Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Is SQL Server first RDBMS with built-in AI

My question will be how that can be possible ?  Can adding support for Python and naming the service as SQL Server machine learning services make it the first RDBMS with built-in Artificial intelligence?  I thought AI is a broader field than adding Python support. Am I missing something here ?That will make me experiment with this release more

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

SQL Server 2017 New Feature (my pick)

The following are few of the many features that SQL server 2017 introduced or improved. The list is not exhaustive list but the one I thought was interesting.

Adaptive Query Plans

This is very interesting. As we all know Microsoft introduced a concept of Query store feature in SQL Server 2016. Query store is integrated in SQL server 2016 and can capture query runtime information. Before query store was introduced we use plan cache to review and analyse execution plan. However, a restart of SQL server will wipe out all plan cache. Hence Microsoft introduced Query Store. But, Adaptive query plan takes this functionality further. With Adaptive query optimization in SQL server 2017, SQL server can evaluate the runtime of a query and compare with the current execution to the query that was performed in previous runs. If it finds a better plan, it can improve the execution plan for the next run. However this change will be incremental and conservative. Looks like in the future with the AIs help, the task of performance tuning can be handled by the system itself. I think, the DBA’s need to watch this space and learn a lot. I am sure, as we know this feature will get better over time.

Analytics changes
One of the major feature of SQL server 2016 was integration of R services into SQL server database engine. SQL server 2017 takes step further and enhanced the analytics by adding support for Python as the second language. As you all know Python is a powerful language and widely used by data scientists, analysts, developers and statisticians. It can leverage external statistical packages to perform data manipulation and statistical analysis within a T-SQL environment now. The service is now renamed from SQL server R services to SQL server Machine learning services.
 Changes to Cloud

Database as a service offering from Microsoft was lacking some compatibility as compared to on-premise or in an Azure VM version of SQL server such as cross database query and many more. The new solution to the problem is a new offering that combines platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS). This solution now supports cross database query and is a wonderful for Independent software vendors to migrate their solutions and I think is a smart move by Microsoft to enhance this feature.
Introduction of Graph database within core database engine
Graph databases are overlooked in many ways. But it should be looked as the next generation of relational databases. In graph database resulting data models are much simpler and at the same time more expressive. I am not going into detail of what a graph database and how it is structured however adding support for graphical database within SQL server database engine is remarkable but as always we need to give it some time before it mature. But, that doesn’t stop being excited about this feature. Graph databases are normally well suited for mining data from social media and complex relationship. I cannot wait to play with this added functionality.
Resumable online index rebuild
Another feature that caught my attention is resumable online index rebuild. How many times we are caught with starting a large table index rebuild and not able to complete? I would say many DBA’s came across plenty of times. This new feature allows you to resume an online index rebuild operation where it is stopped after a failure. It will allow you to pause and later resume the operation too. I will definitely look at this feature and investigate if I can use it as soon as I upgraded to SQL 2017
And many more --
 * Tempdb Setup Improvements
  * Improved Backup performance for small databases on high end servers
   * DBCC CLONEDATABASE Improvements
   * SQL Server agent support for Linux
The list goes on ...




Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Red-gate launched new product (SQL-Clone)

Could this be the solution for the problem we were facing of replicating production database into different environments(dev/test/reg/uat and etc) without using expensive tools. You can try it yourself by downloading 15 day trail version from red-gate. I tried when it was beta version but the slick interface that is out now is much better.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Gartner Magic Quadrant for operational database management systems (2016)

Microsoft has come so far in the last 15 years from being the under dogs to become the market leaders in database market. As of October 2016 Microsoft is the leaders in Gartner Magic Quadrant for operational database management system. Any area mostly reserved for the likes of Oracle, SAP and IBM.

Saturday, July 02, 2016

SQL Server Management Studio – July 2016 Release

The first monthly update release of SSMS following the release of SQL Server 2016 is now available. The update added the feature I personally was waiting for.  The following are few of the highlights that was mentioned during the announcement. 

  • Support for Azure SQL Data Warehouse in SSMS. This is good news indeed. 
  • Support for PowerShell script generation in the Always Encrypted wizard
  • Improved connection times to Azure SQL databases
  • New ‘Backup to URL’ dialog to support the creation of Azure storage credentials for SQL Server 2016 database backups
  • New Restore dialog to streamline restoring a SQL Server 2016 database backup from the Microsoft Azure storage service.

and some bug fixes too. I cannot wait to play with Azure SQL Data Warehouse using the new SSMS release