Simplify Data Management with Azure Data Studio

By | Azure
Azure is well known as one of the industry’s leading cloud providers, offering exceptional security, business management, and analysis tools in affordable packages. In this article we take a look at one of the best tools for editors and DBAs, the Azure Data Studio. This resource, formerly known as SQL Operations Studio, is a platform for building and editing your SQL queries with useful tools and an intuitive UI. If you are looking for a tool to seamlessly integrate your query editing with your database management, look no further than Azure Data Studio. This cross-platform tool makes managing your database, objects, and queries easier than ever. Initial Release and Rebrand – This product was released for public preview nearly 2 years under the name of SQL Operations Studio, and last fall was released for general availability (GA) under the new name, Azure Data Studio. Some customers questioned whether the Azure heading would pose problems for on-prem SQL infrastructures. The answer is no. Microsoft is dedicated to supporting all instances of SQL Server and related database products, including on-premises and hybrid infrastructures. This means that whether you are hosting on site SQL Servers or utilizing the Azure Cloud infrastructure, you can (more…)

Migrating from SQL Server to Azure

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, SQL Server
Extended support for SQL Server 2008 has ended, and there is no better time to consider a migration to Azure. Continuing to run business applications and workloads on an unsupported platform will open you up to unnecessary vulnerabilities and potential legal issues. The risk is just not worth it. If you have been holding out for fear of complicated processes, there’s good news, Microsoft is making it easier than ever to migrate to Azure and take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, including scalable resources and always up-to-date security features. With a trusted database solutions partner, your migration can be quick and painless. Check out this guide for more information about migrating from SQL to Azure. Why Migrate – If you are on SQL Server 2008, the answer is clear. Migrating is a must to stay on top of your database health and security. Now you may be asking, why can’t I just upgrade to Server 2019? You absolutely can. But this time is a perfect opportunity to minimize the impact of a cloud migration to reap the benefits of hosting your workloads in a cloud or hybrid environment. Utilizing the Azure cloud allows for scalable database solutions and (more…)

Is SQL PaaS Right for You?

By | Azure
With the arrival of the new year, you might be considering how SQL Server can better fit your company’s growth in 2019.  SQL Platform as a Service (PaaS) could be a viable option for managing essential database operations. With PaaS, your SQL Server workloads would run as a hosted service in the cloud with most database management functions maintained by the cloud service provider instead of your IT team. Top Reasons to Consider PaaS Operates completely within the cloud. PaaS provides developers with an environment to develop and deploy applications entirely within the cloud. This includes complex enterprise applications your company may need to solve business problems and simple cloud-based applications. Scaling is easy. You can pay-as-you-go. Service providers allow you to take advantage of advanced development tools as you need them, giving you more value at an affordable rate. Your bottom line increases. You no longer need to purchase software licenses, application infrastructure, or development tools. Finally, your development team can have the opportunity to focus on managing the applications and services they create while the cloud service provider manages the rest. Decrease coding time. The development tools PaaS can provide include some pre-coded application components (i.e., security features, directory services, workflow, etc.) (more…)
Database Consulting

What are Data Clusters and What Can They do For You?

By | Azure, SQL Server
Learning to effectively manage large datasets is key to optimizing your data analytics. Using data clusters can help optimize your data management. It involves grouping data points with similar characteristics into the same cluster to speed up processing time and improve analysis. Consider starting an analysis project on customer spending habits by gender in different regions. Your time on the project would be maximized if you’re able to use statistical techniques to automatically organize the data into logical groups prior to analyzing. How do data clusters work? Data clustering allows you to partition large volumes of structured and unstructured data/observations into logical groupings. One way it does this is by analyzing all of the data in the data warehouse and comparing each data point with clusters created. You rely upon the clustering algorithms to sort and cluster the data in a logical way. In a perfect world, all data points in the same group should be highly similar in nature, while data points in different groups should be dissimilar. There are several different models and algorithms that guide the clustering process. Here are a few: Hierarchical Method: This method creates separate successive clusters using specific criteria. Partitioning Method: This method (more…)

What’s New in Management Studio Version 17.6

By | SQL Server
Microsoft continues to make great strides in improving SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS). Version 17.6 comes with some impressive new features and bug fixes that enhance your user experience. Azure SQL Database Managed Instance Users If you’re using the newly developed Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, a new model of Azure SQL Database, you should definitely consider upgrading to SSMS v 17.6. One of the most notable changes is the added support for some of its most common management scenarios. After you complete the upgrade, you can expect a much more efficient support process if you encounter issues with the following: Databases – Creating, altering, backing up, and restoring databases are all fairly common tasks in database management, which makes their processes easy to support. Object Explorer – All technical issues that arise while using Object Explorer to manage objects in each SQL Server instance are eligible for support. SQL Linked Servers – You can relax when using Linked Servers to connect to other database instances on a remote server, same server, or an entirely different machine. The SQL Tools Team has you covered. SQL Agent Jobs – Your automated execution jobs/tasks usually consist of several steps. Any disruption can (more…)

