SQL SERVER 2014. Enhancements, Bussines Intelligence and Big Data

James Braselton

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SQL Server 2014, the latest complete information platform from Microsoft, embodies the new era of Microsoft’s Cloud OS, which provides organizations and customers with one consistent platform for infrastructure, apps and data that span customer data centers, hosting service- provider data centers, and the Microsoft public cloud. The benefits that customers experience with a consistent platform include common development, management, data, identity, and vir- tualization, no matter where an application is being run. SQL Server 2014 also offers organizations the opportunity to efficiently protect, unlock, and scale their data across the desktop, mobile devices, data centers, and a private, public, or hybrid cloud. Furthermore, SQL Server 2014 builds on the success of SQL Server 2012 by mak- ing a strong impact on organizations worldwide with significant new capabilities that are tightly aligned to the trends transforming the IT industry, including Microsoft’s Cloud OS. SQL Server provides mission-critical performance for the most demanding database applications while de- livering the highest forms of security, scalability, high availability, and support. SQL Server 2014’s mission is to deliver faster insights into big data, small data—all data—and, most importantly, deliver business intelligence in a consumable manner through familiar tools such as Microsoft Excel. Finally, SQL Server 2014 enables new unique hybrid-cloud solutions based on the Cloud OS. These solutions can positively affect an organization’s bottom line and allow an organization to create innovative solutions for its database applications. Microsoft SQL Server 2014 is the next generation of Microsoft’s information plat- form, with new features that deliver faster performance, expand capabilities in the cloud, and provide powerful business insights. In this book, we explain how SQL Server 2014 incorporates in-memory technology to boost performance in online transac- tional processing (OLTP) and data-warehouse solutions. We also describe how it eases the transition from on-premises solutions to the cloud with added support for hybrid environments. SQL Server 2014 continues to include components that support analysis, although no major new features for business intelligence were included in this release. However, several advances of note have been made in related technologies such as Microsoft Excel 2013, Power BI for Office 365, HDInsight, and PolyBase, and we describe these advances in this book as well. This book is for anyone who has an interest in SQL Server 2014 and wants to under- stand its capabilities. Many new improvements have been made to SQL Server 2014, but in a book of this size we cannot cover every improvement in its entirety—or cover every feature that distinguishes SQL Server from other databases or SQL Server 2014 from previous versions. Consequently, we assume that you have some familiarity with SQL Server already. You might be a database administrator (DBA), an application de- veloper, a business intelligence solution architect, a power user, or a technical decision maker. Regardless of your role, we hope that you can use this book to discover the features in SQL Server 2014 that are most beneficial to you.