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Now Get Azure Invoices Emailed Directly to Inbox, SQL Server 2016 Innovations Power SQL DW

Now instead of downloading Azure invoice every month, you can opt-in to receive these invoice statement attached to your monthly billing email. In addition, it’s also possible now to configure additional recipients for this email. “Save time and send the invoice directly to your accounts receivable department,” writes Adam Pickersgill.

Incase, if you can’t access email settings blade, check the following:

  • • You must be the account administrator to configure this setting, not sure what this means? Learn more here.
  • • If you have a monthly invoice but aren’t receiving an email, make sure you have your communication email properly set.
  • • This feature is only available in the direct channel and may not be available for certain subscriptions such as support offers or Azure in Open.

To opt in to this feature (verbatim):

  • Select your subscription from the subscriptions blade. You have to opt-in for each subscription you own. Click Send my invoice, you may not see this if you are not the account admin. Then opt in.Opt in from the resource menu of your subscription
  • Once you’ve accepted the agreement you can configure additional recipients:Configure recipients of your invoice.
  • You can also access this blade from the billing history blade, or a deep link in your monthly statement notification email:Link in Invoice Blade
Azure Invoices Emailed Direct in Inbox

Azure Invoices Emailed Direct in Inbox

SQL Server 2016 innovations now power Azure SQL Data Warehouse to deliver faster insights, as you can now scale compute and storage independently.

The cloud solution also lets you pay based on what you’re using instead of being locked into a cluster configuration.

“With general availability in 2016, Azure SQL Data Warehouse received an upgrade to SQL Server 2016 that transparently provided 40 percent performance increase to user workloads comprising of analytic queries,” writes a senior program manager.

The two performance pillars of SQL DW are its column store and the batch mode execution engine, also known as vectorized query execution. The following are the key SQL Server 16 performance innovations for columnstore and batch mode:

SQL Server 16 dials up aggregate computation performance by pushing aggregation to the SCAN node. This allows the aggregate to be computed on the compressed data during the scan itself.

String Predicate Pushdown leverages dictionaries to minimize number of string comparisons. “Columnstore in SQL Server 16 allows string predicates to be pushed down the SCAN node, resulting in a significant improvement in query performance.”

SQL Server 16 now processes multiple aggregates on a table scan more efficiently in a single batch mode aggregation operator.

Batch mode Window aggregates has the potential to speed up certain queries by even 300 times as measured in some of our internal tests.

Batch Mode in Serial Execution. “SQL Data Warehouse at lower SLOs (less than DWU1000) runs each distribution query in serial as there is less than one core per distribution. With this improvement, these queries now run in batch mode.”

Those new, “Azure SQL Data Warehouse (SQL DW) is a SQL-based petabyte-scale, massively parallel, cloud solution for data warehousing. It is fully managed and highly elastic, enabling you to provision and scale capacity in minutes. You can scale compute and storage independently, allowing you to range from burst to archival scenarios, and pay based off what you’re using instead of being locked into a cluster configuration.”

New ‘Tenant Restrictions’ is now generally available in the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD), that gives customers with these kinds of requirements enhanced control over access to SaaS cloud applications.

With the tenant restrictions, admins can now restrict employees using their corporate network to only being able to use Azure AD identities in tenants they have approved.

Here is how it works, “An on-premises proxy server is configured to intercept authentication traffic going to Azure AD. The Proxy inserts a new header called “Restrict-Access-To-Tenants” that lists the tenants that users on the network are permitted to access. Azure AD reads the permitted tenant list from the header, and only issues security tokens if the user or resource is in a tenant on that list,” explains Azure team.

The following diagram illustrates the high-level traffic flow:

Tenant Restrictions in Azure AD

Tenant Restrictions in Azure AD

A video published today shows zero data loss with Storage Replica in Windows Server 2016. “Storage Replica is a new feature in Windows Server 2016 that offers automatic DR and preparedness capabilities. It creates synchronous replication of data that spans multiple datacenters, automatically in real time. That creates a failover, where all nodes stay completely in sync, ensuring zero data loss during a failure. It will help you protect your data and keep your company in business.”

In addition, Storage Replica provides other safety and performance benefits, including:

  • Quicker data access by local proximity
  • Better load distribution and use of compute resources
  • Ability to decommission current expensive file replication systems
  • Asynchronous replication for higher-latency networks

The general availability of real-time streaming datasets in Power BI announced today, allows users to easily stream data to Power BI via the REST API, Azure Stream Analytics, or PubNub, and to see that data instantly light on their dashboards.

Also, as part of the news ‘general availability of Azure Stream Analytics outputting to Power BI streaming datasets’ is announced and “allows users to build streaming tiles on top of datasets pushed to Power BI by Azure Stream Analytics, while still supporting all existing functionality (e.g. using the dataset to build reports).”

“These streaming tiles augment existing Stream Analytics to Power BI workflow by enabling support for highly requested scenarios such as showing latest value, and showing values over a set time window,” explained BI team.

Power BI Mobile apps feature summary for January 2017 release brings some exciting improvements for tables and matrices, and new capabilities like SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) ADFS.

See the complete list of updates in this release:

  • SSRS authentication using Active Directory Federation Services, ADFS Preview on Android and iOS, thanks to the single sign-on (SSO) capabilities of ADFS.
  • You can now load more than 100 rows in tables and matrices the Power BI mobile apps.
  • 100 Row table scroll in Power BI mobile apps

  • Sharing and annotating are now fully functional on Android devices, and brings an improved menu, that make it easier and quicker to annotate and share insights with colleagues. Additionally, annotated report can be share directly from the Power BI app. And, for mobile-optimized reports, you can now choose to annotate and share a single visualization when you view it in focus.
  • Phone report general available now lets you specifically tailor a portrait view of existing report on Power BI Desktop for mobile viewers. Additionally, improvements such as phone reports icons, optimized refresh rates, and more are released as part of this release.

General availability of Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server 3.1, is a diagnostic tool that helps troubleshoot Kerberos related connectivity issues with SQL Server, SQL Server Reporting Services, and SQL Server Analysis Services.

This release (v 3.1) adds support for SQL Server 2016. It can perform the following functions:

  • Gather information on OS and Microsoft SQL Server instances installed on a server.
  • Report on all SPN and delegation configurations on the server.
  • Identify potential problems in SPNs and delegations.

“Kerberos authentication provides a highly secure method to authenticate client and server entities (security principals) on a network. To use Kerberos authentication with SQL Server, a Service Principal Name (SPN) must be registered with Active Directory, which plays the role of the Key Distribution Center in a Windows domain. In addition, many customers also enable delegation for multi-tier applications using SQL Server. In such a setup, it may be difficult to troubleshoot the connectivity problems with SQL Server when Kerberos authentication fails.”

You can download Microsoft Kerberos Configuration Manager for SQL Server HERE.

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