How to Make Power BI Work for You

By | Database Technology Trends, SQL Server
If you’re searching for software that will enhance your analytics process while making it simpler and more flexible, Power BI is worth looking at. It provides tools that the non-technical users on your team can use to perform analytics with minimal help from the IT team. You can create intuitive models, data visualizations, and dashboards and share them with whoever you want. What is Power BI? –Power BI is a cloud-based analytics software service consisting of a combination of tools (i.e., visualization, self-service data analysis, etc.) that allows users to connect to multiple data sources—no matter where the data resides— and create customized, coherent insights. It’s not exactly new since many of its components were in the market prior to its 2015 release. For instance, Microsoft released Power Pivot as an Excel add-on in 2010. This tool alone is a game changer as it gives analysts the tools to import large volumes of data, create relationships between the data, and perform powerful analysis using PivotTables and Pivot Charts. Using Power BI, you can further manipulate these datasets to perform more complex analyses. Utilize All Components of Power BI – Power BI consists of many components. Users find some more useful (more…)

Make the Most of Microsoft SQL Server with Management Studio

By | SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Servers are an industry leading choice for your workloads, but if you are not using Management Studio you may be making things harder for yourself. The additional service is designed to integrate with your SQL database engine and improve object management, database queries, and other management functionality. What is Management Studio? – SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) was originally released with SQL 2005 and helps users access and manage their SQL instances. It is an integrated management interface that allows you to access your SQL Server, manage objects, write scripts and perform queries with a number of tools and features. It combines tools from Enterprise Manger, Query Analyzer, and Analysis Manager to get this job done. SSMS is easy to use with an intuitive User Interface (UI) and familiar design built on Visual Studio and will help improve your team’s management of SQL Server objects and elements Object Explorer – The interface is intuitive and makes accessing and managing your databases simple and efficient. The Object Explorer is a hierarchical navigation tree that allows you to locate and act upon objects in your environment. These objects can be databases, tables, etc. You can click through the tree to (more…)

We’re Excited About SQL Server 2019, Here’s Why

By | Azure
Microsoft SQL Server 2019 is out in preview and it’s got some exciting new features. When Microsoft announced the release at their Ignite 2018 conference on Sept 24th, we couldn’t wait to see what was in store. This newest offering will continue to build on the solid foundation of SQL servers while expanding offerings of flexibility and further embracing big data by adding support for Kubernetes, Apache Spark, and Hadoop clusters. Embraces Big Data – Probably the biggest change to SQL 2019 is the ability to manage big data clusters. Big data has always been a bit of a gap in the arsenal of Microsoft’s SQL servers, but not anymore. With SQL 2019, Microsoft is fully embracing big data with Kubernetes. Kubernetes is an open-source container-based platform that represents exciting new possibilities for this SQL engine. With SQL on Kubernetes you will be able to can create high availability solutions with Linux containers and manage multiple data sources all in one place. Manage Relational and Non-Relational Data – The new engine can query data from a number of different sources, including relational and non-relational data storage. Microsoft has built in native support of Apache Spark and Hadoop Distributed File System (more…)

What You Need to Know to Migrate Your Oracle Database to the Cloud

By | Oracle
Many organizations are making the switch from on-prem to cloud databases. These cloud native warehouses can provide more reliable and timely access, cost-efficiency, and automated backup and recovery. If you are using any on-premises version of Oracle Database, you might want to consider whether moving to the Oracle Database Cloud is right for your company. There are numerous migration methods, and the process can be very simple when you work with an expert. Try reviewing these key factors prior to selecting a migration method and save yourself some additional time. Know Your On-Premises Operating System/Platform and Version – Ensure you have a full understanding of the platform your company is currently working on along with the version. Are you using Windows, Mac OS, or Linux? There are some operating requirements that will be applicable depending on the migration method you are interested in adopting. Know Your On-Premises Database Version & Cloud Database Version – Are you currently using Oracle Database 11g, 12c CDB, or 12c Non-CDB? Depending on your response and the cloud version you are transferring to, Oracle has multiple migration options for you to choose from. For example, a move from on-premises Oracle Database 11g to Oracle Database (more…)

3 Top Analytics Tools To Boost Your Productivity

By | Azure, Database Technology Trends, Oracle, SQL Server
Data analytics have become a major focus for companies determined to be competitive in the market. Leaders need to be able to access and analyze timely data quickly to help drive business decisions that will sustain their companies’ competitive advantage. Thankfully, the growing technology market continues to make this possible. Companies already have numerous analytics tools to choose from, and the options will continue to grow. We will now discuss three of the top analytics tools you should consider before making your next strategic move. 1. Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS) – SSAS is an innovative processing and data mining tool within the Microsoft SQL Server. It analyzes large amounts of data, provides business intelligence reports, and can be used to create business models to support business decisions. All data is stored within a data warehouse, and users can access to create cubes that allow faster analysis. These cubes are multi-dimensional and can be viewed in various ways. Imagine the data as a pivot table that can be modified using certain dimensions and attributes. Multi-dimensional expression (MDX) is the language used to query a cube. Compared to other leading analytics tools, Microsoft SSAS is less complex and much easier (more…)