The R programming language is something that I cannot ignore anymore. The language is designed especially for developing statistical software and the language is very popular among data analysts. R implements many linear and non-linear algorithms and allows you to develop additional components in C, C++, Java and so on.
Looking at existing projects, libraries, books, you can find that R has the same popularity as Python among statisticians. At the same time, Python has strong support from Microsoft and other organizations. That is why I missed a very important news last year: Microsoft Corporation completed the acquisition of Revolution Analytics. The Revolution Analytics was founded in 2007 and it is the first company that provides commercial support for the R programming language. Let’s see that is happened since that time.
Azure Machine Learning Engine supports R
Microsoft Azure Machine Learning engine allows you to use Azure environment to train and evaluate machine learning models and publish them as web services to make prediction. The engine contains lots of ready to use blocks that allows you to select data columns, change columns’ properties, train your model using different algorithms and so on. However, if you want to implement your own blocks, you can use the R programming language.
In the current version of the Machine Learning engine, you can simply execute R scripts that can do anything with your data. Additionally, you can implement your own algorithm in the R programming language that you can use to train your model.
SQL Server 2016
SQL Server 2016 contains R services that allow you to execute R code directly in SQL Server. It allows you: to reduce data movement between SQL Server and an analytic engine, to use familiar Transact-SQL to execute R scripts and use returned data from R modules in stored procedures, to use some parallel and indexing features to increase performance for large datasets. In order to get more information about SQL Server R Services, I would recommend to visit the following link.
Visual Studio tools
Finally, Microsoft announced R Tools for Visual Studio.
The tools support IntelliSense, Debugging, R console, Variable Explorer, Plotting, Extensions and other features. Additionally, you can use Azure Machine Learning SDK that you can use in order to get access to datasets and manipulate them in Azure.
So, today we can see not just a programming language but tools and various engines that support the language. And it’s just beginning.
Two days ago, Satya Nadella delivered Data is the new electricity keynote at the Data Driven event. Looking at the keynote and other announcements, I can see big shift from Win forms/Web forms coders to data analysts. Today, it’s not enough to have access to data, you have to analyze and interpret it. Therefore, the R programming language is a great tool that can help you save much time.