by Marlon Ribunal

How to Install Microsoft R Server for Windows

Microsoft R Server, or Revolution R Enterprise (RRE) as it is formally known, for now, is basically a platform for advanced analytics designed to tackle big data statistics, predictive modeling, and machine-learning capabilities.

The open source R is limited in capacity as it is “single threaded and memory bound.” Microsoft R Server comes in handy if you need to scale and speed up your R applications by distributing massive data and computation on hundreds of nodes.

The architecture of Microsoft R Server includes the following underlying technologies which make it capable of handling a massive amount of data and advanced analytics: ScaleR, DistributedR, and ConnectR. Read more about its capabilities and architecture here.

Microsoft R Srver and SQL Server 2016 R Services Architecture


The Microsoft R Server capabilities will also be available in SQL Server 2016 through R Services.

It is available in the following flavors (source):

  • Hadoop—Scale your analysis transparently by distributing work across nodes without complex programming
  • Teradata database—Run advanced analytics in-database for seamless data analysis
  • SUSE Linux—Enable advanced analytics while making the most of your open-source investments
  • Red Hat—Bring predictive and prescriptive analytics power to your Red Hat environments
  • Windows—R Server for Windows will ship as R Services in SQL Server 2016 currently available as a Community Technology Preview (CTP)

The  Microsoft R Server Developer Edition is available for download on MSDN. Here’s how to install it.

Microsoft R Server Installation Prerequisite

Download and install Microsoft R Open (MRO)  which is an “enhanced distribution of R from Microsoft.” The R engine version as of this writing is 3.2.2 released on January 1, 2016. Here’s the download site: https://mran.revolutionanalytics.com/download/mro-for-mrs/

Run the executable and follow the wizard:

R Server Prerequisite

You might have noticed the Important! flag in the Microsoft R Open download page that says “If you choose not to write to the registry keys during the installation of MRO for RRE, then you may be missing some functionality.”

So make sure to tick the checkbox on the last page of the installation wizard:

Microsoft R Open Registry Entries

Complete the installation. This R distribution from Microsoft comes with a GUI called, intuitively, Rgui. You might be more familiar with the popular RStudio. Other popular R gui’s are Deducer and R Commander.

Rgui for Microsoft R Open

Microsoft R Server / Revolution R Enterprise Installation

Execute the installation file Revolution-R-Enterprise-8.0.0-Windows.exe. As of this writing, this version/build is the Revolution Enterprise 8.0.0 (build 310). The installer will check for prerequisites on your machine.

Revolution R Enterprise Prerequisite check

I’m installing this on a fresh install of Windows Server 2012 R2 (VM on Hyper-V). You might have different items in the prerequisite list. Please take note, though, that the wizard cannot install the .Net Framework 3.5 SP1. Add this feature through the Server Manager.

Once all the prerequisites are installed successfully, the Revolution R Enterprise 8.0.0 Setup Wizard starts. Click next:

Revolution R Enterprise 8.0.0

Accept the license agreement. You will, then, be given the option to load the Recursive Partitioning and Regression Trees (rpart) and Trellis Graphics for R (lattice) packages by default. I’d click yes, and move on.

rpart and lattice R Packages

At the end of the installation wizard, click Finish to complete the installation:

Revolution R Enterprise installation complete

Microsoft R Server GUI

Here’s the splash screen and the GUI:

Microsoft R Server Splash Screen

Microsoft R Server GUI


by Marlon Ribunal

Getting Started With Power BI Desktop: Simple Visualization

This is the third installment of our Getting Started With Power BI Desktop series. The first post is about installation and the second is about getting data. In this post, let’s see how easy it is to create visualization on Power BI Desktop. If you’re quite familiar with creating graphs in Excel, you already got what it takes to start using this powerful visualization tool.

Fire up the Power BI Desktop app. When the splash screen pops up, select the report file (.pbix file) that we saved from the previous post (Consumer_Complaint_US.pbix).

power bi desktop splash screen

You can also open this file by going to the File tab (ribbon) and select the Open an existing report option.

On the left side of the report designer are the Visualizations and Fields panes. Most of the simple visualization tasks are accomplished by drag-and-dropping the components and elements from these panes.

Power BI Desktop Visualization Pane

Let’s create a simple graph for a start.

Select (click) the Bar Chart from the Visualizations pane.

Power BI Desktop Bar Graph

An empty graph then appears on the designer.

Power BI Desktop empty bar graph

Drag-and-drop the State field on the Axis and Issues on the Value.

Axis and Value of the Bar Graph in Power BI Desktop

And, just like that, your first visualization on Power BI Desktop is complete.

Simple Bar Graph in Power BI Desktop

Let’s do some formatting . Click the Brush icon in the visualization pane.

Format Bar Graph in Power BI Desktop

Let’s set some properties to change the appearance of our bar graph. Change whatever you want.

formatting visualization in Power BI Desktop

And here it is…a simple visualization created in Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Desktop Bar Graph

We’ll dig more visualization techniques in the next installments of this Getting Started With Power BI Desktop series.

by Marlon Ribunal

Getting Started With Power BI Desktop: Getting Data

Now that the Power BI Desktop is installed, let’s get some data. As of this writing, Power BI can get data from 37 different data sources and data connections – File (Excel, CSV, XML, Text), Database (SQL Server, Oracle, IBM DB2, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Terada, etc.), Azure (SQL Database, Azure […] Continue Reading…