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 . Microsoft Data Platform MVP

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

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Azure Synapse Microsoft Build Announcements

Apache Spark 3.0 runtime is now available .It has various advantages

  • Performance improvements
  • Adaptive query execution
  • Dynamic partition pruning
  • ANSI SQL support
  • Enhanced Delta Lake support

NVIDIA GPU Acceleration for Apache Spark in Azure Synapse Analytics is available in private preview. Azure recently also announced support for NVIDIA’s T4 Tensor Core Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) which are ideal for deploying machine learning inferencing or analytical workloads. 

Azure Synapse Analytics for data engineers is a new learning path covering streamline pipeline development, orchestrate data integration and simplify security and management.

There is also a new getting started toolkit

Microsoft Build May 2021

The Microsoft Build conference is running 25-27 May 2021. It is the digital event to expand your skills. The aim is to innovate for the challenges of tomorrow.

Satya Nadella talked again about how the world will be transformed through tech intensity and the importance of the environment. Microsoft aim to be the platform for platform creators and are releasing 100+ new updates during Build. The next generation of apps will be proactive rather than reactive.  We are at a pivotal time, multi cloud, multi edge, people centred which enables us to address opportunities to empower us and empower the world. It was another inspiring keynote.

There was a raft of announcements of new technology and enhancements to applications.

The general availability of Azure Cosmos DB Serverless was announced along with other Azure Cosmos DB enhancements.


Azure SQL ledger capability adds tamper-evident capabilities to Azure SQL Databases, available in Preview. Azure SQL Ledger is for sensitive systems enabling rich analytics and is enterprise ready.

Pytorch Enterprise is on Azure 

Azure Database for PostgreSQL has various features

Azure Purview now supports Azure Database for MySQL and Azure Database for PostgreSQL as a source for metadata, classification and lineage extraction

You can read about all the announcements in Harness the power of data and AI in your applications with Azure

Power BI has announced various features which can be read here Posts categorized: Announcements

My favourite announcement is Power BI in Jupyter notebooks . The new package lets you embed Power BI reports, dashboards, dashboard tiles, report visuals or Q&A in Jupyter notebooks easily.

The Microsoft Build 2021 Book of News covers all MS Build announcements. 

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Ethics Self-Assessment Tool

 The ethics self assessment tool helps researchers use an ethics framework throughout their research.

This tool helps shapes discussions and highlights ethical issues. The questions it makes researchers ask is what should be done. Biases in AI research can cause harm or disproportionately weight outputs. Potential biases could come from data sources, methods employed and in the outputs and how the results are interpreted. The framework is here. 

Microsoft is investing in helping with understanding ethics in the business and research arena. The Microsoft ethical rules are based on 6 principles.  To get started with that holistic approach to AI and learning go to the AI Business School for Artificial Intelligence

The principles of responsible AI from Microsoft are

  • Fairness - should treat all people should be fairly
  • Reliability & Safety -  should perform reliably and safely
  • Privacy & Security - should be secure and respect privacy
  • Inclusiveness - should empower everyone and engage people
  • Transparency - should be understandable
  • Accountability - People should be accountable for AI systems 

  • Saturday, 15 May 2021

    Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

    Nature is the theme for mental health awareness week.  Take a moment to yourself and connect with nature. We did a scavenger hunt to help us be motivated to get out into nature. Things to look out for   

    • A footprint
    • An oak leaf
    • A post-box
    • A bench
    • An interesting cloud
    • Most colourful wild flower
    • Most usually shaped tree
    • Most spectacular view
    • Most interesting animal/bird
    • Something that makes you smile

     Getting out and about is important and this is what our team have been up to

    Sunday, 9 May 2021

    SQLBits Replay Sessions


    SQLBits are taking a novel approach to help encourage people to continue their learning journey. SQLBits are sharing their last virtual conference sessions publicly as they normally do but with a twist. Normally videos are only on the SQLBits site. They are now also on YouTube. In addition to this on the SQLBits spatial replay platform they are enabling group viewing each and every Thursday supported by a Q&A session presented by the speaker live. 

    The platform that is being used has a number of themed breakout rooms and a main stage where the recorded session will be streamed. Each session being shown is about 1 hour and this is followed by live Q&A by the speaker of the session.

    Moving around the platform is great as it allows you to drift in and out of conversations as if you were walking round the conference hall. It is great to have that opportunity to chat with the presenters and attendees about the sessions. 






    Thursday, 6 May 2021

    Innovate Today with Azure SQL

    Microsoft organised a digital event to explain how to build an effective cloud database management strategy that responds to today’s changing business requirements and tomorrow’s opportunities. The event built on the premise that the first adopted step has been a straightforward “lift and shift” to virtual machines (VMs). The Azure SQL digital event was on 4th May 2021: Innovate today with Azure SQL

    Azure services power out-of-this-world solutions

    A.I. Intelligent by default, AzureML and Cognitive Services

    Hybrid Operational freedom, Azure Arc

    Infrastructure Linux and Windows VMs

    Data Choose the database that meets your workload’s needs

    Apps App service, Azure Kubernetes services (AKS)

    Tools Developer productivity, Azure DevOps

    Fuelled by the best database for your workload

    • Azure PostgreSQL
    • Azure MySQL and MariaDB
    • Azure SQL Family
    • Azure Cosmos DB
    • Azure Cache for Redis