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Oracle Updates Advanced Analytics with Open Source R

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Posted February 10, 2012 By Sean Michael Kerner     Feedback

Oracle adds enterprise support for the R statistical programming language to Oracle Database 11g.

Enterprises can look at their data in many different ways. One of them is by using the open source R statistical programming language, which is now a fully supported technology on Oracle Database 11g.

The support for R comes in the Oracle Advanced Analytics bundle, which combines R with Oracle's Data Mining technology. With the support, Oracle is providing its users with a new way to do business analytics.

“We are providing all of the statistical capabilities of the R programming language along with visualization capabilities for data that is being stored in an Oracle database," said George Lumpkin, vice president of data warehousing product management at Oracle.

In combination with the Data Mining technology, Oracle is now able to provide in-database analytics. According to Lumpkin, by doing the analysis inside the database, analytics becomes more scalable with high performance.

As part of Oracle R Enterprise, Lumpkin stressed that Oracle is maintaining the open source client so it's the same environment that existing R statistician users are familiar with.  Oracle is also aiming to also make it easier for regular business users to take advantage of R.

“If a statistician writes a program in R and deploys it on the database, any other SQL application can call that procedure," Lumpkin said. "That's a big benefit for being able to productize computations that you want to run on a regular basis."

As such, it's also now easier to share the results of statistical analysis via a business dashboard.

The new Oracle Advanced Analytics system follows Oracle's release earlier this year of the Big Data Appliance. Lumpkin explained that Oracle's view is that analytics capabilities need to be available across multiple Oracle platforms. R capabilities are built into the Big Data Appliance. With the Oracle R Enterprise, the push is specifically for the Oracle Database.

“We want to be able to run R against data that is stored in Hadoop and we want to be able to also analyze data that is within an Oracle database," Lumpkin said.

With the Big Data Appliance, Oracle is leveraging the services of commercial Hadoop vendor Cloudera for support. In contrast, with Oracle R Enterprise, Oracle is not leaning on amy commercial R vendor, but rather is using the pure open source R project as the base. R currently has commercial support from vendor Revolution Analytics.

“Oracle will be redistributing open source R and Oracle itself is providing support for it, specifically for customers of Oracle R Enterprise or the Big Data Appliance," Lumpkin said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

 

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