If that weren't enough, the company offered incentives for Microsoft's partners and Microsoft Dynamics customers to jump to SQL Server 2008, which was released as a product last summer.
Microsoft is updating its price list on January 1, 2009 and will replace the runtime for SQL Server 2005 with that of Microsoft SQL Server 2008, according to a Microsoft Dynamics blog.
"Customers who have licensed Microsoft SQL 2008-Runtime and are current on the Business Ready Enhancement Plan as of January 1, 2009 will be entitled to an upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2008," the blog explained.
Features in SQL Server SP3 include "supportability enhancements," plus improvements in the database engine, notifications services, replication and reporting services, according to an MSDN library Web page. SP3 contains all previously released cumulative updates for SQL Server 2005.
KnowledgeBase articles for SP3 are available through the release notes here.
For SQL users not opting for SP3, Microsoft released Cumulative Update 11 for SQL Server 2005 SP2, which contains all of the hot fixes for SP2, without the new features in SP3.
However for those who are moving from SQL Server SP2 to SP3, Microsoft offers a caveat. Be sure to apply SP3 Cumulative Update 1.
"If you are upgrading from SQL Server 2005 SP2 Cumulative Update 10 or from SQL Server 2005 SP2 Cumulative Update 11, you must apply a post-SP3 cumulative update after you upgrade to SP3 to obtain all the fixes," according to Nick MacKechnie's blog.
For those wanting more than just blog advice, Microsoft's "Books Online" release for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 is available here. It provides primary documentation, including setup and upgrade instructions for SP3.
Microsoft also released a new Feature Pack for SQL Server 2008 on Monday that provides optional add-ons for the database solution. The December Feature Pack can be accessed here.
For more information and links to documentation, visit the Swiss IT Professional and TechNet Blog.
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