SPSS Changes Data Miner’s Name, Drops System i Support
April 14, 2009 Alex Woodie
“You are lost and gone forever, dreadful sorry, Clementine.” System i shops that relied upon SPSS‘ data mining software suite, Clementine, may be heard humming this old song to themselves following the vendor’s recent decision to end support for the System i server with the latest release of the product, version 13. The Chicago software company also changed the product’s name to PASW Modeler as part of a company-wide move to the Predictive Analytics Software name.
Earlier this year, SPSS started the process of changing the names of all of its products to Predictive Analytics Software, or PASW. Its data collection software suite, Dimensions, became PASW Data Collection Author and PASW Reports for Surveys. Its statistics software, SPSS Statistics, became PASW Statistics. And the data modeling and data mining suite, Clementine, became PASW Modeler.
All in all, nearly 40 SPSS products received a new name. The 40-year-old company decided upon this (nearly) companywide re-branding to “better reflect the unity” across all of the product families, explained Jason Verlen, SPSS’ chief product strategist and vice president of R&D, in SPSS’ product naming guide. “Rest assured that these name changes don’t change the foundational technology on which you’ve come to count,” he says.
Apparently, very few System i shops had come to count on Clementine, which ran in the PASE AIX-runtime environment of i OS. SPSS supported Clementine on the System i server via PASE with i5/OS V5R4 on Clementine version 12, which was released last year. That will be the last release of Clementine (now PASW Modeler) supported by SPSS on the System i platform.
“In regards to supporting IBM i with Modeler 13, it was a business decision not to support it any longer because we had very few customers still using this platform,” says Tim Powers, SPSS director of corporate communications and public relations, in an e-mail. “As for previous versions (Clementine 12 and below), we still support this platform.”
Powers added: “Modeler 13 does not support IBM i natively, however we still support the IBM i as a data source and customers can pull data for use in their data mining efforts. Also, customers who purchased Clementine for the IBM i will be entitled to the newest release on Windows, so they have an upgrade path.”
PASW Modeler (Clementine) is a data modeling tool that organizations use to identify patterns in data. The software is often employed in the financial services industry to identify credit risks and help with business decisions. Debt collectors, governmental agencies, and scientific institutions have also used Clementine to uncover hidden patterns in large data stores.
SPSS announced the version 13 releases of PASW Modeler and PASW Text Analytics (formerly Text Mining for Clementine) last week. The software, which is available now, introduces a new GUI that’s expected to make working with the product easier and more intuitive. The software also brings more automation to error correction and cluster modeling; better support for unstructured data; a new comments feature; pre-built text-mining packages; more natural-language processing; and support for additional languages.
Despite the System i’s prowess as a powerful and easy-to-use database server, the platform has struggled to attract business intelligence workloads. Data mining, in particular, has proved especially challenging, especially in the presence of powerful and low-cost X86 and X64 servers running Windows and Linux.
IBM used to offer a product called Intelligent Miner for Data for AS/400, but ended support for the product back in 2004. Ironically, IBM recommended SPSS’ Clementine as a good replacement when it killed support for Intelligent Miner, calling Clementine “fully supported on the iSeries platform.” (eServer iSeries is the name IBM used for the Power Systems server between 2000, when it was changed from AS/400, and 2004, when it was changed to eServer i5.)
SPSS continues to support the IBM i operating system with Showcase, its multidimensional database (OLAP) product suite. In fact, the company is gearing up for a new release of the product on IBM i OS in the next month or so. Keep reading Four Hundred Stuff for coverage of the new product.
And the Showcase suite, which originates from SPSS’ acquisition of Showcase Corp. back in 2001 for $94 million, is one of two products that escaped SPSS re-naming initiative. The other is Amos, a member of the PASW suite that’s used for structural equation modeling.
Two errors in this article have been corrected. PASW was incorrectly referred to as Progressive Analytics Software. The correct name is Predictive Analytics Software. Also, Text Mining for Clementine (now known as PASW Text Analytics) was incorrectly referred to as Clementine Text Analytics. IT Jungle regrets the errors.
Two clarifications were also made regarding PASW Modeler’s support for System i data sources and System i customer upgrade paths to Windows.