Available Now: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 4

Service Pack - @SeniorDBA

Microsoft’s SQL Server development team has delivered the final service pack release for SQL Server 2012. This latest service pack is now available for download on the Microsoft Download Center and will be available to Visual Studio Subscriptions, MBS/Partner Source, and VLSC. SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 4 (SP4) contains a roll-up of released hotfixes as well as more than twenty improvements centered around performance, scalability, and diagnostics based on the feedback from their customers and the SQL community.

SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 4 includes:

  • All fixes and Cumulative Updates (CUs) for SQL Server 2012 up to and including SQL Server 2012 SP3 CU10.
  • Scalability and performance improvements for SQL Server.
  • Additional monitoring capabilities through enhancements in DMV, Extended Events and Query Plans and the ability to clone the database including statistics with DBCC CLONEDATABASE.
  • New improvements based on Connect feedback items filed by the SQL Server Community.
  • Some of the improvements originally introduced in SQL Server 2014 SP2 and SQL Server 2016 SP1.

Continue reading “Available Now: Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 4”

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Free Download: SQL Server Management Studio 17.3

SQL Server

SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is an integrated environment for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server. SSMS combines a broad group of graphical tools with a number of rich script editors to provide developers and administrators of all skill levels access to SQL Server.

Microsoft has announced the latest release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) in October. This release features improved compatibility with previous versions of SQL Server and a stand-alone web installer.

Get it here:

Continue reading “Free Download: SQL Server Management Studio 17.3”

10 Facts About Deploying Microsoft Office 365

O365 - @SeniorDBA

Microsoft Office 365 is a popular choice for enterprises that want a cloud-based suite of productivity and collaboration applications. The latest version of Office 365 gives you access to online Microsoft Office solutions anytime and anywhere on multiple Operating System platforms.

Microsoft’s marketing description of Office 365:

Microsoft Office 365 now includes Office 2016 and gives you the full Office experience. With access to the latest Office applications as well as other cloud-based productivity services, whether you need Office for home, school, or business, there is an Office 365 plan to meet your needs.
Our Office 365 subscription plans include Office 365 Home, Office 365 Personal, Office 365 University, and Office 365 for Mac. With each plan, you can install the 2016 versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote (Access, and Publisher are also included only for PC users). When a new version of Microsoft Office is released, you’ll get instant access to it so your applications are always up-to-date – and because Office 365 is optimized across your devices it’s easy to get anywhere access to your stuff on your laptop, phone, tablet and more.

Continue reading “10 Facts About Deploying Microsoft Office 365”

Understanding StorSimple

StorSimple - @SeniorDBA

Microsoft is selling an appliance named StorSimple, that can be used for archiving files, a network backup target, or even as a file server. Microsoft bought the company named Xyratex, a former subsidiary of Seagate, to acquire this solution. This appliance was originally not very useful, because:

  • It shared storage via iSCSI only so it didn’t fit well into a virtualization stack, especially Hyper-V which has moved more to SMB 3.0.
  • The file storage engine that decided which files stayed local vs. were moved to the Azure cloud was almost useless.
  • The physical appliance required space in your server rack, when virtualization is the focus for most solutions.
  • While the box was free, it did require a purchase of an enterprise agreement and paying for moving files out of Azure as some files were accessed.

Microsoft has improved StorSimple over the years and now the product is much more useful.

Continue reading “Understanding StorSimple”

SQL Server 2017 – Windows, Linux, and Docker

SQL Server 2017 - @SeniorDBA

SQL Server 2017 is available as a Release Candidate (RC2, August 2017) and Community Technical Preview (CTP) , which represents a step towards making SQL Server a platform that gives you more choices when it comes to development languages, data types, and operating systems by making it available the to Linux users, as a Linux-based Docker containers, and traditional Windows users.

New features as described by Microsoft: Continue reading “SQL Server 2017 – Windows, Linux, and Docker”

11 Hidden Windows 10 Tips and Tweaks

Windows 10 - SeniorDBA

All the features of Windows 10 aren’t as obvious as they should be, and that includes the tips and tweaks that make the powerful operating system easier to use. In this article by Howard Wen, we learn the details of 11 lesser-known ways to make Windows 10 better.

1. Delete your previous Windows version installation

2. Know how to sign out of Windows 10 

3. Pick whatever accent color you want

4. Use the new delay timer in the Snipping Tool 

5. Change Edge’s default search engine from Bing to another one 

6. Delay automatic updates over Wi-Fi 

7. Record video clips using the Xbox app

8. Remove the OneDrive folder from File Explorer 

9. Pin Windows apps to the desktop

10. Access all Windows 10 settings under one user interface

11. Uninstall default Windows apps

 

You can read the entire article to see all the details.

Microsoft researchers on what to expect in 2017 and 2027

Future Technology - SeniorDBA

Predicting the future can be difficult. You can see what is possible today, but something unexpected can happen tomorrow that can quickly change the future. When predicting the future of technology, it is critical to get the opinions of those people already working on future technology, like the folks at Microsoft Research.

This article provides the comments from various members of Microsoft Research.

What will be the key advance in algorithms for machine learning in 2017?
Deep learning is transforming many aspects of our technology, however deep learning algorithms today are still largely heuristic, based on the experience and intuition of leaders in the field. In 2017, we will develop a more principled understanding of deep learning and hence more robust algorithms. The insights here will come from many fields, including the intersection of statistical physics and computer science.

What will be the key advance in virtual reality in 2017?
In 2017 we will see the emergence of virtual reality devices that feature better body tracking. A positive outcome of this will be the ability to experience embodiment of virtual avatars from a first-person perspective.

What will be the key advance in artificial intelligence and machine learning in 2017?
In 2017 computer games will take center stage in the development of AI. Experimentation platforms based on games, such as Project Malmo — which my team and I have developed to enable AI experimentation in Minecraft – will allow for rapid testing of new ideas. I am especially excited about the potential for collaborative AI. We are now at the point where we can start to understand how AI can learn from us and collaborate with us to help us achieve our goals.

What will be the key advance in mathematics and cryptography in 2017?
New mathematical solutions allowing for computation on encrypted data will be deployed to protect the privacy of medical and genomic data for patients and hospitals.  The new homomorphic encryption schemes will secure the data while allowing the cloud to compute on it to make useful risk predictions and provide analysis and alerts. Homomorphic encryption will be deployed soon in the financial sector to protect sensitive banking data.

What will be the key advance or topic of discussion in programming languages and software engineering in 2027?
By 2027, the majority of software engineers will be facile in programming systems that reason about estimates and produce models with statistical methods.  This sea change will deliver applications that seamlessly integrate sensors, machine learning and approximation to interact with human beings in entirely new, meaningful and correct ways.