Passionately curious about Data, Databases and Systems Complexity. Data is ubiquitous, the database universe is dichotomous (structured and unstructured), expanding and complex. Find my Database Research at SQLToolkit.co.uk

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing" Einstein

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

The Wait is Over: SQL Server 2016 General Availability and Tools

SQL Server 2016 is generally available today. The release blog provides more details. The full featured Developer Edition is free. This can be downloaded
The generally available release of SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) is annouced today. It provides a means for accessing, configuring, managing, administering, and developing all components of SQL Server. SSMS combines a broad group of graphical tools with a number of rich script editor. It features improved compatibility with previous versions of SQL Server, a stand-alone web installer, and toast notifications within SSMS when new releases become available.

The SQL Server 2016 RTM build is 13.0.1601.5. SSMS 2016 has a build number of 13.0.15000.23.

SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT) for Visual Studio 2015 is now generally available.

SSDT can be  downloaded for free to build SQL Server relational databases, Azure SQL databases, Integration Services packages, Analysis Services data models, and Reporting Services reports.

The SQL Server 2016 free e-book can be downloaded. It  covers

  • Mission-Critical Performance: Chapters cover faster queries, better security, higher availability, and the improved database engine.
  • Deeper Insights Across Data: Chapters cover the broader data access, increased analytics, and better reporting in SQL Server 2016.
  • Hyperscale Cloud: Chapters cover the improvements in Azure SQL Database and how to expand your options with SQL Data Warehouse.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New Sample Database: Wide World Importers

Microsoft have replaced the the Adventure Works Sample Databases. There was Pubs, then Adventures Works and now Wide World Importers. Wide World Importers is a sample database that both illustrates database design, and how SQL Server and Azure SQL Database features can be leveraged in an application.

The sample database represents a typical database. The Wide World Importers database can be used for  transaction processing (OLTP - Online Transaction Processing) and operational analytics (HTAP - Hybrid Transaction and Analytics Processing). There are sample queries, processes for ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) that migrates data from the transactional database WideWorldImporters to the data warehouse WideWorldImportersDW and descriptions that show how to leverage SQL Server features for analytics processing.

Applies to: SQL Server 2016 (or higher), Azure SQL Database
Features including: Core database features, PolyBase, nonclustered columnstore index, Row-Level Security
Workload types: OLTP, OLAP, IoT, Analytics, Operational Analytics
Programming Language: T-SQL, C#

Sunday, 8 May 2016


SQLBits XV was held between 4 -6 May 2016 at the Exhibition Centre in Liverpool. It was the official UK launch event of SQL Server 2016 which will RTM 1st June. There were lots of amazing sessions held for the first time in domes.

The keynote was delivered by Joseph Sirosh, the corporate vice president of the Microsoft Data Group. His keynote entitled the unreasonable effectiveness of data. A paper was written by Alon Halevy, Peter Norvig, and Fernando Pereira of the same titleJoseph Sirosh mentioned the future effectiveness of data and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the 1st astronomy datascope. A take away was that there are many new data services and R should be the language to learn. 

There were many sessions covering the new features of SQL Server 2016 on both the BI and administration side. A highlight for me was the training day on data science by Buck Woody and using the Cortana Intelligence suite. 

The Cortana Analytics Suite big data and advances analytics process

The Azure IaaS and PaaS Services are embedded into these services.

U-SQL is another new language that allows you to query unstructured data. Michale Rys delivered a very informative session on Azure Data Lake and U-SQL. The traditional data warehousing approach is

  The new Data Lake approach

 The slides are http://www.slideshare.net/MichaelRys

 There are many new features in SQL Server 2016 and many new data features in Azure.

Monday, 2 May 2016

SQL Server 2016 General Availability

SQL Server 2016 will be generally available on 1st June 2016. The SQL Server 2016 editions will include Enterprise, Standard, Express, and Developer.  SQL Server 2016 Developer edition will be free to download.

The SQL Server 2016 preview details .

Friday, 22 April 2016

Database Research and Data's Journey

The first TechNet UK blog post was entitled Management of Database Systems Research and was a prĂ©cis of the database research I am undertaking. A comic strip was included telling the story of Data and the path that lead to starting the database research.  

My research journey has progressed and my new blog post crosses the boundary between academia and the industrial world of database systems. Data reprises his role taking the reader through the research journey and methods used.

Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Microsoft SQL Server Developer Edition is now free

SQL Server 2014 Developer Edition is now a free download for Visual Studio Dev Essentials members

SQL Server Developer Edition is for development and testing only, and not for production environments or for use with production data.