Monthly Archives: February 2018

  • Comparison Guide for Microsoft Office Versions

    Office Computer

    Microsoft created Office in a wide range of versions to fit many different needs. Each version is built to address the main needs for a user-class, whether home, business or academic. But with so many versions you may wonder which version is best for you. With that in mind, here is a guide to assist in your choice between Office versions.

    First, all versions of Microsoft Office have the staple applications, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. These applications are in wide usage in many industries with Word and Excel formatted documents some of the most the common standards. For basic versions you will have what you need to accomplish regular tasks with these basic applications. PowerPoint is a great tool for making all kinds of presentations even for students. OneNote is a handy application which can be used for a large variety of activities, even capturing recordings and video. Additionally, all Microsoft Office versions offer product support.

    All Microsoft Office 365 versions have some additional features and licensing. Regarding the latter point, Office 365 is an annual subscription regardless of whether the version is Home, Personal or University. However, these versions vary in the number of devices on which the subscription can be used. Office 365 Home can be used on up to five PCs, Macs or tablets as well as 5 phones. Office 365 Personal is less expensive but only offers use on one computer device and 1 phone. Meanwhile, Office 365 University can be licensed for two computers and 2 phones.

    In addition to being subscription-based, all Office 365 versions offer some extras that may not be available on other Office version. Office 365 includes Outlook, Publisher and Access as well as 1TB of cloud storage via OneDrive for either five users (Home version) or 1 user (Personal and University). Additionally, Office 365 subscribers have sixty free minutes of Skype per month for between five users (Home) and one user (Personal and University). Finally, Office 365 offers continually up-to-date applications, so subscribers have all the latest features at their fingertips.

    All other versions of Microsoft Office 2016 are one-time purchased licenses at varying prices depending on your need. None of these one-time purchase version offers Ccoud storage, Skype minutes or continual updates (meaning when the license is expired, or Office 2016 is no longer supported, you may not receive any new updates). Each version is licensed for one computer only.

    Office Home and Student 2016 (PC and Mac versions) offers the same staple of applications that will keep you working on any common tasks you have. As mentioned above, these applications are Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote.

    Office Home and Business 2016 (PC and Mac versions) have the same licensing and four main applications but add Outlook for your email needs. Business-class users can take advantage of robust email functions in Outlook, whether organization is small or large, to track calendar events and tasks as well as use domain-branded emailing, especially when email is hosted by the company. Outlook greatly enhances the collaborative features of the other Office applications in the version bundle.

    For those users with additional needs, Office Professional 2016 offers the same applications as the Home and Business versions (without support for Mac). Additional included applications are Publisher and Access. Professional users in need of database services without server availability can make use of Access to build a business database. Meanwhile, Publisher offers users the ability to create high-quality documents of all kinds from brochures to posters and much more.

    Microsoft Office is a robust group of applications offered in a variety of packages to meet anyone's needs. Office 365 subscription packages offer suitable extras for home, school and business use. One-time licensed versions can offer all the necessary applications while adding more applications for business-class users. Regardless of the version you need, you can rest assured that Microsoft Office will meet your needs with powerful, versatile applications. Meanwhile, Access and Publisher both extend the ability of the high-end business-class users with additional resources.

    For additional clarification of the offered versions, view of the Microsoft Office comparison guide in the table below:

    office comparison chart

    Office offers just what you need so purchase only what you need. The Office version guide pictured above should clarify what you need based on cost, type of licensing and applications or extra features offered. To learn more about Microsoft Office and what applications best benefit you, contact our experts at RoyalDiscount.com - your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.


  • How SQL Database in Azure Works for You

    Microsoft's latest version of SQL is an industry standard being adopted for its incredible new features. However, Microsoft also included SQL Database as a service in Azure which includes integrated features of both while improving cloud databases with high performance with cost efficiency in mind.

    How SQL Database Works as a Service

     SQL as an Azure service works much the same as it does as an implementation with on-premise server installations. It retains all of it relational database features using relational data, JSON, spatial and XML. The difference lies within Azure itself where the service provides dynamic scalability, automatic performance-tuning, backups, security and much more. Here's how the service works.

    Whether you have one or thousands of databases, Azure's SQL database service works constantly with the fine-tuning of the database, learning the workload demands of a database to best manage it. Built on the same SQL coding as that of server-based implementations, the Azure version goes far beyond in the cloud-based environment. Such performance reduces the overhead of management while putting incredibly fast transactions into operation for businesses of all sizes using any variety of databases and applications. This leaves clients with the best performance while they can develop their applications for the market.

