STATISTICA Enterprise Server

Overview

Global connectivity bannerSTATISTICA Enterprise Server is a highly scalable, enterprise-class, fully Web-enabled data analysis and database gateway application system that is built on distributed processing technology and fully supports multi-tier Client-Server architecture configurations. STATISTICA Enterprise Server exposes the analytic, query, reporting, and graphics functionality of STATISTICA through easy-to-use, interactive, standard Web or Windows client interfaces. It enables users of the desktop version (“thick client”) to offload computationally intensive analytics and database operations to the Server. It is offered as a complete, ready to install application with an interactive, Internet browser-based (“point-and-click”) user interface (thin client) that enables users to interactively create data sets, run analyses, and review output.

STATISTICA Enterprise Server is built using open architecture and includes .NET-compatible development kit tools (based entirely on industry standard syntax conventions such as VB Script, C++/C#, HTML, Java, and XML) that enable IT department personnel to customize all main components of the system or expand it by building on its foundations, for example, by adding new components and/or company-specific analytic or database facilities.

As mentioned above, the STATISTICA Enterprise Server is provided with Web browser-based user interfaces (in the form of simple-to-navigate and easy-to-use dialogs) enabling you to specify analyses and review results. Tools are provided to customize these dialogs and easily set up new user interfaces or to add new functions. For example, a simple dialog with only three buttons can be created in the browser, and clicking each button will run a series of analyses and generate a detailed report. STATISTICA Enterprise Server applications add a new dimension and an endless array of possibilities to the entire line of STATISTICA Data Analysis, Data Mining, and Quality Control/Six Sigma software.

The system is compatible with all major Web server software platforms (e.g., UNIX Apache and Microsoft IIS), works in both Microsoft .NET and Sun/Java environments, and does not require any changes to the existing firewall and Internet/Intranet security systems.

Additional Features of STATISTICA Enterprise Server

  • Analytics
    • A Broad Choice of Analytic Facilities and Configurations
    • Two Common Categories of Web-based Analytics
  • Advantages
    • Functionality and Applications
    • Advantages of Multithreading Technology
  • User Interface
  • Products
  • Architecture

Analytics

A Broad Choice of Analytic Facilities and Configurations

The STATISTICA Enterprise Server system is offered as a complete solution that includes the analytic functionality of any STATISTICA product or any combination of products, from STATISTICA Base to STATISTICA Data Miner applications.

Two Common Categories of Web-based Analytics

1) Custom Web-Based Applications

STATISTICA Enterprise Server supports one or more customized Web-based analytic applications to suit an organization's specific needs. Users log on and see a highly-targeted user interface customized for the particular application needs. Users have single-click access to the desired set of queries, analysis results, and reports, all displayed within their Web browser.

2) Server-Based Interactive Statistical Application

The full power of STATISTICA analytics is available via the server-based architecture, providing all of the advantages of no client software to install, central configuration and ongoing management, increased scalability and performance, and a highly interactive user experience.

For example, the most recent data and reports (e.g., updated via queries to the specific parts of the corporate data warehouse) - with options to interactively drill down into the results and interactively obtain additional, specific insights about the business - can now be made available to authorized employees regardless of the type of computers to which they have access.

Advantages

Functionality and Applications

A powerful enterprise-wide collaborative intelligence system. STATISTICA Enterprise Server can act as the core of an enterprise-wide network system that enables the participants to work collaboratively and quickly share results (reports), as well as scripts of analyses or queries. User or group permissions can be used by the administrators to manage access of specific groups of users to specific data or reports. The accessibility of its tools makes STATISTICA Enterprise Server a perfect system to facilitate collaborative projects of employees who are telecommuting or traveling.

Advantages of distributed processing and multi-tier Client-Server architecture. Users will benefit not only from the collaborative work tools, but also the options to offload the computationally intensive or time-consuming tasks to the server computers. Specifically, because the most powerful multiprocessor CPUs (and/or clusters of computers) are usually used as servers, users can offload computationally intensive tasks, and, for example, run “in the background” queries that will scan terabytes of data on remote servers and perform time-consuming, long sequences of analyses or reports, while keeping the end users’ computers completely free to do other tasks.

