In preparation for my session at SQLBits on Data Analytics with SQL Server, I reviewed all of my instructions for configuring computer to run R Client for SQL Server. The instructions have changed with the release of R tools 1.0 for Visual Studio 2015 [RTVS]. Unfortunately, there are no R Tools for Visual Studio 2017. In the documentation for RTVS, they state that a version for VS 2107 will be released “soon”. This new version makes it easier than ever to set up R for SQL Server as it contains all of the links needed for R Client, and invalidates most of the documentation for RTVS for changing the version.
Configuring a R Environment to use R on SQL Server
In addition to having an SQL Server 2016 instance with R Server installed, the following components are needed on a client machine
This list is a change from the previous list I have provided as RTVS contains an installation of R Client, there is no need to download that as well. You do not need to download Microsoft R Open if you are using R Server either. Once RTVS is installed, there is a menu option on the R Tools window. Selecting Install R Client from the menu will handle the information. Unfortunately, there is no change to the menu option once R Client is installed, it always looks like you should install it. To find out if R Client has been installed, look in the Workspaces window.
Selecting the Right Version of R within Visual Studio
Prior to RTVS 1.0, the version of R running was selected in the R Tools->Options. This has moved to the Workspaces window, which if you have the default version of RTVS, is the second tab in the bottom right corner of the screen. This window will show the version of R that are installed. In order to use R Client functions, you will need to select Microsoft R Client, as shown in the Workspaces tab. The version selected will have a green check next to it as shown in the picture. To change the selection, click on the blue arrow near the gear, where you will be prompted with a message asking you if you are sure that you want to switch.
Changes to R Client make RevoScaleR Libraries Not Work
The latest version of the R client tools changes more than where to find the version of R running. The new client tools remove the need to install the RevoScaleR library. With R Client 3.3.2, the library is no longer compatible and you will get an error if you try to install it. The libraries are no longer needed as the functionality is included in R Client. This means no additional libraries are need to for the rx commands like rxSetComputeContext(“local”). The functionality is included in R Client. If when trying to use R Client the error You are running version 9.0.1 of Microsoft R client on your computer, which is incompatible with the Microsoft R server version 8.0.3 appears, then you need to update SQL Server to the latest version, which is SP1 CU2, which you can get here. If you haven’t installed SP1 for SQL Server, you will need to do that first.
Due to the changes in the R Client, a lot of documentation is no longer accurate, which is why if you are looking for information on R Client, make sure to check the date of the information to ensure what you are looking at is pretty current as things change a lot, which provides continual information for my blog. I am looking forward to meeting more people who read it here at SQLBits 2017.
Data aficionado et SQL Raconteur