SQL Server 2016 launch showcases R

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Microsoft officially launched SQL Server 2016 at the Data Driven event in New York City last week, and R featured prominently.

SQL 2016

One of the highlights from Joseph Sirosh's keynote was a demonstration of the World Wide Telescope, an online tool that allows budding astronomers (and professionals!) to explore the visible universe using imagery from the Digitized Sky Survey. The Survey contains images from thousands of galaxies that have not yet been classified by astronomers into one of the standard forms: elliptical, spiral, or lenticular. In the demo, the World Wide Telescope automatically classifies the galaxies in mere seconds:


The automated classification was based on a random forests model, using the manually-classified galaxies in the database as the training set. The model was trained and run using R (specifically, SQL Server R Services) running within SQL Server 2016. You can see the R code embedded within the T-SQL used in SQL Server in the screenshot below.


Notably, R wasn't the only open-source techology featured in this demo. In fact, the demo was running SQL Server on Linux, which is in preview now and will be available in 2017.

If you'd like to explore R and SQL Server in more detail, the launch also saw the release of a number of in-depth videos featuring many of the developers involved in the project. (While I had a small cameo in the Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation on some of the team involved in the project, the names below deserve much more credit for the R integration.) Click on the links below for the videos:

Official Microsoft Blog: SQL Server 2016: The database for mission-critical intelligence 


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