The Service Pack Fiasco

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715095

    Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Service Pack Fiasco

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994266

    I think it's actually worse than you say. If you look at some of the horrendous problems on CONNECT that occurred with 2012 and the continuing lack of attention to detail in preserving functionality even in SSMS, it would seem that MS has come to using SPs and CUs as a crutch for poor programming practices, inadequate testing, and a lack of good source control.

    Don't get me wrong. I think that SQL Server is one of the best RDBMSs in the world but, if MS would start doing things right, it could be the best. Not sure that's possible in the next 10 years, though, because of all the technical debt they've built up by postponing fixes and releasing partial functionality like that damned PIVOT function and, up to 2012, the horrible job they did on the Windowed Functions and (especially) the related aggregates.

    And then there's the "cloud". Good grief.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • MOD3

    Valued Member

    Points: 57

    My feeling is that with the 2 year major version roll-out this is only going to get worse. Yet more evidence that MS just take more money and provide less service

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Service Packs are a must, in my opinion:

    • Microsoft must ship them on a regular basis for every product within support.
    • 3rd Party Vendors must validate their products against them within a reasonable timeframe of release.
    • Customers must apply them within a reasonable timeframe in order to comply with under support criteria.

    Of course, any customer may choose to not apply SPs but the consequences are on them.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Alex Friedman

    Right there with Babe

    Points: 755

    Hear hear

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994266

    Gary Varga (5/11/2015)


    Of course, any customer may choose to not apply SPs but the consequences are on them.

    Heh... yeah... their stuff will continue to work properly. 😀

    MS has to do one very important thing... they need to slow down and do service packs 100% correct. SPs are supposed to fix things, not break them or send you back two revs by mistake.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • steve_seeley

    SSC Veteran

    Points: 290

    On April 15th SP1 for SQL 2014 was released. Two days later it was pulled over an issue that would only affect a relatively small portion of companies. For everyone else it would have been fine. About that same time non MS people revealed what the problem was as well as a work around. It is now almost a month later and we still don't have it back. I believe it was right for MS to pull the SP1. If it can cause issues it should be fixed. Could it be that MS found additional problems? This is a little disconcerting to me. Does it really take a month to fix a script?

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286957

    While I think that SQL Server is an awesome product, the problems with the service packs are a joke. Microsoft releasing a new major version every two years is nothing more than a revenue generation stream. They're also releasing SPs more frequently. The rapid-fire release strategy comes with a serious cost - customer confidence. If I have to be genuinely fearful every time I install a service pack, why would I want to do that to a system that's working fine the way it is?

    I'm going to be installing a new server in the near future and I opted to go with SQL 2012 instead of 2014. It's sad that I can't feel comfortable going with the latest version, but I'll opt for relative stability over the newest cool features any day.

    The bottom line is that the SPs need to be tested better before being released. I do not want to use my production servers to do beta testing for Microsoft.

  • Gary Varga

    SSC Guru

    Points: 82166

    Jeff Moden (5/11/2015)


    Gary Varga (5/11/2015)


    Of course, any customer may choose to not apply SPs but the consequences are on them.

    Heh... yeah... their stuff will continue to work properly. 😀

    MS has to do one very important thing... they need to slow down and do service packs 100% correct. SPs are supposed to fix things, not break them or send you back two revs by mistake.

    Totally agree. Less changes. Better changes.

    Gaz

    -- Stop your grinnin' and drop your linen...they're everywhere!!!

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994266

    Ed Wagner (5/11/2015)


    While I think that SQL Server is an awesome product, the problems with the service packs are a joke. Microsoft releasing a new major version every two years is nothing more than a revenue generation stream. They're also releasing SPs more frequently. The rapid-fire release strategy comes with a serious cost - customer confidence. If I have to be genuinely fearful every time I install a service pack, why would I want to do that to a system that's working fine the way it is?

    I'm going to be installing a new server in the near future and I opted to go with SQL 2012 instead of 2014. It's sad that I can't feel comfortable going with the latest version, but I'll opt for relative stability over the newest cool features any day.

    The bottom line is that the SPs need to be tested better before being released. I do not want to use my production servers to do beta testing for Microsoft.

    Just make sure that you install SP2/Cu5 (came out in March) because there were a huge number of problems including some retro-code-promotion-accidents that affect things the folks like you and I do every day until CU5 came out.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Ed Wagner

    SSC Guru

    Points: 286957

    Jeff Moden (5/11/2015)


    Ed Wagner (5/11/2015)


    While I think that SQL Server is an awesome product, the problems with the service packs are a joke. Microsoft releasing a new major version every two years is nothing more than a revenue generation stream. They're also releasing SPs more frequently. The rapid-fire release strategy comes with a serious cost - customer confidence. If I have to be genuinely fearful every time I install a service pack, why would I want to do that to a system that's working fine the way it is?

    I'm going to be installing a new server in the near future and I opted to go with SQL 2012 instead of 2014. It's sad that I can't feel comfortable going with the latest version, but I'll opt for relative stability over the newest cool features any day.

    The bottom line is that the SPs need to be tested better before being released. I do not want to use my production servers to do beta testing for Microsoft.

    Just make sure that you install SP2/Cu5 (came out in March) because there were a huge number of problems including some retro-code-promotion-accidents that affect things the folks like you and I do every day until CU5 came out.

    Oh yes...we've talked about that. You know, I wonder if SP3 will be out by then. We've ordered the hardware, but at Microsoft's pace, it's not completely unexpected. If that's the last SP for SQL 2012, it means the product will finally be stabilized. Then I won't have to worry about destabilizing it with more SPs. 😛

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994266

    Yep... we did talk about it. My post was mostly for other people that might be going through the same thing but also wanted to give you a post that you could direct others that you work with to so that they don't think you're joking about it. 🙂 Like me, there are a lot of people that take MS's word for it that CUs shouldn't be installed unless there's a problem that they fix. This is one of those times and it's the first time I've ever recommended that a given CU bee installed, ever.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
    "If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
    "Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
    When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8 is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715095

    steve_seeley (5/11/2015)


    Does it really take a month to fix a script?

    It's not the fix, it's additional testing. Hopefully, also nothing else added.

    A month, however does seem long. I'd have liked to have had it re-released at a month.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor

    SSC Guru

    Points: 715095

    Ed Wagner (5/11/2015)


    They're also releasing SPs more frequently. The rapid-fire release strategy comes with a serious cost - customer confidence. If I have to be genuinely fearful every time I install a service pack, why would I want to do that to a system that's working fine the way it is?

    They're not releasing service packs more frequently. They aimed at 1 each year, but they're doing less than that.

    They are releasing CUs every other month, which is fast, but perhaps not as they are addressing only a few things in each CU. The problem for me is that relatively few people install CUs and we aren't aware of issues until many of the CUs get combined into an SP that is installed by a wide group of people. Clearly there isn't enough testing, though as mentioned, the SP issue affected few instances.

  • akljfhnlaflkj

    SSC Guru

    Points: 76202

    In general, on any supported product we buy from anyone, we don't jump at installing the latest fix/update. We wait a little bit and let the "other guys" test it first.

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