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Microsoft Announces Open OLE DB Interface Initiative

DALLAS -- Microsoft Corp. today announced at TechEd an initiative to extend OLE DB data access interfaces, providing software vendors and application developers with an open interface to more efficiently integrate data mining tools and applications. OLE DB for data mining is a joint effort between the SQL Server development group and Microsoft Research.

Data mining technology provides analysis and knowledge-discovery capabilities for applications such as data warehouses and customer relationship management systems. A shared data access interface will enable diverse data mining products to more easily exchange data and results, and will enable ISVs to more easily integrate data mining technology into line-of-business solutions. This advance will enable customers to transparently access solutions like fraud detection, credit-risk analysis, marketing campaign management, one-to-one marketing and adaptive Web content from existing line-of-business applications.

"The data mining industry today is highly fragmented, making it difficult for application software vendors and corporate developers to integrate different knowledge-discovery tools," said Tod Nielsen, vice president of marketing for the Developer Division at Microsoft. "A common interface for data mining will enable developers to easily embed highly scalable data mining capabilities into their existing applications."

OLE DB for data mining will build upon Microsoft's Universal Data Access strategy, which includes the industry standard OLE DB for OLAP interface for multidimensional database access.

The data mining extensions to OLE DB will provide a format common to existing tools and applications such as statistical analysis, pattern recognition, data prediction and segmentation methods, and visualization products.

The data mining extensions to OLE DB are being examined by a group of data mining software vendors as part of Microsoft's open review process. In June, Microsoft will hold a design review to solicit additional comments from the industry before publishing a draft specification for public review.

Final publication of the specification is expected in the second half of 1999. Microsoft also announced today that version 2.0 of the OLE DB for OLAP specification was under review after incorporating feedback from the more than 40 software vendors supporting the interface. – Thomas Sullivan

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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