IBM to Stop Supporting SPSS Statistics Component on IBM i
August 20, 2013 Alex Woodie
IBM last week announced that the version 22 release of SPSS Statistics will be the last release of the product to have any component that runs on System i (IBM i). It will also be the last release with the capability to pull SQL data out of the DB2 for i database, which is arguably more damaging for any IBM customers that might want to run some statistical analysis on their DB2/400 data.
SPSS Statistics is mature and multi-faceted software package that gives users a variety of advanced statistical analysis capabilities. Surrounding the core analysis component is a fleet of more than 50 add-on products that, among other things, provide report distribution capabilities.
SPSS Statistics has never run on IBM i itself, even when it was owned by SPSS. Before it was bought by IBM, SPSS supported the IBM i platform with just two main product lines: the ShowCase OLAP and Reporting tools (some of which have been obtained by Help/Systems) and the Clementine data mining software. But the core SPSS Statistics package was always supported on more “mainstream” platforms, like Unix, Linux, Windows, and the S/390 mainframe, which is where SPSS Statistics got its start so many years ago.
However, IBM did, apparently, support the SPSS Collaboration and Deployment Services component on the IBM i platform, which is interesting in its own right. IBM rarely (if ever) touted this capability, which is not surprising considering it’s a narrowly focused niche product that plays a support role to other products. In any event, IBM announced that the Collaboration and Deployment Services component in SPSS Statistics version 22 will no longer support the “System I” (a name that IBM stopped using in 2010).
Perhaps more damaging is the fact that SPSS Statistics version 22 marks the last version of the software that will be able to use DB2 for i (DB2/400) as a source for SQL data, even if the core SPSS Statistics software is running (as it must) on another server platform.
IBM i professionals are accustomed to moving production data from DB2/400 onto other platforms where it can be analyzed. But, apparently so few SPSS Statistics customers were using this capability that it no longer made sense to maintain it.
Undoubtedly there are other ways to get data off the IBM i server and into SPSS Statistics. After all, the SQL data standard is supposed to deliver greater data interoperability among platforms. But the fact that it’s not worth IBM’s effort to keep this SQL channel open to the IBM i server is not a good sign.
For more information see Software Announcement 213-309.