Cumulative update #6 is now available. As with the other CUs released in the last year, you can't directly download the patch. Instead you need to request this as a Hotfix via a web form.
I heard about this yesterday and thought it made some sense to get the news out there for those of you experiencing issues with your SQL Server 2005 patches. The list of fixes and associated KB numbers are listed in the article and I'd urge you to check on this if you might benefit. I haven't seen any reports on testing, so please let us know if you apply this patch.
One of the reasons that I think we need another service pack is that the email I get with the download link has this disclamer: "WARNING: This fix is not publicly available through the Microsoft website as it has not gone through full Microsoft regression testing." To me that means that we need to push for SP3 by voting.
CTP6 is also supposed to be released to the public as well. I'm not sure if it will be available by the time you get this, but it's been out there for a few days for MVPs. I guess so we can get it before the bandwidth pipes get full. This is supposed to be a feature complete release and it needs testing. I have a plea from developers to have people look at it and send feedback. So if you're looking forward and considering 2008 for new installs or upgrades from 2000/2005, take a little time and see what 2008 might do for you. Apparently the SQL Server guys could use some help in looking at the their work.
There was some good news from the Release Team for SQL Server. There is a post that says that they are listening to us and will have a formal statement regarding SP3. I'd like to assume that it means they'll plan on an SP3, but we should all know what assumptions mean.
Don't assume that there are enough votes. Take 2 minutes and just sign into Connect and add your rating to the stars in the top left. An image is below showing that 216 people have rated this so far, but that's a tiny amount. Please let MS know that we value service packs and vote. I'd like to see thousands of people rating this item.
The other thing I'd mention here since I've been asked a few times is that if you want to help build SQL Server there are plenty of positions available at Microsoft. Right now I've heard that they're willing to put more people to work on SQL Server, both the new version as well as patching the old, but they can't find the people. So if you want to be a part of building the product, go ahead and look for jobs and apply. There's 118 slots!
I've debated the issues I see with not patching SQL Server 2005 and the rush to get SQL Server 2008 finished. I can see the business value in the every-three-year timeframes for release, and it might make some sense from a feature standpoint, though I'd still recommend upgrading every other version.
However I see the business point of view as well. I've heard a lot that 2005 is selling well and people are installing it. And it is mentioned in their annual reports as providing significant revenue along with Windows and Office. So the arguments that SQL 2005 is broken don't hold a lot of water. The product works everyday, people get things done on it and it's a solid platform for building applications.
That doesn't mean there's work to be done or that I don't think there are flaws, but they aren't the critical, we can't get anything done, flaws for the majority of people using SQL Server 2005. I just think that lack of quality in current patches, no news on future Service Packs AKA tested patches, and the low priority given to support over new development harm the long-term success of the platform.
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