How Mathematica made Wolfram|Alpha possible

Wolfram|Alpha is a major software engineering development to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone. It is developed with Mathematica and Wolfram Workbench, computed with gridMathematica, and deployed with webMathematica—in fact, Mathematica technologies have uniquely made Wolfram|Alpha possible. Here's why.

Develop with Mathematica and Wolfram Workbench, Compute with gridMathematica, Deploy with webMathematica

Development environment

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

A large-scale development environment for rapid, efficient, robust development by a large group.

...Mathematica and Wolfram Workbench deliver

Advanced debugging, refactoring, source control, and unit-test integration.

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Development environment

Computational knowledge and intelligence

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

A wide variety of computational capabilities.

...Mathematica delivers

The world's largest web of algorithms, all with built-in intelligence for their applicability and self-checking capabilities for accuracy.

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Computational knowledge and intelligence

Highly scalable grid computing

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

The ability to compute thousands of results at once, running tasks in parallel over multiple CPUs.

...gridMathematica delivers

An efficient and reliable cluster of local and remote computation engines for accessing a multi-terabyte database and performing thousands of calculations in parallel.

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Highly scalable grid computing

High-performance enterprise deployment

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

Massive scalability for handling thousands of queries per second through the web.

...webMathematica delivers

Robust, automatic server-deployment options that scale for high traffic and work seamlessly with modern web standards and services.

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High-performance enterprise deployment

Built-in, computable data

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

A wide variety of data that's readily computable, and a coherent way to add more.

...Mathematica delivers

A wide range of built-in data sources, fully integrated into its symbolic language and immediately computable—a great base for Wolfram|Alpha's many additional other sources.

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Built-in, computable data

One coherent architecture

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

One systematic way to load, hold, and work with every imaginable type of information—algorithms, data, and more.

...Mathematica delivers

A unique symbolic architecture that holds everything—data, graphics, programs, math—in a unified structure, yet is flexible enough to keep the original form of almost anything. This allows Wolfram|Alpha's programmers to always work from one structure.

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One coherent architecture

Smart method selection

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

The highest-level base of expertise from which to build linguistic understanding.

...Mathematica delivers

A separation of the task from the method so users don't need detailed algorithmic knowledge. The Wolfram|Alpha aim of natural language processing would be practically impossible without this base.

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Smart method selection

Dynamic report generation

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

Optimized look and feel for any computed result that needs to be delivered.

...Mathematica delivers

Document building on the fly with automated layout, aesthetic color choices, sizing and typesetting. Wolfram|Alpha programmers just need to pick the kind of output—Mathematica is smart about how to optimize look and feel.

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Dynamic report generation

Database connectivity

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

Flexible, efficient, easy-to-work-with access to terabytes of data.

...Mathematica delivers

Fully integrated, built-in connectivity that imports data as symbolic expressions, ready-integrated into the unified structure of Mathematica.

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Database connectivity

High-level programming language

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

An expressive way to program linguistic understanding and other expertise.

...Mathematica delivers

High-level functional programming with the world's most advanced pattern matching—making programs highly readable, literate, and efficient.

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High-level programming language

Efficient text processing and linguistic analysis

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

High-level and efficient text processing.

...Mathematica delivers

A wide range of built-in capabilities with automatic algorithm and method selection that delivers optimized performance.

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Efficient text processing and linguistic analysis

Wide-ranging, automated visualization capabilities

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

A way to visualize data, tree structures, graph layouts, and other dynamically generated graphics in the most aesthetically pleasing way.

...Mathematica delivers

Precision automatic plotting, scaling, layout, coloring, lighting, and other aesthetic optimization with no need to set methods or parameters. Wolfram|Alpha programmers specify the visualization output type and let Mathematica automatically "do its thing".

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Wide-ranging, automated visualization capabilities

Automated importing

Wolfram|Alpha needs...

An easy way to import the world's structured data and curate it.

...Mathematica delivers

Hundreds of import filters that automatically convert incoming data to Mathematica's symbolic functional structure for complete integration.

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Automated importing

Solutions for...

Science, engineering, biotechnology, finance, art, education, and more....
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