of the product brought a new application data service (ADS) connector with support for Apache Hadoop, the popular open source Big Data framework. Hadoop opened up the platform to more data sources and popular applications, including SAP, Oracle and Salesforce.

Today, the company continues that trend with a slew of updates designed to "help our customers take advantage of that data despite where it comes from," states Miller.

More Big Data Sources

New to Spotfire is in-database calculation support for Teradata, Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server. The new capability essentially expands the pool of available and discoverable pool of data sets, explains Miller. In effect, Spotfire will "send an SQL query to the database, but the database performs the calculation and sends it to the visualization," she says.

Miller explains that by employing Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server as an "external data engine," for example, Spotfire allows users to more readily glean insights, discover trends and embark on richer and more far-reaching exercises in business analytics. With Spotfire 5.0, businesses are "only limited by the size of data that's in the data warehouse."

Also new is a big boost to the product's predictive analytics feature set. In addition to pre-packaged predictive models, Spotfire 5.0 features the new Tibco Enterprise Runtime for R engine. "Built to bring enterprise grade scalability to the R language," the feature allows experts to model in the popular R engine and apply those models in a production environment.

Without the intermediate step of handing the models over to developers to cook up production-ready code, businesses can implement enterprise-grade predictive analytics in hours instead of days, says the company. This newfound agility isn't the only source of pride for Tibco. "No one else is offering an enterprise-enabled R," beams Miller.

Lastly, the company also recognizes that Big Data platforms can mean big headaches for IT professionals. So Tibco is rolling out support for its SilverFabric load balancing platform. The combination of Spotfire and SilverFabric provides automated IT systems resource management and scaling -- up or down -- to support large groups of simultaneous Spotfire Web Player dashboard users and keep them snappy and responsive -- a priority when top, highly-paid execs are gathered in a conference room and looking for instantaneous insights, says Miller.

Tibco is previewing Spotfire 5.0 during its annual TUCON user conference in Las Vegas taking place now.  Spotfire 5.0 enters generally availability in late November 2012.

Teradata Partnership

Tibco also announced a new partnership with Teradata Corporation that will involve combining Spotfire 5.0 with Teradata Enterprise Data Warehouse. With its new architecture, Spotfire 5 can leverage Teradata by pushing all aggregations, filtering and complex calculations used for interactive visualization into the database, the two companies say.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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