SQL Server 2008 SP1 washes ashore
Batteries Whistles and bells not included
Microsoft released its first service pack for SQL Server 2008 yesterday, which comes with a few subtle changes and exactly zero new features to boot.
The firm said it had made some tweaks to the product with SP1, including the usual suspects of cumulative updates and fixes you would expect to see rolled into a service pack.
However, the changes are relatively minor and, more surprisingly, SQL Server 2008 SP1 comes without any juicy new add-ons for customers to tinker with.
Redmond was keen to emphasise that not much has been added to its flagship database product - although it’s still, of course, insisting users upgrade to the service pack.
“Microsoft is introducing 80 per cent fewer changes to customer configurations compared to previous SQL Server Service Pack releases,” said the company.
“This remarkable decrease is a testament to a revised product development process and updated servicing strategy that is focused on ease of deployment while keeping customer environments stable.”
Microsoft has added a few tools to the service pack that it reckoned should ease deployment and improve management of SQL Server 2008.
SP1 comes loaded with Slipstream to help sys admins install the product with the latest service pack in what MS described as a “single instance”, even though reboots are still required during the process.
There’s also a Service Pack Uninstall tool in SP1 as well as version 2.0 of Report Builder.
The product finally landed in the laps of manufacturers last summer. It had initially been expected to reach server OEMs in December 2007. ®
With regard to Service Packs containing features, the precedent for this was set with SQL Server 2005 which RTM'd with many 'features' either missing or opening acknowledged as missing - some of the replication features spring to mind. SP1 plugged many of the holes
With regard to SQL Server 2008 SP1 it would be nice to bring in some new features for instance how about support for Access 2007 file formats? Maybe SSRS could supprot Excel 2007 (SpreadML) export?
A service pack which is really just a service pack and not a disguised feature push!
Service pack versus fix pack
Glad Phil cleared it up -- it sounded silly to install a copy of, well, anything, that is supposedly slipstreamed, and have to reboot more than once (at the most.)
Regarding service packs -- IBM had a clearer definition for this. Fix packs strictly collected up individual bug fixes. Service packs may add features. Microsoft doesn't have fix packs though...