Azure Vidyapeeth webinar: Introduction to Azure Machine Learning

Today I had the privilege to speak at the Microsoft India Azure Vidyapeeth webinar series – it was an introductory session on Azure Machine Learning – which is Microsoft’s cloud-first offering in the Machine Learning space.

Those who attended live, thank you for your interest; and those who wish to view the recording can do so at their own leisure by visiting the above link and registering for the ‘Introduction to Azure Machine Learning’ session. You will then receive and email with directions for downloading the slides and for viewing the webinar.

At this moment I also wanted to share some key links for those interested to get started with Azure ML:

  • Azure ML Studio – here on the right side you can actually avail of the ‘free’ tier for Azure ML where you can explore all the features without having to purchase a full Azure subscription and neither do you need a credit card.
  • The Azure ML team blog is an invaluable resource to stay abreast of what’s happening on the service front. They are constantly adding new features and fixes, and the blog is where key announcements are made.
  • Once you get started and play around with Azure ML, you can visit the MSDN forum to get community support. Paid support is available as well.
  • The Azure ML documentation is actually very useful and rich. I strongly recommend taking a look!

That’s it for now; in case you have any follow up questions to my presentation feel free to leave comments – I will take a look and get back!

Beware: Compatibility Level 90 is no longer available in SQL 2014

This is a quick, perhaps Level 200 post – a rarity on my blog Smile but I am seeing this so often that I think it important to get this out there.

Those who are running databases with compatibility level 90 in SQL Server 2008 / 2012 need to be aware that there is no more support for level 90 in SQL Server 2014. The SSMS 2014 UI is a bit confusing in this respect, because it does show you the option to set level as 90:

image

But when you try to actually change this to 90, it fails:

Msg 15048, Level 16, State 3, Line 1
Valid values of the database compatibility level are 100, 110, or 120.
Msg 5069, Level 16, State 1, Line 1
ALTER DATABASE statement failed.

This information is indeed documented in Books Online: “When a database is upgraded to SQL Server 2014 from any earlier version of SQL Server, the database retains its existing compatibility level if it is at least 100. Upgrading a database with a compatibility level of 90 sets the database to compatibility level 100. “

Call to action to everyone who plans to upgrade to SQL Server 2014 and is running a database on compatibility level 90 is to thoroughly test with compatibility level as 120 (or perhaps 110 if you feel the changes in the cardinality estimator will warrant more testing in your workload case) before you upgrade. Both functional and stress testing must be done. Once the testing is signed off, you can confidently do the upgrade in production with the higher compatibility levels – 120 (recommended; subject to testing outcome) or 110.

My team of Premier Field Engineers within Microsoft Services can also be of help to your upgrade efforts and help detect and mitigate risks related to upgrading to the current version. Do engage us if you need help!