April 20, 2010 | SQL Server

Keeping up with SQL Server cumulative updates

Yesterday, a conversation on twitter reminded me that I haven't been keeping up with posting cumulative updates.  I missed these updates for SQL Server 2008 on March 15:

Cumulative Update #7 for SQL Server 2008 SP1 (10.00.2766)

Cumulative Update #10 for SQL Server 2008 RTM (10.00.1835)

And yesterday Glenn Berry (blog | twitter) was the first I know of to blog about Cumulative Update #9 for SQL Server 2005 SP3 (9.00.4294).  He also shares some interesting information about changes to the support policy – most importantly, SQL Server 2008 RTM is no longer a "supported service pack," so you can probably expect CU #10 to be the last update for that branch.  There is an upside to this: now that R2 is off the books, this must mean that work on SP2 is under way.

All of which made me echo a question asked in the community: "why can't I get notified when new updates are posted?"  Someone joked that they should wait for me to tell them about it.  Obviously I have failed at that, but there is still hope.  While they are much more haphazard and inconsistent than I would expect from a mature product, here are some resources that will let you stay on top of these updates without putting too much thought into it.

Microsoft SQL Server Release Services blog

http://blogs.msdn.com/sqlreleaseservices/default.aspx

Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed.  This is currently your #1 source for information about updates to both SQL Server 2005 and 2008.  Don't expect them to blog within 5 minutes of a public release, but if it's more than 12 hours, it's an anomaly.

SQLServerCentral.com build lists

SQL Server 2008 Build List

SQL Server 2005 Build List

Steve Jones has been maintaining these lists but, like me, he is not always on top of it (right now both lists are one cumulative update behind).

The official RSS feed for SQL Server 2005 KB articles

http://support.microsoft.com/common/rss.aspx?rssid=2855

When this feed first came out, I really felt like they had answered a big problem with the communication about cumulative updates.  If you are still using SQL Server 2005 and keeping it updated, you can subscribe to this feed and just watch for the title to include the text "Cumulative Update" — note that I posted about this feed once before.  The problem is that I am still trying to find equivalent feeds for SQL Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008 R2.

The SQL Server web site

In response to this Connect request, they have tucked some cumulative update information up into the top right corner of this page:

http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/sqlserver/aa336368.aspx

Unfortunately, this page is only worth the amount of effort they put into keeping it current.  Right now, it thinks the "latest cumulative update for SQL Server 2008" is CU #6, which was released last summer and has been superceded by a service pack and 4 newer cumulative updates in each branch.  The link for the "latest" SQL Server 2005 also points to a CU from last summer.  A for effort, E for execution.

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