Because of its distributed processing architecture, STATISTICA Enterprise Server scales in a highly efficient manner to take advantage of multi-processor CPUs and/or multiple computers and, therefore, users can take full advantage of multi-tier Client-Server architecture, where:

  • Tier 1 is the user interface on the client computer (a plain browser or STATISTICA thick client, see STATISTICA Client, below),
  • Tier 2 is the STATISTICA Enterprise Server software and the implementation of the “business intelligence” that it may contain (specific queries, scripts of custom/proprietary analyses, etc.), and
  • Tier 3 is STATISTICA databases (e.g., STATISTICA Data Warehouse) or other corporate repositories of data.

In the desktop version of STATISTICA, all computations are performed on the local computer, and resources of other computers are used only in the case when the In-Place Database Processing (IDP) interface to external databases is established. IDP is a technology that reads data asynchronously directly from remote database servers (using distributed processing if supported by the server), and bypasses the need to “import” data and create a local copy of the data set. Records of data are retrieved and sent to the STATISTICA computer asynchronously by the CPU of the database server, while STATISTICA simultaneously processes them using the CPU of the local computer.

When a Client-Server version of STATISTICA is used, the local computer drives only the user interface of STATISTICA, and all calculations are performed on the server. The Client-Server architecture offers obvious advantages when your projects are large (e.g., computationally intensive or involving processing of extremely large data sets) and, thus, when they can be offloaded to the servers, freeing your local computer to perform other jobs.

STATISTICA Client. While no components of the STATISTICA system are necessary on the client computer (only a browser), having a copy of STATISTICA installed on the client side adds new possibilities. One could ask, Why would I want to use STATISTICA Enterprise Server if I have a copy of STATISTICA installed on my laptop? The answer is that having STATISTICA installed on the client computer enables you to take additional advantage of the multi-tier Client-Server architecture (see above) and work interactively with STATISTICA installed locally while offloading certain time-consuming tasks to the server machine(s) and/or exchange data and output between all the three tiers. You can run STATISTICA Enterprise Server from within desktop STATISTICA and flexibly control the interaction between the two. A variety of options are available to share tasks between the desktop and server computer.

Also, when you review your STATISTICA Enterprise Server output in the browser, you have options to bring any or all output objects to your desktop computer for further processing. For example, a click on a small button placed optionally (depending on the user configuration) next to every output object (table or graph) sent to your browser by the STATISTICA Enterprise Server system will offer you the option to download that object (a STATISTICA table or a graph) to the client computer in its native STATISTICA format (in .sta or .stg file format) so you can work with it offline using the locally installed STATISTICA tools.

Advantages of Multithreading Technology

The STATISTICA Enterprise Server platform is built on advanced distributed processing and multithreading technology to support optimal management of large computational loads. This technology enables rapid processing of even very large and computationally intensive projects, taking full advantage of the multiple CPUs on the server, or even multiple servers working in parallel.

In addition, the STATISTICA Enterprise Server architecture delivers a platform-independent, Web browser-based user interface, and provides an ultimate, large enterprise-level ability to manage projects or groups of users.

Ultimate scalability (parallel processing technology). One of the unique features of the STATISTICA distributed processing technology is that it flexibly scales not only to take advantage of all CPUs on the current server computer (to support both multiple jobs/users and also individual, computationally intensive projects), but it also scales to multiple server computers (clusters). This unique feature is important, since it delivers significant performance gains. STATISTICA uses the parallel processing technology across separate hardware units (as some super-computers do) and, therefore, if you have, for example, three servers with four processors each, STATISTICA can run an individual project on all 12 processors (if the scale of that project warrants that mode of processing).

STATISTICA Enterprise Server supports multiprocessor environments and works with load balanced environments, making STATISTICA Enterprise Server suitable for internal cloud computing environments.

STATISTICA Enterprise Server User Interface

With the STATISTICA Enterprise Server implementation of STATISTICA, users can interactively run the program from the client machine in a Web browser interface that is similar to that available for the desktop installation. Therefore, the client side of the application (the “front end”) can be run on any computer using only a browser. However, the actual computations and other operations performed on the data will remain on the (remote) server with its usually more powerful processors and storage resources (and they will be managed using the optimized multithreading and distributed processing architecture of the system for maximum performance).

