SQL Server 2016 and Azure Data Lake Announcements

SQL Server

There seems to always be new product announcements from Microsoft in recent months. Now Microsoft has announced several data-related offerings at the Professional Association for SQL Server Summit in Seattle late last month, including the next beta for SQL Server software and the public beta of its Azure Data Lake Store and Analytics services.

Version 3 of the SQL Server 2016 Community Technical Preview includes new support for SQL Server R Services, which brings the popular open source R language into Microsoft’s database software. That way, SQL database administrators can build applications for analyzing data, and data scientists can work with data close to where it’s being stored.

The technical preview update also includes a other improvements to previously released capabilities like SQL Server 2016’s Stretch Database feature. This feature allows companies expand their databases across both on-premises servers and Microsoft’s Azure cloud.

Azure’s Data Lake Store service (which was previously announced as just Data Lake), is now in public beta, along with the Data Lake Analytics service. Those two services, provided through Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, are designed to let companies handle large amounts of data, without requiring them to worry about how to architect the system for storing that data.

Data Lake Store is a Hadoop file system that allows users to feed in data of any size and format either from one big load or from an active stream of data. Once it’s in there, users can examine it using tools including the new Data Lake Analytics beta, an Apache YARN-based service that lets people examine data with U-SQL, a new language that combines C# and SQL.

Microsoft’s  Azure SQL Database has also gained public beta support for In-Memory OLTP and real-time Operational Analytics.

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