Microsoft F# for Big Data programming

Microsoft's F# language geared to parallel programming, data-oriented problem-solving. F# language was carefully designed to facilitate data-oriented problem-solving and reduce bugs in data manipulation.

InfoWorld, Paul Krill, January 31, 2013

Microsoft to big data programmers: Try F#

The F# (pronounced "f sharp") object-oriented functional programming language originated at Microsoft Research around 2004. It was designed by Don Syme, principal researcher at the company. The language is geared to data-oriented programming as well as parallel programming and algorithmic development. F# 3.0, featuring support for large-scale schematized data and APIs, was released last year along with an update to Visual F# tools in Microsoft's Visual Studio 2012 IDE; Microsoft recently updated its Try F SharpTry F# website, which provides tools and resources for using F#, as well. InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill recently spoke to Syme for perspectives on what Microsoft is trying to achieve with the language.

InfoWorld: What can developers do with F# that they can't already do with C#, C++, Visual Basic, or other programming languages available?

Syme: One primary difference is that F# is a functional-first language and in many ways a data-first programming language. The construction of the language is carefully designed to facilitate data-oriented problem-solving and manipulation in a functional programming way. One of the key aspects of functional programming is to reduce the bug rate for doing routine manipulations over data structures.

InfoWorld: What was the main impetus behind F#?

Syme: It reduces the time to deployment for analytical software components. You find that kind of programming, particularly in finance and insurance industries, but also in a wide range of scientific or data-oriented or data-intensive programming domains. Microsoft embraced F# and contributed to F# because we want a top-notch functional programming experience on our platforms. Microsoft contributes three things to F#: One is the Visual F# tools, which come with Visual Studio. Microsoft Research contributes the language design to F#, and we also contribute the Try F# site that has just been released this week.

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See also this post Why F# is the language for data mining, Yin Zhu, May 4, 2010.