In-database R coming to SQL Server 2016

May 15, 2015

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

R is coming to SQL Server. SQL Server 2016 (which will be in public preview this summer) will include new real-time analytics, automatic data encryption, and the ability to run R within the database itself:

For deeper insights into data, SQL Server 2016 expands its scope beyond transaction processing, data warehousing and business intelligence to deliver advanced analytics as an additional workload in SQL Server with proven technology from Revolution Analytics.  We want to make advanced analytics more accessible and increase performance for your advanced analytic workloads by bringing R processing closer to the data and building advanced analytic capabilities right into SQL Server.  Additionally, we are building PolyBase into SQL Server, expanding the power to extract value from unstructured and structured data using your existing T-SQL skills. With this wave, you can then gain faster insights through rich visualizations on many devices including mobile applications on Windows, iOS and Android.

With this update, data scientists will no longer need to extract data from SQL server via ODBC to analyze it with R. Instead, you will be able to take your R code to the data, where is will be run inside a sandbox process within SQL Server itself. This eliminates the time and storage required to move the data, and gives you all the power of R and CRAN packages to apply to your database.

At last weeks' Microsoft Ignite conference in Chicago, SQL Server program managers Lindsey Allen and Borko Novakovic demonstrated a prototype of running R within SQL Server. (A description of the intergration begins at 57:00, and the demo at 1:05:00, in the video below.)  In the demo, Lindsey applies a Naive Bayes classification model (from the e1071 R package) to the famous Iris data, using the same R code used in this Azure ML Studio experiment.


SQL Server 2016 is the first Microsoft product to integrate Revolution R (and there are more exciting announcements on that front to come — stay tuned). This also brings R to other Microsoft products via their native SQL Server integration, including Excel and PowerBI. Read more about the features coming to SQL Server 2016, including Revolution R integration, at the link below. 

SQL Server Blog: SQL Server 2016 public preview coming this summer

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