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(Microsoft SQL Server graphic.)

Microsoft is set to expand its Azure public cloud by launching Analysis Services as a technical preview today. The new offering runs a range of analytics tools against a variety of data sources, including programs and tools from Microsoft competitors.

“You can connect to multiple data sources in multiple places — in the cloud or on premises, whether they’re Microsoft’s, Teradata’s or Oracle’s — and have one business-intelligence semantic model that integrates across all that data,” said Joseph Sirosh, corporate VP of Microsoft’s data group, in an interview. “And you can then bring that data in and have extremely responsive dashboards and reports run on top of them.”

The service not only accesses multiple vendors’ data sources but allows analyzing data with multiple vendors’ tools, such as Tableau or Microsoft’s own Power BI, he said. Those tools will run in Azure as fully managed services.

The announcement came at Microsoft’s PASS Summit 2016 in Seattle, a conference dedicated to Microsoft SQL Server and Business Intelligence that starts this morning and runs through Friday.

Also at the conference, Microsoft will offer a data migration system to help recommend performance and reliability improvements when customers are upgrading to SQL Server 2016, which was released in June. And it will offer a free one-month trial for Azure’s data warehouse service, in addition to the $200 credit now available for use with any Azure product.

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