Microsoft pushes R, SQL Server integration

Microsoft made another R-in-the-enterprise push today, announcing Microsoft R Server 9.0 with a goal of helping companies "operationalize" data science.

Users will be able to create models within R, deploy results to SQL Server and turn them into Web services, several Microsoft officials said during a demo this morning. The goal is to make it easier to incorporate data-analysis results in applications that do things like predict airline delays or improve e-mail marketing campaigns.

"R models do not have to be translated from R to the language of the Line of Business application," according to Microsoft.

A publishServices function to generate a Web service will be a feature across Microsoft R, not just the paid products, a Microsoft spokesman said via chat. "The operationalization of these models was the biggest challenge our clients surfaced."

The company also unveiled a machine-learning package for Microsoft R Server 9.0, MicrosoftML, that is currently available for Windows and SQL Server. Linux and Hadoop support is coming next year.

Microsoft machine learning is available in SQL Server 2016 CTP1, which also includes a new sqlrutils package that generates SQL stored procedures to deploy R scripts within SQL Server.

The company has posted templates on GitHub to demonstrate how to use machine learning with SQL Server 2016, as well as a detailed explanation of the Marketing Campaign Optimization template.

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