JT on EDM, James Taylor, Feb 8, 2012
Oracle Advanced Analytics is a new Oracle database option that bundles Oracle R Enterprise and Oracle Data Mining (reviewed previously). With this release, R becomes a first class native interface for the Oracle database along with SQL and the graphic interface that ships with Oracle Data Mining. This allows analytic modeling code to be written in 100% R with the tables and views in the Oracle database appearing as R objects directly. There is no need for modelers to write SQL - they can just write R code and manipulate the data in the database. This makes it easier for R programmers to access the database (no extracting the data to a file, no writing SQL) and the availability of data extends to Oracle OLAP Cubes that can also be accessed from the R code.
Performance is good with the approach for a number of reasons. First, with this set up, the database computing hardware is used and all the R packages are being executed on the database server. The approach further improves performance by allowing the data to be accessed without extracting or moving it. Finally all the ODM algorithms are available to Oracle R Enterprise so that R packages can use the ODM algorithms already deeply embedded and optimized for the Oracle database as well as the Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalytics machines.
Besides improving data access and performance for R, Oracle R Enterprise also allows a piece of R code that builds a model, makes a forecast or scores a customer to be treated as a database function.