Microsoft conducted a live event called Microsoft Data Amp to announce a number of key features and releases for SQL Server on premises and data platforms in Azure (such as Azure SQL DB and Azure Data Lake). Some of these include features that I have been waiting to see. Here are some of announcements that I am excited about.
Microsoft Data Platforms
Intelligent – Trusted – Flexible
On-premises & Cloud
SQL Server 2017
Yes. Microsoft has officially announced that SQL Server vNext is SQL Server 2017. The marquee feature being released in SQL Server running on Linux. But this also shows Microsoft is increasing its innovation efforts with SQL Server with an even shorter time between releases.
CTP 2 of SQL Server 2017 has been released today and includes an number of analytics features such as support for graph processing and graph queries. It will be the first commercial database with built in support for AI and deep learning database applications using R and Python scripts. Check out all the database engine improvements.
Azure SQL Database
Microsoft is bringing even more symmetry between the on-premises product and the PaaS product. The goal is to support upgrades or migrations to Azure SQL DB with minimal effort and no changes. Here are some of the features that are coming to Azure SQL DB soon:
- Support for SQL Agent
- 3-part names
- Service Broker
- Cross-Database and Cross-Instance querying
- CLR & R Services
- SQL Profiler
- Native backup-restore
- Log shipping
- Transactional Replication
These features will definitely bring more parity to the platforms. A number of these features are key for some of my clients to move to Azure SQL DB.
Migration Project for Azure SQL DB
Whether you have SQL Server, Oracle, or MySQL, you should be able to migrate your database to Azure SQL DB in “five simple steps”. While a great tool, I am interested in exploring this more with Oracle in particular. You can create a project in Azure that let’s you choose the source database and platform and target a Azure SQL DB then move the schema and load the database. While I am skeptical on the full capability of this solution, I look forward to exploring it more.
Azure Analysis Services is GA
The last topic I am going to bring up is Azure Analysis Services. This service is now GA which brings a great service to the PaaS space in Azure. Check out the capabilities here.
Microsoft announced much more than I highlight here including tighter AI integration into the data engine, R Server 9.1, and planet scale Document DB. Check out the Microsoft Data Amp site for more videos on what’s coming to Microsoft’s data platforms.
Thanks for attending my session on window functions in TSQL. I hope you learned something you can take back and use in your projects or at your work. You will find an link to the session and code I used below. If you have any questions about the session post them in comments and I will try to get you the answers.
The presentation can be found here: A Window into Your Data
The code was put into a Word document that you can get here: TSQL Window Function Code
This session is also backed by an existing blog series I have written.
T-SQL Window Functions – Part 1- The OVER() Clause
T-SQL Window Functions – Part 2- Ranking Functions
T-SQL Window Functions – Part 3: Aggregate Functions
T-SQL Window Functions – Part 4- Analytic Functions
My Session: Using Azure SQL Database for Enterprise Needs
On 10/6/2015, I presented on Azure SQL Database at TechFuse Minnesota. Some of the highlights from the session included a comparison of the various SQL Server offerings and how Azure SQL Database fits into the overall picture. During the session we also discussed the importance of V12 and elastic databases (still in preview) for the enterprise environment. I was also raised and discussed the cloudy concerns including data safety, data compliance, data privacy and business continuity. With the ongoing changes Microsoft makes in this space, expect more changes to come. However, even today you can be successful using Azure SQL Database for your enterprise needs.
The presentation can be found in PDF format here.
Microsoft has a wealth of documentation which can be found here: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/services/sql-database/.
Questions from the Session
How are upgrades handled in Azure SQL Database?
Most upgrades to Azure SQL Database are seamless to us. However, they have made changes over the years which have required some intervention. One such change was the move from Web and Business Service Tiers to Basic, Standard, and Premium. In this case Microsoft provided a lot of guidance around the process and it was very easy to do in most cases. The most recent instance was the move to V12. Once again Microsoft provided the upgrade path in documentation. Both upgrades could be handled in the portal. However, V12 was a significant change so groups needed to do more testing prior to an upgrade.
Microsoft’s Azure upgrades for Azure SQL Database over the past couple of years: https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/updates/?service=sql-database.
Can we use Point in Time Restore to recover a table or to recover to a new database?
Point in Time Restore allows us to recover databases to specific points in time. Each service tier has different amounts they retain: Basic-7 days, Standard-14 days; Premium-35 days. Azure SQL Database always recovers the database to a new database. This means you can either “swap” the database once it is recovered or move the items you need to recover from the new database. One word of caution, you need to have the DTU capability to run both databases on the server to support the restore capability. Be sure to plan the recovery process and clean up when you have completed your recovery.
Thanks again to everyone who could attend this year.
Until the next session …