Installing and Configuring SQL Server R Services

Installing and Configuring SQL Server R Services
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NOTE: as of April 2016, this article no longer accurately reflects the installation experience with SQL 2016 RC2. 

How do you get started with R Services in SQL Server 2016? If you are like most people, you will probably wait for SQL Server to launch and have someone else install it for you. Fair enough. It’s only in preview. For the administrators or the adventurous, however, you have to start somewhere.

Installation Overview

In terms of the initial installation, I simply followed the documentation found on the 2016 version of Books Online. It was fairly straightforward. Simply go through the standard SQL Server installation and select Advanced Analytics Extensions. After that is done, install Revolution R Open and Revolution R Enterprise using the links provided for both. Finally, there are a series of tasks for post-installation server configuration. These involve enabling external scripts using Management Studio and registering the RevoScaleR Extensions/runtime using either the Command Prompt or PowerShell. Optional tasks include enabling access for ScaleR functions to individual databases as well as changing the memory configuration to restrict SQL to allow more memory for R.

“Advanced Analytics Extensions” feature option

Post-installation — enable external scripts in SQL Server Management Studio

Post-installation — RevoScaleR and other tasks performed when running RegisterRExt.exe


Additional Notes

1) Revolution R Enterprise — install the Node version of RRE on a server if you do not need client tools.
2) You are prompted to install the rpart and lattice packages during the Revolution R Enterprise setup (first screenshot below). I am including this note with the links to the two CRAN packages in case you want to read about them in more detail.
3) Registering R Extentions (RegisterRExt.exe) during post-installation performs about twenty tasks, and it involves stopping and restarting all SQL services. A few files are also moved to the Binn folder including the R launcher with configuration options (second screenshot below). Another noticeable task is that its creates a new database role called db_rrerole. This role has some R-related stored procedures as securables (third screenshot below).

RevoScaleR — rpart and lattice prompt

rlauncher configuration

New db_rrerole database role (temporary for CTP)

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