cengland0 (2/8/2012) Hugo Kornelis (2/8/2012)
You are aware that mainstream support for SQL Server 2005 has already ended, are you? I'd consider upgrading, if I were you...
You're right that the ideal situation is to always have the most current version of the server software installed; however, some of us work with organizations and customers that have outdated hardware and software and we must use what is available.
We do not always have the option of telling our clients they must use the latest server software version or we cannot work on their project. Most of my clients are set with what they have and the timeframes and budget constraints prohibit any server software upgrades.
To maintain my client list, I must be fluent in several server types including MySQL, Oracle, MS SQL Server, and even Teradata. My clients cannot easily change their server types or versions without it being a major undertaking. Besides, there's a lot of debate out there as to which server software is better and I'm not going to start debating that with my clients.
I make more money ($/hour wise) when I work with small companies that are using older software than I do with large enterprises that have the most up-to-date versions. The smaller companies don't have the budget dollars to keep upgrading their software nor do they have the money to keep a DBA on staff. So, when one is needed, they pay top dollar for services. Larger companies keep DBA's on staff with an annual salary and that's significantly less pay.
Please note that I never said that a SQL Server professional should work hard to forget SQL Server 2005 functionality. On the contrary, do foster taht knowledge!
But what I do say, is that any SQL Server professional should work hard to get knowledge of supported versions as well. With Developer Edition available for a mere 50 or so bucks and able to be installed on any reasonably modern laptop or desktop (and Express Edition available in case even Developer Edition is too expensive), there really is no excuse for not getting yourself acquainted with newer versions. You may be stuck supporting SQL Server 2005 now - but one day, your company might want to upgrade. Or you may be forced to look for another job. And having your knowledge stuck at a version that's been out for almost seven years now, that is out of mainstream support, and that has been superseded by two new versions (2008 and 2008R2 count as seperate versions), plus another one around the corner - that does not look good on your resume!
So I disagree that the minimum version should be included in all QotD questions. I think we should all assume that questions apply to supported versions of SQL Server, unless stated differently.
(And if you think differently, then there are lots and lots of questions where I could comment that it does not apply to SQL Server 6.5. Or 4.2. Or even 1.0 (though I would have trouble verifying the last two claims).
Hugo Kornelis, SQL Server MVP
Visit my SQL Server blog: http://sqlblog.com/blogs/hugo_kornelis