In essence, the user interface aspects of STATISTICA can be run by one or multiple users, while the server performs all computations and data operations, enforcing the proper security and access privileges applicable to the respective projects and classes of users, as designed by the network administrator.

STATISTICA Enterprise Server offers a straightforward user interface supporting a selection of interactive data analysis, data mining, quality control, database management, database query, and graph customization operations.

Enterprise-Wide Collaborative Web-Based Products

STATISTICA Enterprise Server acts as a core of an enterprise-wide network system, allowing the participants to work collaboratively and quickly share results (reports), scripts of analyses, or queries. User or group permissions can be used by the administrators to manage access of specific groups of users to specific data or reports. The accessibility of its tools via a browser makes STATISTICA Enterprise Server a perfect system to facilitate collaborative projects of employees

Knowledge Portal is a powerful, Web-based, knowledge-sharing tool that allows your colleagues, employees, and/or customers (with appropriate permissions) to log on and quickly and efficiently get access to the information they need by reviewing predefined reports.

Interactive Knowledge Portal offers to the portal visitors all the functionality of the Knowledge Portal and additional options. These options include allowing the user to define and request new reports, run queries and custom analyses, drill down and up, slice/dice data, and gain insight from all resources that are made available to them by the portal designers or administrators.

STATISTICA Enterprise Web Viewer provides the ability to view analyses and reports that were generated within STATISTICA Enterprise Server or STATISTICA Enterprise Server / QC. This allows companies to protect their data and reports with the STATISTICA Enterprise security model.

STATISTICA Web Data Entry enables companies to configure data entry scenarios to allow data entry via web browsers and the analysis of these data using all of the graphical data analysis, statistical analysis, and data mining capabilities of the STATISTICA Enterprise software platform

Architecture of the System

Although the general design uses two computers in a typical configuration, the Web server (e.g., Microsoft IIS, Unix-based Apache) and at least one STATISTICA Enterprise Server (optionally scalable to multiple STATISTICA Enterprise Servers),

STATISTICA Web Architecture

in many cases, STATISTICA Enterprise Server could be installed on the same machine if desired (when IIS is used as the Web host):

STATISTICA Web Architecture

The design allows for a flexible, generic Web server implementation by using a standard scripting language on the Web server. The purpose of the Web server is to package requests from the user (received from a browser), send these to the STATISTICA Enterprise Server, and then process responses from the STATISTICA Enterprise Server for display to the users (on their browsers).

Communication between the Web server and the STATISTICA Enterprise Server is accomplished through technology based on the industry standard XML conventions. The system is fully customizable, and for customers who want to develop their own modifications or extensions of this (ready-to-deploy) system, development tool kit facilities are provided allowing modification of all aspects of both the scripts that are being executed by STATISTICA (on the STATISTICA Enterprise Server side) and the appearance of the user interface exposed to the end users on the (browser-based) thin client side. Only the most standard, commonly known tools (such as VB or XML/HTML) are used to customize or expand the system.

The actual Web page definitions and STATISTICA scripts to be executed are stored in a designated Repository Facility on the STATISTICA Enterprise Server, and they are managed in a queue-like fashion. The system also includes a highly optimized Distributed Processing Manager that handles the incoming processing load and distributes it optimally over multiple threads of STATISTICA and multiple STATISTICA Enterprise Server computers.

The STATISTICA Enterprise Server software system also includes the STATISTICA Visual Basic Web Extensions. These extensions to the SVB language enable the script writer to either let the system display the resulting graphs and spreadsheets on the automatically generated (output) Web pages, or customize the appearance of the generated output pages by adding HTML directives as appropriate.

Security and authentication is a key design feature in the STATISTICA Enterprise Server application system. At the beginning of the session, users “sign on” to the system with their user name and password. System administrators are able to control access to data sources and scripts based either on user or group permissions. The highest level of the access privilege allows advanced users (or administrators) to execute virtually arbitrary scripts (e.g., in order to perform system administration or maintenance operations). This level requires a designated (highest) access privilege because, due to the general nature and power of the STATISTICA Visual Basic language, it gives access (to the authorized users) to all resources on the network.

Note that this system can be integrated with the “traditional” (i.e., non-Web-based) STATISTICA concurrent network or a STATISTICA enterprise system authentication scheme.

 

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