The Analytics Platform System (APS), which is a renaming of the Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW), has just released an appliance update (AU3), which is sort of like a service pack, except that it includes many new features. These appliance updates are made available frequently, about every 3-4 months. Below is what is new in this release:
TSQL compatibility improvements to reduce migration friction from SQL SMP
- Implements TRY/CATCH block and THROW/RAISERROR/PRINT statements
- Implements error diagnostic intrinsic functions ERROR_NUMBER, ERROR_MESSAGE, ERROR_SEVERITY, ERROR_STATE, and ERROR_PROCEDURE
- Implements global variable @@ERROR
- Implements Transction-state function XACT_STATE
- Implements system message storage sys.messages DMV
- Implements Stored Procedures sp_addmessage, sp_altermessage, and sp_dropmessage
- Implements support for intersect and except queries.
Integrated Azure Data Management Gateway enables Query from Cloud to On Prem through APS
- Enables Azure users to access on-premises data sources via APS by exposing data as secure OData feeds.
- Enables PowerBI (including Power Query, Power Maps and Power Q&A) to use on-prem data from PDW and external Hadoop tables.
- Enables Azure cloud service data mashups to be scaled out via Polybase by querying Hadoop on-premises.
- Creates a scalable, enterprise-class Data Management Gateway that scales out as queries access more on-prem data sources.
Polybase Recursive Directory Traversal and ORCFile support
- Enables users to retrieve the content of all subfolders by pointing one single external table to the parent folder. Removes the burden of creating external tables for each subfolders.
- Enables all Polybase scenarios to run against the file format ORCFiles
Install, Upgrade, and Servicing Improvements
- Improves operational uptime in maintenance windows by improving our Active Directory reliability model.
- Reduces end-to-end install time from 9 hours to less than 8 hours.
- Improves resiliency by reducing issues related to AD VM corruptions, 2-way forest trusts, and CSV/cluster failures.
- Improves upgrade and setup stability and reliability.
Replatformed to Windows Server 2012 R2 as the core OS for all appliances nodes
- Enhances stability with fixes and improvements to core fabric systems such as Active Directory, Hyper-V and Storage Spaces, including:
- Automatically rebuilding of storage spaces
- Safer virtualization of Active Directory domain controllers.
Replatformed to SQL Server 2014
- Improves engineering efficiency by moving APS and SQL Server to a common servicing branch, reducing latency in getting bug fixes and support.