Friday, August 26, 2011

Microsoft Previews SQL Server 2008 SP3


Microsoft Previews SQL Server 2008 SP3

The company has managed to reduce the changes in Service Pack 3 by about 65 percent.

Microsoft released previews of Service Pack 3 this week that support various editions of its SQL Server 2008 relational database.

The Customer Technical Previews (CTPs) contain improvements based on customer feedback and Service Pack 2 hotfixes. Service Pack 2 was released in September 2010.

Despite the improvements, Microsoft has managed to reduce the changes in SP3 by about 65 percent, according to Abhishek Sinha, a program manager for the Microsoft SQL Server sustained engineering team. Sinha explained in a blog post that introducing fewer changes into the service packs adds greater sustainability for customers. Microsoft has improved its product development processes with an eye toward achieving that goal, he said.

The changes highlighted by Sinha included an improved upgrade experience. SQL Server Integration Services will now show the total rows sent in data flows. There are also some functional improvements. Users get a warning message during a maintenance process "if the Shrink Database option is enabled," Sinha explained. A SQLAgent.exe shared memory problem that prevented the program from running from the command line has been fixed, he added.

A list of the flaws that were fixed in SQL Server 2008 SP3 CTP can be found in this Knowledge Base article.

CTPs are not-for-production test versions of Microsoft's products designed to get user feedback before the final release. The SQL Server 2008 SP3 CTPs are available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions for the Evaluation, Standard, Enterprise, Developer and Workgroup editions of the database. The SQL Server 2008 SP3 CTP can be downloaded here.

The new SQL Server 2008 SP3 Express edition CTP (32-bit and 64-bit) can be downloaded here. The Express edition is free to use, but Microsoft only recommends it for supporting smaller server and desktop applications, or just for learning purposes.

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 was released in July. Microsoft also released a CTP3 test version of its next-generation SQL Server, code-named "Denali" last month.