SAS Updates Warehousing

SAN MATEO (02/25/2000) - The SAS Institute Inc. this week continued to expand its product offerings beyond its core data-mining expertise, adding new versions of its Enterprise Reporter and Warehouse Administrator products.

The focus of SAS Enterprise Reporter Version 2.5, which is now available, is to provide consistent reporting and thereby improve the efficiency within business-intelligence solutions.

The introduction of XML support will allow users to push intelligence from one report directly into another user's XML application, thus ensuring data consistency, according to company officials.

XML is supported in Enterprise Reporter 2.5 via the SAS Document Viewer, a Windows application that allows users to browse, print, and e-mail XML-based files. Those features allow users to create a report in XML and then push that information into other applications in the XML format.

Enterprise Reporter 2.5 also attempts to address the need for versatile information distribution with the inclusion of Batch Builder, which creates predefined reports in batch mode on the report server.

SAS Warehouse Manager 2.0, also available immediately, adds publish-and-subscribe messaging capabilities to the offering, simplifying the distribution and tracking of warehouse data and the management of changes within a warehouse.

The publish-and-subscribe tools in Version 2.0, which company officials say are robust enough for enterprise-level implementations, offers proactive information delivery as well as enhanced intelligent access to a variety of data sources.

Supported data sources include SAP's R3, Baan, Oracle, IBM DB2, NCR Teradata, Microsoft SQL/ Server 7.0, Sybase, and others.

The updated data management features will allow IT managers to keep up with ever-changing business rules by providing information delivery via Web-enabled viewers such as the company's MetaSpace Explore and via SAS and third-party business intelligence and reporting tools, officials said.

The new releases, noted Mike Schiff, director of data warehousing strategies at Current Analysis, in Sterling, Va., could be an important step in helping SAS reach the mainstream.

"Many times they get unjustly overlooked by customers because they've always been mispositioned as being too complex, so anything they can do to help that is good," Schiff said.

"I expect they will remain a strong force in data mining, but I would not be surprised to see them move away from the strict, statistical data mining stuff to integrate a broader range of decision support capabilities," Schiff added.

SAS Institute, in Cary, N.C., is at

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