Category Archives: WPS Evaluation

Richmond, CA Hackathon – Meeting of the Minds

On the weekend of October 17-18th the Meeting of the Minds Civic Hackathon will take place in Richmond, California.  Amongst the various tools and facilities that will be available for the Hackathon, World Programming will be providing WPS software (www.teamwpc.co.uk/products/wps ) and support for any SAS programmers taking part in the event who would like to create and run programs in the language of SAS. The WPS software will be available on a server provided by Cisco and also for installation onto your own workstations running Linux, OS X or Windows.  Teams who use WPS software at this event will be given a license at no cost, and can use the product and all of its features for an additional 6 months after the event.

There will be data sets that can be used to create civic oriented applications and the data is categorized into Economic Development, Public Spaces, Health and Environment, Sustainability, Digital Divide and Education. So there is plenty of data available for a myriad of subject matter experts to use.

There is a $5,000 cash prize from Qualcomm awarded to the winner.

More information on the Hackathon can be found at: http://tinyurl.com/p6ymuot

 

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

Why WPS needs to be part of your Corporate BI Stack

Recently, I’ve been talking to a few customers about why they decided to bring WPS into the company. After all, these firms have lots of money and talent. They can pretty much license any software they feel they need as long as it gets the job done. Of course, there are constraints due to pricing and training, but for the most part, these companies have free reign.

Below are the four major topics that everyone has touched on. Remember, these are large firms that are stalwarts in the analytics field offering products and services that are dependent on their IT and business staffs to generate revenue.

Innovation

WPS is rapidly growing and introducing additional procedures to the product. The customers that I have spoken with have all stated that WPS contains all the PROCS that they need to access, analyze and report on the data. Remember, we are talking about Fortune 500 companies here so that says a lot about how fleshed out the product is at this point.

Efficiency in Licensing

If you are a large corporation, it is likely that you have offices overseas. Licensing WPS is a dream compared to our competitors. There’s no multiple sales teams to have to work with and no differentiated licensing.

Also mentioned was that ALL the library modules are included in the price. There is no longer any confusion on what is part of the product.

Cost Reductions

It’s well known that WPS is a high value low cost alternative to the SAS System. Whether considering expanding the footprint with workstations or servers, WPS is an extremely competitive proposition. This is especially true on the server side. Since WPS is priced so competitively, even small workgroups can easily afford a server for their department.

Sole Source provider

One of the most interesting responses I received, and one that caught my attention (especially from a risk mitigation perspective) was that they didn’t want to find themselves beholden to a single source supplier of the language. I asked why they were concerned about that issue specifically. The three major points brought up are:

  1. They lacked flexibility in how they could use the product to deliver data, analytics and reports to their customers.
  2. They could take advantage of new concepts and features as they are introduced across two platforms.
  3. Fear that they would be held hostage in pricing negotiations. With a multiple providers, they felt they had leverage if they chose to not expand their footprint with the sole source provider.

 

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

What’s New in WPS v3.1

We have a new release of WPS out the door and we wanted to share the news! This is a major release and includes a number of new features and procedures.

New and Enhanced Communication Features

WPS Link – WPS Link is an interface for the communication between a desktop version of WPS (or a fat client) and a WPS Server. WPS Link implements the Eclipse Workbench that allows a user to submit WPS programs from their desktop to a server. WPS Link also includes a file explorer where a user can store their programs on the server and access them as if they were on their desktop. WPS Link will only talk to a WPS Server and does not provide desktop-to-desktop communications. WPS Link is included as part of your WPS license fee.

WPS Communicate – is a product that allows for the remote submitting and scripting of WPS programs to a server. It differs from WPS Link in that WPS Communicate allows for the Upload and Download of files and data sets programmatically. Communicate will only communicate between a desktop copy of WPS and a Server or Server-to-Server. WPS Communicate does not provide desktop-to-desktop communications. The WPS Communicate client is included in your desktop license and a server connection is included with a server license of WPS.

 

New Procedures

PROC ARIMA – Arima (autoregressive moving averages) is a time series modeling technique to help better understand your data or predict future points in a data series.

PROC EXPAND – is a procedure that allows the WPS user to expand or contract time series data and interpolate missing values as well.

