One of the most common topics in regards to MOSS/WSS lately has been around the question: "What patches do I need in order to be up to date with MOSS/WSS?". The following will allow you to be up to date as of the Infrastructure update with the fewest number of patches/hotfixes that need to be applied. Included are a couple bits on the next updates as well. I will start with RTM and move to current patching levels. When applying updates to WSS and MOSS one of the important things to look at is going to be downtime. One common way to help streamline the update/patching process is to apply all needed updates at once. Todd Carter did an excellent post on this recently that can be found HERE. This will allow you to minimize your patching time. Basically when patching, apply the latest updates for WSS and MOSS at once so that you do not need to run the PSConfig utility multiple times. Once you are familiar with the process you can use the below list of patches to make sure that you are up to date. Here is a summary of the process:
This is just a summary, Todd's article covers this in much more depth including detaching Content Databases to speed up the process as well as some other configuration details to streamline the process. I highly recommend reading his article before patching.
The below section covers the patches that are needed and the order they should be applied. This will get you up to date from a fresh RTM install all the way to the Infrastructure Updates (IU).
From an RTM MOSS installation use the following patching to get current(Make sure you read the articles and get the appropriate patches for 32 or 64 bit):
The AAM hotfix is mentioned in the notes on the infrastructure updates. The KB for this is forthcoming and I will post when it is released as well. You can call customer service to request it using the link above. Always read the known issues portions of the KB articles when downloading a particular patch or hotfix. The above list is from RTM to current. If you already have SP1 installed, you can start at step 3. If you already have the patch from step 3 applied, you can go to step 4.
Much of the confusion and conversation around patching seems to stem from the fact that there are different types/levels of patching when it comes to MOSS. Let's break it down a bit. We have two products, WSS and MOSS. Since you can have WSS without MOSS, it makes sense that you need patches for both. So at any one time when looking at patching you need to make sure that you are up to date on both products if you are running MOSS. If you are in a WSS only deployment, you then need only worry about WSS patches. Most of the patches when released will contain the previously released patches as well. So for example in the MOSS infrastructure update, all the patches between SP1 and the Infrastructure update are included in the package. This allows for minimizing your patch time by allowing you to only need to apply the latest patches most of the time.
The next level of confusion often revolves around the fact that we have two different patch types for each product. These are Global patches and Local patches. Global patches apply to all installations. Local patches are specific to a language. So for example, for some patches you may need to have the Global update, as well as a local patch for your particular language install (Russian, Chinese, etc...) this is due to the fact that some patches have localized data that only applies to installs that use that particular language. This includes English as well. There are local patches that are specific to English language installs of SharePoint. Note that step 3 above says that you need to install a patch that is local because it is not included in the IU update.
So when doing any patching to MOSS/WSS you need to keep the following items in mind:
SharePoint patching resources:
Updates Resource Center for SharePoint Products and Technologies
Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (WSS)
Deploying software updates for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0
Understanding and deploying hotfixes, public updates, and service packs (MOSS)
Deploying software updates for SharePoint Server 2007
Hopefully this helps sort through some of the confusion when it is time to patch your SharePoint environment. I will post more information as it becomes available especially in regards to the upcoming AAM hotfix KB.
Special Thanks to: