U-SQL and the Azure Data Lake

U-SQL AND THE AZURE DATA LAKE There's a new buzzword on the loose, the data lake. At first glance, a data lake could be easily mistaken for a data warehouse. The two big data concepts have a common focus on analytics and they may, in certain situations, produce roughly equivalent output. But that's about where their similarities end. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 12, 2016 … [Read more...]

Microsoft on the Ascent on Business Intelligence and Data Science

MICROSOFT ON THE ASCENT IN BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE AND DATA SCIENCE Microsoft has been on a tear for the past couple of years. It has been pushing forward with a very steady stream of powerful new features and capabilities, even entire product lines, within its Data Platform business. But while Microsoft has been hard at work on this deluge of new technologies, it would be completely forgivable if you haven't noticed. The reason it's OK is that Microsoft is advancing on multiple fronts, both in the on-premises product line and even more dramatically with the Azure cloud-based products. READ … [Read more...]

Powerful ETL Technologies in the Microsoft Data Platform

POWERFUL ETL TECHNOLOGIES IN THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM Microsoft first truly disrupted the ETL marketplace with the introduction of SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) back with the release of SQL Server 2005. Microsoft has upped the ante yet again by bringing to market powerful ETL features to the cloud via the Azure Data Factory, which enables IT shops to integrate a multitude of data sources, both on-premises and in the cloud, via a workflow (called a "pipeline) that utilizes Hive, Pig, and customized C# programs. READ MORE... Originally Posted March 03, 2016 … [Read more...]

Revisiting PASS Summit 2015

PASS SUMMIT 2015: THE AGE OF THE DATA PROFESSIONAL IS NOW The PASS Summit 2015, the largest conference in the Microsoft SQL Server world, was held in October in Seattle, WA. The event provided a look at key initiatives that Microsoft's SQL Server group has been working on and a glimpse of what's ahead for the future. READ MORE... Originally Posted November 09, 2015 … [Read more...]

New Releases for the Microsoft Data Platform

NEW RELEASES FOR THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM The Microsoft data platform team is on fire! It is delivering more updates and features faster and more thoroughly than ever before. If you're a data professional and you're using the Microsoft stack, this is a really exciting time to be involved. Here's a look at the top new capabilities in SQL Server 2016 Public Preview, SSIS Feature Packs For Azure, and Azure SQL Data Warehouse. READ MORE... Originally Posted July 08, 2015 … [Read more...]

DBTA – Big Data and Microsoft SQL Server HDInsight

  It’s time to follow up with a discussion of Microsoft’s cloud-centric approach to big data using HDInsight. MICROSOFT SQL SERVER AND BIG DATA IN THE CLOUD HDInsight is a 100% Apache Hadoop service, currently at v2.2, available through Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud offerings. HDInsight makes all of the standard features you’d expect from a Hadoop implementation—the HDFS/MapReduce software framework and related projects such as Pig and Hive—available in a simple, scalable, and fairly cheap cloud environment. Behind the scenes, HDInsight uses Windows Azure Blob storage to manage and … [Read more...]

DBTA – Microsoft SQL Server and the Big Data Play

  When it comes to implementing a big data strategy in a Microsoft SQL Server shop, you’re generally going to consider one of three strategies. In the first strategy, which I won’t be addressing today, you might choose to tackle your big data architecture by pushing your relational database to its scalability limits, perhaps by making greater use of special features such as SQL Server’s columnstore indexes and special optimizations for BI applications. Read the rest of this article … [Read more...]

Interested in Self-Service Analytics at the PASS Business Analytics Conference?

I don’t know if you’re planning to attend the PASS Business Analytics Conference. But you'll be missing a ton of great content especially for data, analytics, and business intelligence professionals. There's still plenty of time to register and, if you use my discount code – BABS2B – you'll get $150 off the conference registration fee.  There will be more than 60 sessions at the event by BA/BI experts from Intuit, Microsoft, SurveyMonkey, Wells Fargo, and more. Last year’s inaugural event was quite the shindig, bringing in around 900 business analysts, data scientists, architects, and BI and … [Read more...]

Hear the SQL Server 2012 story on DotNetRocks

I was privileged to have a chat with my buddies over at www.dotnetrocks.com, Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell, episode number 876 (876!). Listen to the most popular internet audio talk show for .NET developers!  Here's the abstract: Carl and Richard talk to Kevin Kline about the latest features in SQL Server 2012. The conversation starts out talking about the new features that developers will love, like windowing - no need for cursors anymore, you can request a window of records from a set and move easily window-to-window. Kevin also talks about the new column store index that is especially … [Read more...]

Timewarp: What Is a Relational Database?

Relational?!? Move On, Geezer! Maybe you're thinking that relational databases management systems (RDBMSs), like Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, are going the way of punched cards and rotary phones.  After all, there's been a lot of hype these days in the IT media about the rise of so-called NoSQL (Not Only SQL) databases.  Many new and upcoming CS and MIS graduates who like working with data might think that relational databases are, at best, soon-to-be legacy systems and, at worst, are a career dead-end. Wrong!!! It's true that all the cool-cat computing services (Amazon, Facebook, … [Read more...]