Friday, May 29, 2015

Workaround for the SQL Server 2016 CTP2 installation error

The installation is fully documented here and here.

It was noted previously that the installation did not succeed and several errors were flagged.

Looking at the errors it appears that the installation wizard may not have retrieved the username for Windows Autheenticaiton which it does automatically through the interactive windows assosiated with User/Group.

However looking around a workaround was found which seems to indicate that the SQL Server Installation Center program may have other bugs since installation did not succeed.

In the Services page of Control Panel the property of the SQL Server 2016 was changed to this. The original Log on as; was, This account with( .\Jayaram) and masked passwords.


This required stopping the server and starting again. When the server started the SQL Server Management Studio 2016 did not have any problem in connecting to the server with the same credentials (Hodentek8/Jayaram) displayed in the Connect to Server window.
The next picture shows Object Browser in the SQL Server Maangement Studio 2016.


Details of SQL Server 2016 Version installation


Errors Installing SQL Server 2016 CTP2

The installation goes nicely to completion but errors are flagged and the installation is incomplete. In this post which is continued from here, the errors are analyzed.

The feature selection page appears as shown here:


All features were selected.

Click Next. The processing takes place after a while the Feature Rules are rapidly checked and you are in Instance Configuration page as shown.


May2015 was chosen as the name of the instance and the respective directories for the SQL server; the analysis services and the reporting services are created as shown.


Click Next to open the Server Configuration page. Some processing page and after the Please wait.. window, the Server Configuration  page is displayed as shown (the default).


Since I just want to try it out, I will use the same Account Name and password (note this is not recommended).
For the SQL Server Agent, I choose to Browse for a name which brings up the Select User window.


I click Advanced button and in the Select User or Group window I   click Find Now button to reveal the search results and in the search results, I use the computer owner as shown and click OK..


The name gets into the Select User or Group window as shown.


Click OK and now you need to enter the password. 

Repeat the same for other services.The completed screen looks like the following:


The Collation tab shows the defaults (accepted)

Clicking Next takes you to the Database Engine Configuration page as shown. Click Add Current User or add other users. Here the current user has been added. The default authentication mode (Windows authentication mode) is assumed.


The Data Directories tab on this page shows the default locations of the directories which can all be changed. Here no changes are made.


The File Stream tabbed page is filled-in as shown:


Clicking Next will bring you to the Analysis Services Configuration Page as shown. The default Server Mode is accepted. Looks like you need to have other named instances if you want to work with other modes.


Click Add Current User and click on the tab, Data Directories to display the locations of Analysis Services files as shown.

Click Next to get to the Reporting Services Configuration page as shown. Accept defaults.


Click Next to get to the Distributed Replay Controller page as shown.


Click Add Current User and after it gets updated click Next to go to the Distributed Replay Client page as shown.

Provide a name for the controller, herein Honolulu.
Click Next to the Feature Configuration rules page.It goes quite fast and you get to the last but one steep- Ready to install as shown.


Click Next, the installation starts displaying the Installation Progress page.
This takes a while. When the installation is completed you get the final page as shown. There are errors in the installation.

Looks like a number of items failed to install.


The main error for all the failed elements appears to be that the “Hodentek8\Jayaram” user does not exist.
Possible reason for installation failure
However, Username was not entered by the installer but retrieved by the installation wizard. The user name discovered by the interactive wizard is shown in the next image:


Here is a comparative screen installing SQL Server 2012 on a Windows 7 machine.

The SQL Server 2016 CTP2 failed to retrieve the current Windows User name correctly.
Here is the User/Groups window from Computer Management in Control Panel.

The conclusion at this point is that the installation center wizard did not retrieve the Windows User name correctly.

Note that in Windows 8.1, the username is automatically set as Microsoft Account  with password assigned to that account.

The username is and the Installation program is probably  confused.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

SQL Server 2016 CTP2 is ready, get it now!

Starting May 27 you can download your own copy of SQL Server 2016 Community
Technology Preview 2 from this site:

Since it's lifetime is 120 days download right away to test drive. You can
download a CAB file or an ISO file. I believe there is a virtual image on the
Microsoft Azure cloud as well.

SQL Server 2016 has taken a big, big step in what it can offer compared to the
previous versions.

It offers a whole lot of benefits listed here from a
Microsoft site:

◾Enhanced in-memory performance provide up to 30x faster transactions, more
than 100x faster queries than disk based relational databases and real-time
operational analytics
◾New Always Encrypted technology helps protect your data at rest and in motion,
on-premises and in the cloud, with master keys sitting with the application,
without application changes
◾Built-in advanced analytics– provide the scalability and performance benefits
of building and running your advanced analytics algorithms directly in the core
SQL Server transactional database
◾Business insights through rich visualizations on mobile devices with native
apps for Windows, iOS and Android
◾Simplify management of relational and non-relational data with ability to
query both through standard T-SQL using PolyBase technology
◾Stretch Database technology keeps more of your customer’s historical data at
your fingertips by transparently stretching your warm and cold OLTP data to
Microsoft Azure in a secure manner  without application changes
◾Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to
backup and restore your on-premises databases to Microsoft Azure and place your
SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure
You can get it for both x32 and x64 bit architectures.

