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How Stable is SQL Server 2005?

I've been calling for Service Pack 3 and I've been debating the need, the criticality, and even the problems with the process. There's been an interesting debate with people both at SQLServerCentral.com, internal Microsoft people I know, and in the MVP forums. What's amazing to me is how many people seem to think that this is critical and from their dialog, they feel that SQL Server 2005 is garbage without it.

I'm not sure I'm even close to feeling that way.

My feeling is that SQL Server 2005 is a very stable release. There might be some problems, but I've heard so much praise from people over the last two years, so many advantages and positive stories that I know it's working. I know that people are using it and it's working well in production. I doubted that it was adopted by many people, but all the surveys I've seen and run say that there are significant numbers of people using it.

So for the experts, the MVPs, the consultants, which is it? If it's working and you've gotten workarounds can it be that bad? There might be issues in places, but I've just seen too many people sing the praises for me to think that it's that bad. As embaressing as the bugs are, I'm not sure that they are that many critical ones. 

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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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