Did you take a vacation recently amidst nature? Did you join the weekend trekking group to hear the chirping sound made by young small birds?

 Tweeting in the modern world does not hold the same meaning. The new form of tweets are opinions expressed by humans and followed by interested parties. A film celebrity could be followed by all in general; whereas most of us would follow friends and family to understand what their opinions are and stay connected in our thoughts.

This popular medium is being put to use to have a conversations with “#” tags. Recently, we did a similar tweet session and invited questions from SQL developer community. The hash tag of interest for future such sessions is “askmsdevs”.  With a word limit set of 140 characters, not all questions could get a detailed answer. Below are some excerpts from the chat

 @harikichan, a novice wanted to know the difference between Azure and SQL Server.

SQL Server is an on premise database for holding all relational objects. Generally tables are designed with required relationship to efficiently store and retrieve data.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud platform on which we can run a number of different applications including SQL Server.

Database applications can be taken to cloud using 3 different techniques

  1. Move your entire Virtual machine to the cloud using Infrastructure as a Service (Hardware as a Service).
  2. Move only your data to the cloud by using SQL Azure i.e. using SQL Azure as “Platform as a Service”.
  3. Subscribe to an available service using Software as a Service model.

Evaluate Azure trials and subscriptions available with msdn to explore. Azure is the next big thing and
we would encourage you to deeply get hands on with it.

For a basic introduction read here - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/data__knowledge__intelligence/archive/2013/05/10/sql-azure-an-introduction.aspx

Follow up from @harikichan was the absence of SQL Server jobs on Azure.

Inside a Virtual Machine on the cloud we could install and use SQL agents .i.e. IaaS. All work loads of BI such as SSIS, SSAS and SSRS can be used within VM on the cloud. In platform service SQL Azure, we have these restrictions. However you can move and sync data between cloud and on premise servers.

@Varinder_Sandhu, an IT professional had quite a few questions on DBA activities. His questions were all around the backup, high availability and disaster recovery.

Starting with SQL 2012, ALWAYS ON was introduced. Before that there were a number of options available such as log shipping, replication, clustering and mirroring. Most of these scenarios could not fail over automatically. Example: If log shipping was being used, DBA would have to backup the tail log and apply it and then bring up the secondary, it would not come up automatically

Snap shot replication was a very heavy resource consumer. In all these scenarios the secondary would act only as an insurance and would come up only when the primary was unavailable.

ALWAYS ON introduced in SQL 2012 allowed up to 4 backups, which has now been enhanced to support 8 ACTIVE secondary servers, which means that secondary servers remain availablefor reporting, back up and such other activities as a read only database. Latency between 2 servers which are less than 40 kms apart is 0. If they are in different geographic locations, network speed and setup results in almost zero
latency.

The other advantage of ALWAYS ON is “Availability group”. If multiple databases are involved in an application and if one of them fail, all in that group will fail and secondary server takes over and this happens automatically.

We would recommend that you read more about it and try implementing the same. If any questions do reach out to us and we will help you

@karthikbv402 wanted to know about the differences between SQL 2012 and SQL 2014.

Perfect, gave the chat time a good question to discuss at length. Trying to provide a few highlights of the new release below:

  • New In-Memory OLTP Engine
  • ALWAYS ON – 8 secondary servers – Secondary is read able even when it is not connected to primary
  • Back up directly to Azure
  • Column store indexes can be updated

 You can download and install from here:

 http://www.microsoft.com/en-in/server-cloud/products/sql-server/Try.aspx#fbid=_EPk3c8OHRx

Follow blogs below for details of new features available:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/saponsqlserver/archive/2014/01/16/new-functionality-in-sql-server-2014-part-2-new-cardinality-estimation.aspx

http://www.brentozar.com/archive/2013/06/almost-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-next-version-of-sql-server/

 @siddarthpaim wanted to discuss the support offered by databases to build apps.

Windows Store is the fastest growing platform and supports both Phone and tabs / laptops.  There are many data apps in store and almost all apps need some kind of support for data. In order to build store apps, SQLite is now being supported by Windows Store.

 @Aakash006sharma discussed data explorer. Glad to talk about Power BI. In Excel 2013, we can bring in additional data from different sources using Power Query previously called data explorer; build a model with data in excel i.e relationships between different tabs, hierarchy using PowerPivot. We can build powerful visualizations such as interactive dashboard using PowerView and add geographic
visualization using PowerMap.

 @simplymaanasJ is an active member of the Bangalore SQL user group. This is a very active group and meets at least once a month sometimes for a few hours and on other occasions a complete day of prominent speakers. It also discusses and helps SQL community by actively discussing questions, solutions and best practices.

Manas spoke of Bigdata and Microsoft’s offerings in the arena in the form of HDInsight.  @VinodKumar answered all his questions referring to the latest “Analytics Platform Services”. Refer
to link here for details - http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/products/analytics-platform-system/#fbid=_EPk3c8OHRx

Thank you all once again for your valuable time and participation. We would look forward to more interactions next time.  We enjoyed answering your questions too.