SQL Server 2016 CTP2 CAB file:
Download the following files from the Evaluation Center to a temporary directory on your device:


Once the download has completed, extract the zip files then double click on the SQLServer2016CTP2-<architecture>-<language>.exe to begin the installation process.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

SQL Server 2016 Public Preview Coming Soon

The first public preview of SQL Server 2016 is imminent. This is deemed to be an historic version with real-time operational analytics; rich data visualization on mobile platforms and advanced analytics already built-in. It also has the latest hybrid cloud scenarios with latest Advanced security technology.

Key features:
Always Encrypted:
Straight from Microsoft Research. Data protection at rest (in Server) and in motion
Encryption key stays with application
Encryption, decryption takes place transparently inside the application
This feature supports the new Stretch Database as well.

Stretch Database:
This technology which is motivated to reduce cost for customers so that they can archive by moving bloated transactional data to Azure and maintain fast performance with hot data. This stretching of transactional data is dynamic and is secure using the latest Always Encrypted feature.

Real-time Operational Analytics and In-Memory OLTP:
Blazing fast transactional performance of real time operational analytics according to Microsoft. 100 times faster queries with in-memory OLTP compared to 30 times presently possible with disk-based system.

Built-in Advanced Analytics, Polybase and Mobile BI
Goes beyond OLTP to data warehousing and Business Intelligence and delivers advanced analytics made possible by Revolution Analytics. It uses R processing with excellent statistics support. Polybase will be integrated with SQL Server to address both relational and unstructured data using SQL Skills. There is a Data Scientist here!!

These are additional capabilities quoted from the blog:

•    Additional security enhancements for Row-level Security and Dynamic Data Masking to round out our security investments with Always Encrypted.
•    Improvements to AlwaysOn for more robust availability and disaster recovery with multiple synchronous replicas and secondary load balancing.
•    Native JSON support to offer better performance and support for your many types of your data.
•    SQL Server Enterprise Information Management (EIM) tools and Analysis Services get an upgrade in performance, usability and scalability.
•    Faster hybrid backups, high availability and disaster recovery scenarios to backup and restore your on-premises databases to Azure and place your SQL Server AlwaysOn secondaries in Azure.

Download a copy of the datasheet here:

You could look up more details here (the pictures are from Microsoft Blog):

Monday, May 11, 2015

Migarting from SQL to JSON using DocumentDB migration tool

Recently Microsoft made it easy to migrate data form certain sources to DocumentDB on Microsoft Azure. Review post here.

The following source data can be migrated to DocumentDB using the migration tool:
  • CSV file or files
  • JSON file or files
  • SQL
  • MongoDB
  • DocumentDB

  • This post shows how you may obtain response to your SQL query in JSON format using the migration tool.

    Although it seems it is not supported on Windows 8.1 from download documents, the present post was created using the DocumentDB run on a Windows 8.1 machine. The download details are here.

    The following steps show how the SQL response is obtained in JSON format, a format more suitable for Internet of Things.

    This screen shows up after launch

    Specifying source information. Source chosen here is SQL.

    Source of SQL is an instance of SQL Server 2012 on the local machine and the query is run against the Northwind database. The connection string is OK except it is case sensitive. Type it exactly as shown. Trying to get to read from a .sql file on the drive.

    Locating the file on the drive.

    Just before processing.

    Processing in progress.

    The above process failed.
    New Process to import, this time providing a query as shown.

    Providing location for the response from processing.

    Details of processing.

    Processing completed, zero errors.

    Sample of response from the migration tool at the specified file location (only a small part is reproduced)
    SQL Comments are ignored.
    Happy migration!


    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    SQL Server 2016 will be in preview soon

    SQL Server 2016 will appear as a preview in October according to topics discussed at the recent Ignite meeting.

    SQL Server 2016 is supposed to provide " ....breakthrough performance for mission-critical applications and deeper insights on your data across on-premises and cloud".

    Expected new features:
    • Encryption of data on the move and at rest
    • Integration with R Programming Language
    Look up Revolution Analytics regarding R language which was acquired by Microsoft.

    SQL Server 2016 will have 'Stretch Database'.A way to push infrequently accessed data into the Microsoft Public Cloud

    The focus at Microsoft SQL Server will be on the hybrid cloud strategy that is  present neither in Amazon nor n Google cloud platforms.

    Friday, May 1, 2015

    Can Azure SQL Data Warehouse beat up Amazon's Red Shift?

    In recent times both and Microsoft have made bundles of cash with their cloud assets. Amazon had the advantage of being the first to get into action (2 years earlier) with Red Shift. In the Data Warehouse scenario Microsoft’s Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Red Shift are clear competitors.

    Now Scott Guthrie has challenged Amazon's Red Shift ( According to Scott, Azure allows you to make adjustments to compute in just seconds that is beyond the capability of Red Shift.

    The other Azure capabilities are,
    • can pause/resume a cluster
    • can be turned 0ff so you only pay for storage
    • can be deployed and run from on premises
    Read more here:

    Watch this Red shift video


    Hands-on Learning Event in Honolulu 2: SQL Server Reporting Services 2012

    The class is forming and is expected to start in August 2015. Please register at the PCATT.ORG site.

    SQL Server 2012 Express or Developer Edition will be used.

    For details you can also write to: with course name in the Subject line.

    Here are Reporting Services books published by the instructor:

    You can buy these and many other computer and programming related books here:

    What is the latest MySQL Version available?

    The latest version for Windows (x86) version of MSI installer can be found here: ...