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.