Microsoft launches SQL Server 2016 to simplify analytics

The update means analytics happen where the data is stored, offering a more secure and efficient method of processing data

Following months of trials and beta testing, Microsoft has released SQL Server 2016, making it easier for companies to analyse data they hold in the cloud.

The key change in this iteration is the deep-seated integration of the R programming language that is used for data science to make it easier and more secure for companies to analyse the data they hold where it is stored, rather than having to move the data, then analyse it, then move it back.

"The integration of advanced analytics into a transactional database is revolutionary," Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data Group, wrote in a blog post that explains how SQL Server 2016 works.

"Today a majority of advanced analytic applications use a primitive approach of moving data from databases into the application tier to derive intelligence.

"This approach incurs high latency because of data movement, doesn’t scale as data volumes grow and burdens the application tier with the task of managing and maintaining analytical models. And deep analytics on real-time transactions are next to impossible without a lot of heavy lifting," he added.

He explained this new method makes updating machine learning models, deploying new models, and monitoring their performance can now be done in the database without recompiling and redeploying applications, boosting the efficiency while also ensuring the processes are highly secure because the data is not moving.

Sirosh claimed SQL Server 2016 will mean insights can be gleaned up to 100 times faster compared to models deployed outside of the database, making it an attractive option for organisations needing to analyse data quickly.

Microsoft said the cost of SQL Server will remain the same, despite substantial performance boosts, which will come as welcome news to those looking to move to the database software.

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