PROC FORECAST – a forecasting module that implements basic forecasting methods that are highly automated. Proc forecast is able to forecast hundreds of series at a time using either separate variables or with the use of the By statement.

PROC HTTP – allows access to remote “cloud-based” files.

PROC JAVAINFO – allows the WPS developer to ascertain information about the Java environment that WPS is using.

PROC KDE – The KDE procedure performs either univariate or bivariate kernel density estimation.

PROC R – Proc R is the first procedure written by World Programming that is unique to WPS. Proc R allows you to execute R code from within the Eclipse environment and to exchange data frames and WPS data sets between the two applications.

PROC Soap – The Proc Soap procedure reads in XML from a file using a fileref and writes XML output to another file that also has a fileref.

PROC VARCLUS – Varclus is a procedure that implements variable reduction by separating variables into non-overlapping groups (i.e. clusters).

PROC X12 – is a procedure that seasonally adjust time series data either monthly or quarterly.

 

New System Features

DBCS – Double Byte Character Support is now available for the first time in this release. DBCS allows for support for languages that have more than 256 characters. Not available on z/OS.

JavaObj – is an interface that allows the WPS and Java developer to run Java Programs from WPS.

Secure Email – WPS now has support for secure email.

 

Database Engine Features

SAP Hana – Support for SAP’s in-memory database is now included as a new access engine.

Actian Matrix – A new database engine for Actian Matrix (formerly Paraccel) has been implemented and is included as a component of the system.

Netezza – WPS engine for Netezza named pipe bulk loading and unloading.

MySQL – Added bulk insert functionality for MySQL.

SSL – added support for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer).

 

Pricing and licensing

Pricing for the new release remains the same starting at $1,311 for a new workstation license. Don’t expect any price increases until the end of the year. In regards to licensing, there are no up-charges for Data Service Providers.

 

Evaluations and Quotes

MineQuest Business Analytics is an Authorized reseller of the World Programming System. Contact us to arrange your free 30 day product evaluation on a desktop or server. Contact us for a quote or to arrange a free 30 day evaluation for any of our products.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

Banking, Financial Services and WPS

As a consultant as well as a reseller, MineQuest Business Analytics often has the opportunity to see and hear about the BI Stack that our customers use. Some of these systems are incredibly complex while others are uniquely simple.

One thing that we have seen time-and-time again is how the mainframe is used in the banking and finance industry. It’s been an evolving process, but the complex statistical systems seem to have moved to less expensive servers and heavy duty analytical workstations while the mainframe has become a repository for data.

Accessing data on the mainframe whether it’s in VSAM, Oracle or DB2 is a cinch with WPS also on the mainframe. As the analytics have moved away from the mainframe, the use of expensive software like those of our competitor is being called into question. The mainframe is now typically used for MXG (computer performance analytics) and ETL work. A lot of what is being done on the mainframe is just the extraction and summarization of data that is to be downloaded to the distributed systems that almost all banks and finance houses have in place.

Putting WPS on your mainframe can save you a lot of money over our competitor’s product on the same machine. If you have not already taken a look at WPS on z/OS you owe it to your company’s bottom line to investigate this product further. You will be pleasantly surprised at what you will see.

Finally, MineQuest Business Analytics can help your organization migrate your current processing to WPS. We can provide project management services as well as consulting, assessments, code review and code migration for your organization.

 

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

What are the benefits when buying from MineQuest?

I’m often asked what are the benefits of buying a WPS license from MineQuest Business Analytics?

There are many, but I will touch on three of them in this post. First, when you purchase your server licenses from MineQuest, we provide a means of protecting your license investment. If you find that you need to scale up your server from say four to eight cores in the middle of your license period, we can upgrade your license so that you don’t lose money in the transition. We do require that you stay on the same operating system, but other than that, you get full credit for the time remaining on your license when you trade up.

The second benefit is that you automatically get a copy of the Bridge to R. The Bridge to R allows you to interface WPS into the R system for running more advanced statistical routines and enhanced graphics.

Third, we offer a first line of support for our customers. We have a few years of WPS experience under our belt and have developed products based on WPS. We know the product relatively well and we provide consulting services to companies needing it. We can implement WPS Link (i.e. submit programs from a desktop to a WPS Server) for customers who want a client server environment on any x86 architecture and help with installation and product overviews to users.

