Microsoft widens tools for Azure SQL databases

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During the Pass Summit in Seattle this week, Microsoft revealed a number of new tools and serves designed to help companies better bridge the gap between their own on-premise SQL databases and the company's Azure cloud database offerings

These new tools are aimed at aiding companies in managing Azure cloud databases, SQL Server 2017 databases and hybrid setups that combine the two.  An update to Microsoft's Power BI business analytics tool was shown off as well.

With these new updates, Microsoft will create a cloud-only service with the power businesses need while also providing support for organisations that want to continue to use their on-premises systems fully or partially.  

The company also showed of a new 'lift and shift tool' in private previews called Azure Database Migration Service.  This service will help businesses move their on-premises SQL, MySQL and Oracle Database servers to Microsft's Azure making it easier for them to move their databases to the cloud. 

The company also revealed that there have been some difficulties when it comes to convincing companies and developers comfortable with SQL server to adopt some of the new features currently available in its Azure and hybrid databases such as integration with machine-learning tools

The general manager of Microsoft Database Systems Engineering, Rohan Kumar noted that convincing developers to adopt these new features would be challenging, saying: 

“We are going from static queries to machine learning and AI, how do you make that seamless to developers?  How do you make that journey where what you have to learn is close to minimal?” 

The company though has added integration with Python and R scripts into SQL Server 2017 to make it easier for developers to better integrate machine learning into their databases. 

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