A preview of using Revolution R Enterprise inside SQL Server

October 14, 2015

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

by Andrie de Vries

The second week of SQLRelay (#SQLRelay) kicked off in London earlier this week. SQLRelay is a series of conferences, spanning 10 cities in the United Kingdom over two weeks. The London agenda included 4 different streams, with tracks for the DBA, BI and Analytics users, as well as a workshop track with two separate tutorials.

My speaking slot was in the afternoon, with the title "In-database analytics using Revolution R and SQL".

In my talk I covered:

  • A high level overview of R
  • Data science in the cloud
  • Connecting R to SQL
  • Scalable R
  • R in SQL Server
  • Moving your workflow to the cloud
Although the functionality of using R directly inside SQL Server will only be part of SQL Server 2016, Microsoft announced earlier this year that SQL Server 2016 will include Revolution Analytics. I expect that more information will be released during the PASS 2015 summit in Seattle at the end of this month.
In my talk I included 5 simple demonstrations.  The first 3 demonstrations appeal to the data scientist coding in R:
  • Connecting R to SQL Server using an RODBC connector
  • Using Revolution R Enterprise (RRE) in a local parallel compute context, reading data from a local file
  • Changing the compute context to SQL Server, and running the R code directly inside the SQL Server machine

The last two demonstrations demonstrate how to run some R code embedded in a SQL stored procedure:

  • Creating a very simple script that calls out to R
  • Using R to generate some data, in this case simply bringing some data in from the famous iris data set that is built into R.



The presentation is available on SlideShare:


Sample code

Here are the code samples I used in the demonstration:



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