As part of this blog, I comment about Notification Services.  I wanted to provide you the following information about the availability of a pre-release SQL Server 2005 Notification Services components package. 

If you have questions about SQL Server 2005 Notification Services, visit the SQL Server Notification Services Forum on MSDN.  You can help improve the final version by submitting bugs to the Connect Feedback Center.

Take care and good luck,

-Lukasz

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SQL Server 2005 Notification Services Components Package Availability

The SQL Server 2005 Notification Services component package made available in the February 2007 release of the Microsoft Feature Pack for SQL Server 2005 is being updated to include Notification Services components, such as Notification Services server and client components, but will not include Management Studio integration. These updated components are designed to work with SQL Server 2005 and SQL Server 2008 databases.

The SQL Server 2005 Notification Services components package update will be released in two phases:

Phase 1: RC1

The SQL Server 2005 Notification Services component package RC1 is available from the Microsoft Download Center.

This release is a pre-release version and is available only for testing. Product support is not available for this pre-release.

Phase 2: RTW

Release to Web (RTW) will be released as part of the Feature Pack update currently scheduled for release as part of SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 (SP3). SQL Server 2005 SP3 is targeted for calendar year 2008. The SQL Server 2005 Notification Services component package update will be subject to the SQL Server 2005 Product Support Lifecycle policies.

SQL Server 2005 SP3 Notification Services

Starting with SQL Server 2005 SP3, the updated Notification Services will support using either SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2008 to host Notification Services Instance and Application databases.

Changes introduced in the Updated Notification Services Components Package

We have not changed core functionality of Notification Services in the components package. We made limited interoperability fixes to enable Notification Services command line tools and service components to work correctly when using a SQL Server 2008 Database Engine to host the Notification Services Instance and Application databases.

No feature additions were made.

Phase 1: RC1 - Deploying SQL Server 2005 Notification Services Components Package

The RC1 package can be installed on the same computer as an existing SQL Server 2005 Notification Services deployment. The existing deployment will automatically use the new service components installed by the RC1 package. Any Notification Services instances running on the computer should be stopped prior to installing the RC1package.

Before installing the RC1 Package, you will need to install a SQL Server 2005 Cumulative Update to enable Notification Services to connect to a SQL Server 2008 database server.

For the purposes of testing the RC1 package, the following prerequisites are needed:

1) SQL Server 2005 Notification Services

2) SQL Server 2005 SP2

3) Cumulative update package 9 for SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 2, or later

If you do not have SQL Server 2005 installed and wish to test the RC1 Package, an option is to install the Evaluation Edition of SQL Server 2005 for the purposes of testing RC1. Please note that the Evaluation Edition does have a limited license term (please see the Evaluation Edition license terms for details).

The Future of Notification Services

SQL Server 2005 is the last planned release of Notification Services. Microsoft believes “alerting” scenarios are valuable to our customers and we are looking at ways to include them in future product offerings.