Microsoft builds out data platform with SQL Server update

Microsoft Corp. has unveiled its plans for its data platform by rolling out a number of new services – and one of them is an update to its SQL Server.

On Tuesday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was in San Francisco to show off the company’s newest version of its popular database program, branding it as SQL Server 2014. This edition of SQL Server comes with built-in in-memory technology across all data workloads, allowing users to manipulate millions of records at once. It also provides the ability to scale for the public cloud, and it taps into Microsoft Azure for disaster recovery.

SQL Server 2014 also allows users to tap into a natural language search query feature. Users can ask questions and expect answers in regular language, and they don’t have to be well-versed in data analytics to do it. The goal is to allow anyone who knows how to use an Excel spreadsheet to be able to use SQL Server 2014 to ask for insights from their data.

This latest update comes as Microsoft pledged to do more with its data platform and to help its customers leverage “ambient intelligence.” In a post for Microsoft’s official blog, Nadella defined this as the ability for devices to “listen to us, respond to us, understand us and act on our behalf, we enter into an entirely new era.”

“We believe that with the right tools, insights can come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. When that happens, organizations develop what we describe as a “data culture,”’ he wrote. “However, a data culture isn’t just about deploying technology alone, it’s about changing culture so that every organization, every team and every individual is empowered to do great things because of the data at their fingertips.

“This is especially true when every employee can harness the power of data once only reserved for data scientists and tap into the power of natural language, self-service business insights and visualization capabilities that work inside familiar apps such as Office.”

Microsoft also plans to integrate the Microsoft Azure Intelligent Systems Service with its data platform. The new Azure service allows customers to manage, and capture data from connected sensors and devices, no matter which operating system they’re using. Touted as “the Internet of Things cloud service,” Microsoft is putting this particular service into limited preview for the public.

The company also announced its Analytics Platform System is now available to the public, and it will bundle both its SQL Server and open-source Hadoop technology into one big data-focused offering.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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