Patch time for SQL Server... Well almost.

SP3 for SQL Server 2005 has been in CTP for a while now (10/27/08) and all is appearing to be really good.
I finally got around to installing the beta patch the other night on my home servers and experienced no issues at all.

So... what is this going to give us?  Lets crack open the What's New section and dissect.

  • All cumulative updates (CU9) See related links below for a listing of bugs fixed in the cumulative updates since SP2 shipped.
  • Updates to DBCC CHECKDB, DBCC CHECKALLOC, DBCC CHECKTABLE, and DBCC CHECKFILEGROUP.  The default behavior is to now show ALL error messages, rather than just the first 200.  (Nice especially if your database is really screwed up...)
  • Notification Services update allows for the service to leverage either a SQL 2005 or a SQL 2008 back-end database.
  • Replication - Updated the sp_showpendingchanges procedure with a new parameter of @show_rows.  This will allow for the identification of pending changes in subscribers.  (Very cool if you're trying to troubleshoot nagging replication problems)
  • Reporting Services
    • Added the functionality to generate report models based on Teradata databases.  There are some special caveats with this so make sure to read up before jumping in.  This is also aligning quite nicely with the updated geospacial functionality within SQL 2008
    • Updates to the PDF rendering engine allowing support of ANSI characters.  This allows Unicode characters from Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Cyrillic, Hebrew, and Arabic.  In addition, when possible the font will be embedded in the PDF to allow for machines without the fonts to render the characters correctly.
    • Optimization of the object model calls that SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services makes when running in SharePoint integrated mode.

As always, read the documentation BEFORE you apply the service pack.  Test in an offline (non-production) copy to make sure everything goes according to plan. And last but absolutely not least, backup your data before making ANY changes!

Official guidance right now is that SP3 is scheduled to ship Q4 of 2008.  How's that to brighten your day just before the holidays!


Happy patching!


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