 About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Phil has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

New WPS vs SAS Pricing Comparisons on a Windows Server

We updated our server pricing comparison of WPS on a two, four and eight core server with SAS on the same hardware. We included the cost of the SAS/Toolkit (it’s included with WPS) in the comparison, but for many, it might not be something that is important for them.

At any rate, the figures are there so that an individual or an organization can subtract out the price if they so choose and see for themselves the pricing difference for the two products for the first year and a three year window. It’s pretty amazing how cost effective WPS is on a server in comparison to SAS.

You can view the document by clicking: Pricing_Comparisons_Between_WPS_and_SAS. (pdf ~467kb)

Don’t forget there’s still time to get into the action to win a Google Nexus 7 Tablet. If you register to take out a WPS evaluation before September 30th, 2012, you will automatically be registered in the drawing for the tablet. Certain conditions apply so read the the earlier blog post for all the details. You can request a WPS evaluation by going to the MineQuest Business Analytics website at the WPS evaluation page.

WPS 3.01 Now GA

Just a note to let you know that World Programming has released version 3.01. If you are running any older versions of WPS, I would suggest that you install the new release because of the bug fixes and a few new procedures.

This current version contains PROC REPORT, PROC DBLOAD and PROC RELEASE (for mainframe users). There are some significant performance improvements for PROC LOGISTIC and FASTCLUS.

Also, there are three new WPS data access engines. The new databases supported include Kognitio, PostgreSQL and Vertica. There’s also support for Bulk Loading for DB2 and Greenplum.

The number of database access engines that are included in WPS is pretty amazing. SAS Institute charges dearly for database access engines and I believe that’s a problem for shops that are looking to roll out Business Intelligence across the enterprise.

With the introduction of PROC REPORT, most Pharma organizations and CRO’s can move their SAS Language code base easily over to WPS. If I was running a CRO or doing the analytics work that required FDA approval, I would be taking a serious look at WPS in lieu of of the SAS System. It’s so cost effective, it could mean the difference in profitability for a small or mid-size CRO.

Finally, there’s still time to get into the action to win a Google Nexus 7 Tablet. If you register to take out a WPS evaluation before September 30th, 2012, you will automatically be registered in the drawing for the tablet. Certain conditions apply so read the previous blog post for all the details.

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.

Try WPS and Enter to Win a Google Nexus 7 Tablet

Have you ever found yourself interested in exploring and evaluating the capabilities of WPS (pronounced whips), a SAS language compatible software application? Whether you are looking at ways to save money on reduced license fees or expand your BI infrastructure, WPS is a high value, low cost alternative for many organizations who are currently using the SAS System.

WPS implements the BASE language including old and new style macro’s and the data step with functions, formats and informats. WPS also includes the most popular BASE PROCS and some graphics including GCHART, GPLOT and GREPLAY.

WPS Core supports 41 Base Procedures.
WPS Engine Modules supports 24 database and access engines.
WPS Statistics contains 15 Statistical Procedures.
WPS Graphics supports GCHART, GPLOT and GREPLAY.

Remember, WPS is priced inclusively, meaning you don’t pay separately for each module. You can learn more about WPS by visiting  our web site at: http://www.minequest.com/WPS.html. Also, available for download is a brochure that describes WPS in more detail including a list of supported PROCS and database access engines at: http://www.minequest.com/downloads/WPS_General_Overview.pdf.

As they often say, the best way to learn about something is to try it. Between August 10, 2012 and September 30, 2012, you can become eligible to win a Google Nexus 7 tablet by taking out a free 30 day evaluation copy of WPS on Windows (desktop and/or servers), Linux on x86 or Mac OS X. You must request your evaluation from MineQuest Business Analytics, LLC, an authorized WPS reseller. See Rules for drawing for more information.

Rules for drawing: Only one evaluation request per person. Must be a resident of the United States or Canada. Must not be a current WPS license holder or have taken out an evaluation in the last nine (9) months. Requests for evaluations must be made through MineQuest at: http://www.minequest.com/ReqEval.html . Drawing to be held on October 3, 2012

 

About the author: Phil Rack is President of MineQuest, LLC and has been a SAS language developer for more than 25 years. MineQuest provides WPS and SAS consulting and contract programming services and is a authorized reseller of WPS in North America.