    Speed is everything to a database and Azure delivers it with up-time, security, backups, scalability and cost efficiency. Intelligent optimization is the key function surrounding all these features. The Azure SQL database service constantly accounts for performance which alerts you to problems and best growth recommendations, while monitoring for any intrusions that need attention as well as backing up the data whether it's full, differential or transaction logs.

    Scalability and Resource Management with Elastic Pools

    Scalability monitors alert you to the need of growth or retraction with ease all with cost in mind. The performance drives rising or shrinking needs and, thus, cost. Single databases can move into higher service levels without waiting or downtime. Larger databases can be moved into pools for best performance. The performance pools are elastic groups of databases which allow for rising and falling demand based on the intelligent heuristics of the service. A database managed in an elastic pool can be set to minimum and maximum performance counters to ensure that no database hogs resources. Additionally, the elastic pools provide automatic adjustment to expected changes in workloads based on the intelligent optimization of Azure SQL Database services. The pool performs in balance around the learned cycles of fluctuation allowing for best operation at the most efficient cost.

    There are four basic workloads available for Azure SQL databases:  Basic, Standard, Premium and Premium RS. Each allows for growth of databases without downtime as your database needs grow. As resource needs change, even rapidly, a database can growth to meet business needs while you pay for only what you need.

    Adaptability is the measure of Azure SQL database as single instances can be blended with elastic pools to meet growing needs with cost in mind. Databases can be mixed and matched depending on workload needs, even moved into and out of elastic pools for constant cost efficiency which equals savings for businesses.

    Determination of these changes and needs are achieved with Azure SQL Database monitoring and tools. The built-in performance monitoring and alerts combine to provide timely information to make financial decisions regarding databases both large and small. Database Transaction Units (DTU) and elastic DTU provide specific information upon which to base business decisions. Additionally, performance tuning can be integrated across a variety of Azure resources such as Azure Storage, Azure Event Hub and Azure Log Analytics.

    Business Consistency Features

    Azure SQL Database service and an incredible SLA-based support system keeps all resources up at all times. Available across a wide range of datacenters, the service is patched, secured and backed up without fail. Business continuity is ensured with automatic backups, point-in-time restores, active geo-replication, and failover groups.

    Automatic backups are performed in full, differential and transaction logs while allowing for point-in-time restores over the retention of the automatic backup. Meanwhile, active geo-replication allows for up to four active replications either at the same site or in a wide range of datacenter locations. High performance and load balancing are achieved with the use of failover groups which can take advantage of geo-replication.

    Built-in Intelligence at Work

     Like having a constant watchdog over your database needs, Azure SQL Database service provides a built-in intelligence which learns database patterns. This telemetry information allows for adaptation of database resources for constant performance tuning coupled with best business decisions. Never be at a loss for information that needs your attention.

    This automatic performance tuning has quickly become a staple of database management. Tools and monitors always adjust for changes while alerting owners of necessary information that needs attention. Development resources are maximized while management of SQL resources are largely automated. The main elements of this performance tuning are automatic index management and automatic plan correction. The former element automatically adds necessary indices or removes unnecessary ones. The latter element addresses plans and fixes those that are out of scope.

    Newer batch processing features are being added such as interleaved execution, batch mode memory grant feedback and batch mode adaptive joins. Each of new features will employ both the learning and adaptive models for increased performance, with the interleaved execution improving multi-statement table-valued functions.

    Additionally, adaptive threat detection has been achieved with SQL Database service on Azure such that a new layer of security is now available to identify any harmful intrusion attempts. Suspicious activity is always identified and recommendations offered for what actions are available to mitigate any attempts to breach or exploit data within the database.

    Security and Tools

    New advanced security provides additional layers of protection including audit logs, data encryption (both at rest and in motion), data-masking to non-privileged users, row-level security and compliance certification. Security also provides higher levels of authentication with Active Directory integration.

    Azure SQL Database also includes helpful tools such as the Azure portal, SQL Server Management Studio, data tools in Visual Studio and Visual Studio code.

    Azure SQL Database provides all the latest features of the database server engine with all the flexibility of Azure mingled into a highly useful product for best performance, lowest cost, and flexible scalability. Comprehensive business consistency from backups and security coupled with development tools, alerts and monitors add incredible value. To learn more about Microsoft Azure SQL Database, contact our experts at RoyalDiscount.com- your online source for cheap OEM, Retail & Cloud products.