Just in time for Christmas, Microsoft releases SQL Server 2005 SP4.
Many were wondering if they would meet their intended 4th quarter target date for its release, and indeed Microsoft has delivered. It’s taken an entire two years (December 15, 2008 – December 17th 2010), almost to the day and month to go from SQL2K5 SP3 to SP4. CTP has been around for at least a month, and is now officially RTM!
Although there have been several cumulative updates (CU’s) released in that time, SP4 should satisfy most companies who depend on the service pack cycle, and hesitate to apply hot fixes and CU’s into their production environment.
According to the release notes, there are no new features or major changes, which in my opinion is a good thing for a service pack release. As many in the community feel, the purpose should be for fixes and bugs only; the bug/fix list seems unremarkable this time around. This could be indication of a very stable platform in SQL Server 2005. Basically, SP4 takes care of a few issues, and officially puts the stamp of a “service pack” on all the fixes, enhancements and cumulative updates since the release of SQL 2K5 SP3.
As expected we will not see much changes, features or enhancements, and is pretty much in support and maintenance mode for existing customers on SQL 2005, who have not yet upgraded to SQL Server 2008. SQL Server 2005 will enter into extended support on 4/13/2011, based on the number of existing clients.
Now that we are 2 years into the release of SQL Server 2008 and R2, and the upcoming release of SQL Server 2011, aka Denali, it seems fitting that we wrap up the end of the year, 2010, for what is the last anticipated service pack release to SQL Server 2005.
The issues addressed here seem to address some few occurrences, but one deals with a setup and installation issue, which is always fun, so I’ll mention it here:
SQL Server 2005 setup fails when MSXML Core Services 6.0 Service Pack 2 has already been installed.
(As a variety of setup and installation issues persist in SQL Server 2008, usually due to a number of environment/OS variables, I offer some help with common setup issues in one of my blogs SQL Server 2008 Installation on Windows 7)
Here are the direct download links, depending on your OS Platform:
Download ………………………..SQLServer2005SP4-KB2463332-x86-ENU.exe for X86
Download ………………………..SQLServer2005SP4-KB2463332-x64-ENU.exe for X64
Download……………………….. SQLServer2005SP4-KB2463332-IA64-ENU.exe for IA64
If you’re interested in the rhyme and reason of the Microsoft SQL Server Support Lifecycle, you can click on the embedded link for more information on versions, dates for mainstream and extended support.
(It has not yet been updated for next year’s release of SQL Server 11.)
You can also download an updated version of BOL at this link, although it still says “November 2008”. The file appears correct: SqlServer2K5_BOL _Jan2009.msi, 137.3 MB
As Microsoft ends the year off with SQL Server 2005 SP4, it can now turn it undivided attention, and focus on its heavy investment efforts in the anticipated release of SQL Server 11/Denali which is available at CTP1, and SQL Azure which you can learn more about by clicking on the links.
Until then, happy holidays and best wishes for the 2011 New Year!