2014, New Year For SQL Server{1}


The next step in Microsoft’s Relational Database Management System looks promising for efficiency and speed in transaction processing. Microsoft recently held a community technology preview for the massive project and this is what was found. SQL Server 2014 will come with their new In-Memory Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) feature called Hekaton that is a built in part of the database system. Hekaton works by selecting data that is being read or written more frequently and moves it into the server’s working memory. It allows for the priority data to be quickly accessed and ready for transactions or updates on the fly. By enabling this Hekaton optimization, it detects which data should be used by the working memory and optimizes the specified data into main memory. Integrity of the data is maintained by writing any transactions to a separate log file in case of system outages. Beyond just the increased speed, companies can expect to see a saving in cost as Hekaton would reduce the computational requirements necessary to get data processing done, which would require less servers and hardware.

Another beneficial process of the Hekaton feature is its ability to write data without having to lock the tables of the database. In the past, if data needs to be updated then the table page would be locked as the individual row is being changed or updated. With SQL Server 2014, the table page will not need to be locked which will allow for more concurrent changes to the database in various places at once. An example of this benefit could be seen with a retailer that sells inventory throughout the day but their database can only do one batch processing update to the server daily. With OLTP, the retailer will essentially be able to update the database in real time without any delay in their transactional processing system.

Excel will also see an upgrade with the new SQL Server 2014. Various small companies and people around the world associate Excel with types of relational databases and so Microsoft has introduced the new PowerPivot feature. This tool, designed for the end user, allows for easier visualization and analysis of data. Along with Power Map and Project Data Explorer, people are able to dive deeper into their databases and investigate relational trends or data analysis.

One of the final improvements that can be expected in the new SQL Server 2014 is the upgrade and introduction of tools in the realm of Enterprise Information Management (EIM). With tools for Data Quality Service and Master Data Services, there will be enhanced reliability and integrity in the hierarchy of data for servers and the reliable end to end connection of this data for relationship purposes.

Overall the new SQL Server 2014 functions seem to have a profound impact on the efficiency of transactions and updates to any current relational database. It was mentioned how one of the early users of the technology, Bwin, was able to dramatically increase their numbers of transactions for their online gaming company from “15,000 transactions per second to 250,000 transations per second”. Obviously this significant improvement leads to an increase in sales and revenue for the company. It provides an example of the capabilities of the new Hekaton software in the field of databases and how it can greatly benefit companies that heavily depend on database transactions. Microsoft’s SQL Server 2014 is scheduled for release in the first half of 2014, at which point we will be able to see the resulting benefits of its more massive implementation in the relational database environment.

In regards to CIS 305, we have yet to cover SQL and using SQL with databases but it will be an integral part of our curriculum and we can benefit from learning the field ahead of time. Some of us may work using SQL in the future and then the SQL Server 2014 could become a part of everyday routine.

 

Sources:

Kline, K. (2013). Upcoming business intelligence enhancements in sql server 2014. Database Trends and Applications, 27(4), 51.

Jackson, J. (2013, June 5). Sql server 2014 hastens transaction processing. Retrieved from http://news.techworld.com/applications/3451076/sql-server-2014-hastens-transaction-processing/

Henschen, D. (2013, October 16). Microsoft sql server 2014: Final countdown. Retrieved from http://www.informationweek.com/software/information-management/microsoft-sql-server-2014-final-countdown/d/d-id/1111953?