According to Forbes, “businesses of all sizes-large and small- will be using some form of data analytics to impact their business in the next five years”.

Many industries have already started using big data analytics to uncover hidden patterns, correlations, trends and other insights. ‘R’ is perhaps the world’s most widely used tool by data scientists to perform statistical computing and predictive analytics.

‘R’ is a powerful, open source language that is extended through user-created packages. The ‘R’ programming language has been ruling the data scientists and statisticians in academia and in big companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft for many years.

R’ is the data expert’s language.

Its popularity has increased significantly in recent years, beyond the realm of data scientists with many business analysts and non-programmers have started to utilise the ‘R’ language tool.

With its capabilities and increasing popularity, other technology companies such as Oracle and IBM are now providing integration and commercial support for ‘R’.

Microsoft Embraces R: Towards Making R the Enterprise Standard for Cross-Platform Analytics

In April 2015, Microsoft announced the acquisition of a company called Revolution Analytics. Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President, Data Group, Joseph Sirosh, writing in an official Microsoft blog said “We are making this acquisition to help more companies use the power of ‘R’ and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics”. Revolution analytics was founded in 2007, to provide commercial support and services for ‘R’ and to drive adoption of ‘R’ in the enterprise. Its main product, Revolution R, was a distribution of ‘R’ with additional components and functionality for making ‘R’ work faster and better when analysing big data that resides inside Hadoop.

In January 2016, Microsoft announced the rebranding of the Revolution R Enterprise line as Microsoft R Server. Microsoft R server is now available and supported on several platforms such as Hadoop, Teradata database, SUSE Linux and Red Hat.

R Server is available on Windows through R Services in SQL Server 2016. A fully functional free edition of R Server, Microsoft R Server Developer Edition, is also available for testing and development purposes. Students can also get a free version of R Server for academic use with the Microsoft DreamSpark program. Microsoft continues to support the free distribution of ‘R’ with Microsoft R Open, which was previously known as Revolution R, to fulfil its commitment to support for the open source ‘R’ project and ‘R’ community.

With new distributions and enterprise support for the ‘R’ language becoming available today, R you ready to leverage data analytics?

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Microsoft R Server

SQL Server R Services


Narges Mahammadi, Consultant, rhipe Solutions