capsule review

JMP 4

At a Glance
  • SAS Institute JMP 4

    Macworld Rating

SAS Institute's JMP bucks the ported-from-minicomputers look of most statistics packages by offering a distinctively modern interface, and version 4 of this Mac statistics favorite offers an even more convenient tabbed interface and a powerful new scripting language.

JMP 4 organizes tests into convenient, tabbed menus. Under the Modeling tab is a new section of tests-for-time series. Under Data Handling, data tables provide more classification tags than before, and the program supports direct import of ODBC data. More significant for industrial users is a greatly expanded Design Of Experiments section.

The single most important new element, however, is a C-like scripting language that lets you use JMP to automate the test-report cycle. In addition to its value in testing and report generation, JMP's scripting language offers potent matrix commands that let you program custom statistics procedures in just a few lines of code.

Traditional statistics programs, which display menu test lists in the same order as standard textbook chapters, are generally a bit easier for beginners to use. But JMP's approach is logical, and with a modest amount of experimentation most users will soon find their way.

At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Flexible scripting language
    • Industrial-strength Design Of Experiments section

    Cons

    • Menu organization presents challenging learning curve
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