BACKGROUND: Stores Automated Systems, Inc. (SASI) designs, develops, manufactures, markets and supports innovative, integrated point-of-sale systems, checkout systems and targeted loyalty and marketing programs. SASI's Targeted Customer Marketing Business Unit develops fully customized business intelligence systems which enable companies to build one-to-one marketing relationships with customers by identifying them individually, differentiating them from other customers, interacting with them more cost-effectively and providing a customized path to relevant products and services.

PLATFORMS: Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 running on an Intel Pentium 200 MHz or comparable processor and monitor supporting 1024 x 768 resolution. The SDK product supports access from programming environments such as Microsoft Visual C++ or Microsoft J++ with COM interfaces.

PROBLEM SOLVED: SASI is using KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK from ANGOSS Software to create vertical data mining solutions that automate the model creation process.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: SASI is in the early stages of integrating KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK, but so far it is functioning very well. Developers are pleased with the product and demonstrations at industry shows have been well received.

STRENGTHS: The ANGOSS KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK is an ideal business intelligence environment for companies looking to create vertical data mining applications. From the integration with the data warehouse or data mart to management of the data mining (modeling) stage, KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK provides the functionality required for our current and proposed development within the retail industry.

WEAKNESSES: Lack of support for the data preparation stage of data mining requires a lot of pre-processing time before the data can actually be used within KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK. However, it was known going into this project that the current strategy of ANGOSS regarding data preparation is to allow tools such as SQL Server 7 and Access do this job, rather than duplicating the functionality within KnowledgeSTUDIO.

SELECTION CRITERIA: The major reason for selecting KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK is the advanced architecture that provides SASI with a data mining framework to build vertical solutions. The KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK allows the reuse of the data mining engine and the visual components of KnowledgeSTUDIO to vertical applications. It also allows for new data mining algorithms to be easily added.

DELIVERABLES: The KnowledgeSTUDIO SDK allows you to produce state-of-the-art data mining applications either alone or in combination with existing data mining and analysis applications.

VENDOR SUPPORT: The ANGOSS technical support staff is very knowledgeable and provides very efficient service.

DOCUMENTATION: The SDK documentation is very good, but it would be very beneficial to have documentation that provides more in-depth sample application code for the SDK.

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