I've been experimenting with SQL Server 2016 and its R Services. I also have a standalone Microsoft R Server installed on my machine.

What is a good use-case to use SQL Server R Services over a standalone Microsoft R Server, since both feature properties of an enterprise scale R platform.

1 Answer 1


Possible a slightly subjective question but sometimes it's helpful to think of these things in scenarios, for example:

  1. A predominantly SQL Server project, run by DBAs/devs (who may or may not know some R). A data scientist or R professional writes some R for them or they do it themselves and test on their local machines, eg using R Studio or the Microsoft R IDE. When they are happy with the R, they plug it into their data workflow using sp_execute_external_script. They can easily incorporate this into other stored procedures, SSIS etc. This might be a good candidate for SQL Server 2016 with R Services.
  2. A secure project, the data is in your secured SQL Server and you want to keep the data close to the analytics and not use the cloud. This might be a good candidate for an on-premise installation of SQL Server 2016 with R Services.
  3. A predominantly data science project which requires data but does not require SQL Server access. This might be a good candidate for Microsoft R Server only.
  4. High performance is required for a big data project. You do not want to share the box with the traditionally memory-hungry SQL Server. This might be a good candidate for Microsoft R Server only.

Just a few examples there. What examples can you think of?


  • Thank you for the crisp answer. I also think that R Services makes it much easier to deploy a solution after it being created. After the R script or model is ready for production use, you can embed the code or model in Transact-SQL stored procedures, and invoke the saved code from an application. Do you agree with that statement?
    – Minu
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 19:55
  • And.. may be you could also answer this question for me: datascience.stackexchange.com/questions/12108/…
    – Minu
    Commented Jun 10, 2016 at 20:01

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