In an effort to not sound like a complete Microsoft fan boy, SQL Server 2016 has some seriously cool
additions. Not the least of these is the inclusion of a massive data analysis tool widely used throughout the
industry. This tool is called, simply, R. Some of you might be asking why Microsoft would possibly include
this tool, since it isn’t really a database thing as it is an analysis or graphing tool.
The reason, I think, is fairly simple to deduce: Microsoft is expanding their reach. It seems to me that
R is a great way to do that. The inclusion of R Tools as a part of the Visual Studio toolset and the SQL Server
database instance will most definitely be a game changer for SQL Server development. It used to be where
the database developer would have to prepare the data to be consumed by some service for analysis; not
anymore. R Tools for Visual Studio (RTVS) allows the user to either prepare their scripts in Visual Studio, or
directly in SQL Server Management Studio. Although this isn’t recommended by Microsoft, it is still possible.