Monday, June 22, 2015

SQL Azure - SQL Server Database to Azure.

Microsoft with the change in leadership at the top, there has been a lot of push for cloud related offerings from Microsoft. One of the components of the cloud suite is SQL Azure which is the cloud based offering of the SQL Server Database system. With the advent of smartphones and increased used of apps in phones, there is a need for having a cloud based database. There are lot of folks using different cloud based offerings for the database, one of my colleagues has launched an app which uses the SQL Azure database. It is possible that folks could use a sql server initially to develop the database and then copy the database over to SQL Azure. Here is a link on how to SSIS to copy a sql server database to SQL Azure.
To quote the article: When migrating a SQL Server database to Microsoft Azure SQL Database, the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard in an easy way to create a SQL Server Integration Services package to transfer data. The package can then be modified to add more robust error handling and retry logic.

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/azure/jj156152.aspx

Monday, June 8, 2015

DataZen-Microsoft

Datazen is a Mobile product that allows BI on Mobile as per the website: Datazen Windows 8 app enables dashboard creation and publishing based on Excel, cloud and enterprise data sources. After publishing to a Datazen Server, dashboards and KPIs are accessible on any device via its native app, or through any major browser. The Mobile app can be downloaded for ios/andrioid and windows phones. For example: I downloaded the Datazen app on my andrioid smartphone. Once the app is downloaded when I launched the app, it connects to a demo server. The App pulls down a set of demo KPI and dashboards. This provides an overview of the type of dashboards that can be built with DataZen. Recently Microsoft has acquired Datazen, this would enable Microsoft to provide a robust BI offering in the mobile space. Datazen server requires Windows Server,IIS and .NET as the prerequisites. Please look at the image for a sample of what is possible with the Datazen tool.

The Datazen link is : http://www.datazen.com/overview/, all the details are available here.
 
There is a detailed blog on capabilities of Datazen by SQL Server Expert: Melissa Coates at her blog site: http://www.sqlchick.com/entries/2015/6/3/prototyping-layout-and-design-with-datazen. This blog post specifically talks about Prototyping and Design with Datazen.

Monday, May 11, 2015

SQL Server and R Integration...

One of the most popular languages in the Data Science Paradigm is the R language, there are plenty of resources and online classes being offered with respect to the R language. Once of the main advantages with the R language is that it is open source and can be downloaded on multiple platforms such as windows/Mac/Linux, also there is a very popular IDE for R called the R-Studio. SQL Server has been expanding to get into different domains one of them now being is Data Science. in SQL Sever 2016 there are lot more integration promised between R and SQL Server. In the mean time there are ways to integrate between R and SQL Server, here is a blog article on Simple talk by SQL Server Expert Feodor Georgiev, the article is titled: Making Data Analytics Simpler: SQL Server and R.
https://www.simple-talk.com/sql/reporting-services/making-data-analytics-simpler-sql-server-and-r/.
The article also provides a brief overview of the R language.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

SQL Server 2016 Preview...

I am not sure if I have dug enough into SQL Server 2014 but SQL server 2016 Preview is coming this summer. The pace at which technology has been evolving in DB/BI space has been amazing.
Here are some of the Features mentioned to be available in SQL Server 2016:
1. Always Encrypted:
2. Stretch Database
3. Real Time Operational Analytics & In-Memory OLTP
4. Built-in Advanced Analytics, PolyBase and Mobile BI

Additional capabilities in SQL Server 2016 include:
  • Additional security enhancements for Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking to round out our security investments with Always Encrypted.
  • Improvements to AlwaysOn for more robust availability and disaster recovery with multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing.
  • Native JSON support to offer better performance and support for your many types of your data.
  • SQL Server Enterprise Information Management (EIM) tools and Analysis Services get an upgrade in performance, usability and scalability.
  • Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to backup and restore your on-premises databases to Azure and place your SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure.
Please refer to the following link for the full details:
http://blogs.technet.com/b/dataplatforminsider/archive/2015/05/04/sql-server-2016-public-preview-coming-this-summer.aspx

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Data Discovery...

With a slew of tools and vendors coming in the BI Space, there has been one area of BI where there have lot of tools coming. It is the area of data discovery, there is a lot of interest in the business/technology users to discover/profile/analyze the data available. Prior to starting a project users are wanting to look at data available to make decisions on how to move forward. The tools that exists today like PowerBI from Microsoft provides the user a quick start into looking at the data. One of the vendors providing such data discovery and other related tools in the BI Space is BeyondCore. Here is the link for the website: http://www.beyondcore.com. BeyondCore has interesting capabilities like analyzing data within Microsoft Office, they call it the one click automated analytics within Microsoft office. Some of the features claimed by BeyondCore that is not in other virtualization products are:
1. One Click Data Cleansing
2. One Click Hypothesis Free Analysis.
3. Diagnostic and Predictive Analysis.
4. Collaborative Analysis
5. Animated Briefing.
The whole set of advantages are listed here in this link below:
http://www.beyondcore.com/advantages/
There are lot of discovery tools out there along with BeyondCore. The important thing is can these Data Discovery tools answer the questions that the Business/Organizations have  about the data that would be the determining factor.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happenings in Microsoft BI...

There have been lot of movements, happenings going on in the Microsoft BI space. There is lot of developments happening in the Power BI/Self Service BI Space. Please see the blog post below from BI Expert Jen Underwood: She has summarized the happenings and she also writes very good articles in the BI/Analytics Space.
http://www.jenunderwood.com/2015/04/23/april-microsoft-bi-world-news/

Monday, April 13, 2015

Power View - Analyzing Data...

There have been lot of buzz about Power BI/Power Viewer  and its use for Self service BI, also the options to connect to different data sources have been increasing. Here is a link below which discusses use of PowerView tool for analyzing cricket data as part of the world cup series. It is a fun experiment but at the same time provides insight into how PowerView works.
http://blogs.office.com/2015/04/03/cricket-world-cup-fever-analyzing-the-data-with-power-query/