SQL Server 2016 and R

Exciting developments for Database/Data Analysis enthusiasts . SQL Server 2016 now includes a kind of integration with the R Programming language. It’s called R Services, and here’s a great introductory YouTube video about it:


It can go both ways. From R Studio, you can connect to the Database, and run your R server side. Or you can run R embedded in your T-SQL in SQL Server Management Studio.

So, what about getting your hands on SQL Server 2016?

The Development Edition has all you’ll probably need to learn this stuff. And luckily, for the moment at least, it’s freely available. Here’s what you can do for this.

There are a few links you can find by searching for SQL Server 2016 developer edition on Google.

Here are the steps…

First, join Visual Studio Dev Essentials. Which just requires you to sign up and is free.


Having signed up, you can go and search for SQL Server d016 Developer, or go to this sight to search to download it. It’s about 2GB in size.


Save this file for future installs too.

When you do the install for a standalone instance and choose all features, it will ask you to have the Oracle SE Java Runtime Environment installed. This can be found at:


A frighteningly large array of links appear on this page. Just choose the latest version for your OS, usually Windows 64bit.

Then after you’ve done this install, (perhaps because this is just early days for this free version) you’ll find it doesn’t include SQL Server Management Studio or  the Data Tools part of Visual Studio. And you’ll have to install these separately. To get these, follow the links you are given if you choose those installation options.

For SQL Server Management Studio:


For the SQL Server Visual Studio Data Tools 2015, (Choose the ISO image, to reuse later if necessary):


To keep up with updates, download and install SQL 2016 SP1:

This completes your installation of SQL Server 2016 Developer Edition, and you ready to mess with R in the SQL Server database engine.