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Oracle Expands Support For Open Source R Language


Oracle is broadening its support for the R open-source statistical computing analysis and graphics language. Capable of compiling and running on a wide variety of UNIX platforms, Windows, and Mac OS X too, R will now benefit from R ports for the Solaris and AIX operating systems.

Oracle has also reportedly ramped up R support within its TimesTen in-memory database (IMDB) — a full-featured, memory-optimized, relational database with persistence and recoverability.

NOTE: r-project.org/ describes R as both a "language and environment" for statistical computing and graphics. It is a GNU project and is similar to the S language and environment, which was developed at Bell Laboratories by John Chambers and colleagues. R can be considered an implementation of S (although there are some important differences), but much code written for S runs unaltered under R.

Oracle is also said to be developing a release of R that will be compatible with the Sunperf, MKL, and ACML mathematical libraries to enable R to run as fast as physically possible on all compatible hardware.

Previously, Oracle has delivered Oracle R Enterprise so that R users can apply existing scripts as well as existing statistical models to data inside the Oracle database. Today users can find R available in Oracle's Advanced Analytics product alongside its data-mining software.

Forrester Research analyst Boris Evelson has posed questions of the R language and environment in terms of its practical effectiveness and asked, "How easily can the output from R calculations (scores, rankings) be embedded in the BI reports and dashboards? Do the new scores just become 'automagically' available for BI reports, or does somebody need to add them to BI data stores and metadata?"


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