The Journey to SQL Server 2019 – where does your own journey start?

[read this post on Mr. Fox SQL blog]

A couple of weeks back I presented the keynote at SQL Server Saturday Sydney, which was an absolute blast. It was my first keynote, so honestly I wasn’t quite sure what to talk about. Now I’ve been to many seminars, conferences, etc and seen many, many key notes – and so in the end I decided to have a bit of “light-hearted” fun and simply tell a story!

So I decided to talk about SQL Server – yes, I know its exciting – but moreso about how it is that we all got to be there in that very room that morning, listening to some guy present a keynote on SQL. And most importantly how everyone else in that room had their own related personal journey with SQL Server.

And so – this journey starts all the way back in 1989; 3 great friends got together one summer and built something AMAZING; SQL Server 1.0. And it ends some 30 years and 13 versions later with SQL Server 2019more amazing than anyone could have imagined when they cut that code all those years before.

So sit back, reminisce, and have fun!

Continue reading

Azure Service Logging in the Modern Data Warehouse

[read this post on Mr. Fox SQL blog]

The “modern data platform” architecture is becoming more and more popular as organisations shift towards identifying, collecting and centralising their data assets and driving towards embracing a “data driven culture“.

Microsoft Azure has a suite of best-of-breed PaaS based services which can be plugged together by organisations wishing to create large scale Data Lake / Data Warehouse type platforms to host their critical corporate data.

When working with customers going down the Modern Data Platform path I often hear very similar questions;

  • What is the most suitable and scaleable architecture for my use case?
  • How should I logically structure my Data Lake or Data Warehouse?
  • What is the most efficient ETL/ELT tool to use?
  • How do I manage batch and streaming data simultaneously?
  • …etc

While these are all very valid questions, sorry, but that’s not what this blog is about! (one for another blog perhaps?)

In my view – what often doesn’t get enough attention up front are the critical aspects of monitoring, auditing and availability. Thankfully, these are generally not too difficult to plug-in at any point in the delivery cycle, but as like with most things in cloud there are just so many different options to consider!

So the purpose of this blog is to focus on the key areas of Azure Services Monitoring and Auditing for the Azure Modern Data Platform architecture.

Continue reading

Machine Learning + DevOps = ML DevOps (Together at Last)

[read this post on Mr. Fox SQL blog]

For the longest time data science was often performed in silos, using large machines with copies of production data. This process was not easily repeatable, explainable or scalable and often introduced business and security risk. With modern enterprises now adopting a DevOps engineering culture across their applications stack, no longer can machine learning development practises operate in isolation from the rest of the development teams.

Thankfully – earlier this year Microsoft GA’d a new service called Azure Machine Learning Services which provides data scientists and DevOps engineers a central place in Azure to create order out of what can be a complicated process.

This blog post outlines the DevOps process when applied to ML. I have also presented on this topic several times, see My Presentation section here – https://mrfoxsql.files.wordpress.com/2019/10/azuremlservices_devopsworkflow.pdf

Continue reading

Azure Cognitive Services – Text Analytics API Application

[read this post on Mr. Fox SQL blog]

[UPDATED 7 JUN 2020 – ADDED NEW TEXT ANALYTICS v3.0 FEATURES!]

Just last week we had the fantastic opportunity to present at Microsoft Ignite 2017 in the Gold Coast on Azure Cognitive Services – and we had an absolute blast of a time!

I co-presented with Kristina Rumpff who works at Microsoft in the Data Platform team as a Solution Architect.  I focused on an overview of the suite of Azure Cognitive Services along with a deep dive into the Text Analytics service, and Krissy focused on the LUIS service coupled together with Azure Bots.

Fast Start to Azure Text Analytics Cognitive API’s

Leading up to, and since, the session I had a few people ask if there is anything pre-canned application wise which can call the Text Analytics API’s which they can just use.

The answer to that is kind of yes

However apart from that I didn’t find anything else out there which people can quickly leverage to do this for them… so I wrote one!

UPDATE:  I have since found this app handy myself when I need to quickly process a stack of once-off random text that someone sent to me for some other downstream reporting.  (…AND this was a good chance to learn more c# coding!)

And so, lets see the application code in action!

Continue reading