Proof of Concepts: Making Hard Things Easy with Azure

PROOF OF CONCEPTS: MAKING HARD THINGS EASY WITH AZURE Back when I managed my employer's enterprise architecture, prior to the days of virtualization and cloud computing, one of my most difficult projects was to build out a sandbox environment for a major proof of concept (POC). Locally hosted servers and all of the required licenses were expensive and scarce. If you're still struggling with scarcity when conducting research and performing POCs, I've got to tell you you're doing it wrong. READ MORE... Posted November 02, 2016 … [Read more...]

SQL Server Adds Even More New Features in Data Science

SQL SERVER ADDS EVEN MORE NEW FEATURES IN DATA SCIENCE One of the great promises of AI is contextual processing that come naturally to humans, such as understanding visual input and natural language. You can now get in on the new previews from Microsoft to accomplish these goals. Microsoft Cognitive Services is a collection of APIs that enable developers to tap into high-quality vision, speech, language, knowledge, and search technologies—developed through decades of Microsoft research—to build intelligent apps. READ MORE... Originally Posted October 07, 2016 … [Read more...]

SQL Server 2016 – The Cool is in the Tool (SSMS That is)

SQL SERVER 2016 – THE COOL IS IN THE TOOL (SSMS THAT IS) As a heavy user of other RDBMS data platforms, I have long appreciated the extra effort that Microsoft put into their data management and administration tool, the SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). While SSMS is an outstanding administration and T-SQL programming tool, it does have its minor qualms and quibbles. READ MORE... Originally Posted September 02, 2016 … [Read more...]

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...]

Machine Learning and the Microsoft Data Platform

MACHINE LEARNING AND THE MICROSOFT DATA PLATFORM If you're into data and databases and you have not heard the term "machine learning," may I suggest that you're not reading enough? This technology is hot and hyped, largely because it is the secret ingredient in many successful Big Data projects. Learn more. READ MORE... Originally Posted January 07, 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...]

Introducing the SQL Server Database Experimentation Assistant

INTRODUCING THE SQL SERVER DATABASE EXPERIMENTATION ASSISTANT There's a very handy new tool from Microsoft called the Database Experimentation Assistant (DEA). The DEA makes it very easy to conduct A/B testing for SQL Server upgrades, providing quantitative insight into the performance differences across two versions of a database workload on SQL Server. Learn more! READ MORE... Posted February 08, 2017 … [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...]