SQL Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 is now available

And the hits keep coming! Microsoft not only released Denali CTP3 today, they have also released Service Pack 1 for SQL Server 2008 R2, which was first released as a CTP back in April (build 10.50.2425). If you installed the CTP, SELECT @@VERSION will yield something similar to the following:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP1) - 10.50.2425.0 (X64) 
    Apr  6 2011 21:03:25 
    Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
    Developer Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.1 <X64> (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)

[Note that checking SERVERPROPERTY('ProductLevel') will tell you this is Service Pack 1, even though it is not the final release – so you'll need to rely on the build numbers furnished by @@VERSION or SERVERPROPERTY('ProductVersion') when trying to determine if you have the final release of SP1.]

Now the code is officially released, and you can download the service pack from the Download Center:


If you're looking for SP1 for SQL Server Express:


And the updated feature packs can be found here:


The build number is 10.50.2500. SELECT @@VERSION will now yield something like this:

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 (SP1) - 10.50.2500.0 (X64) 
    Jun 17 2011 00:54:03 
    Copyright (c) Microsoft Corporation
    Developer Edition (64-bit) on Windows NT 6.1 <X64> (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)

You can read about some of the changes in Service Pack 1 (no, it is not just a bunch of fixes) in these blog posts:

SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP is now available

More changes you might not have noticed in SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CTP

And you can read about the fixes that are included by reading KB #2463333:


…and by investigating the fixes in each of the first 6 cumulative update packages (they won't all be listed in the KB above):


As described in the following blog post from the Release Services team, Service Pack 1 does not include the fixes from Cumulative Update 7 or Cumulative Update 8:


UPDATE : I have confirmed that the security update from June's Patch Tuesday (which I discussed here and here) is included in the service pack.

The release notes are here:


And no, this service pack is not for SQL Server 2008, it is ONLY for SQL Server 2008 R2. I'm still baffled by how many people think these are the same overall version – and I curse Microsoft for their naming choice. I sincerely hope they've learned a valuable lesson from this…


Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at Simple Talk, SQLPerformance, and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him. If I've helped you out, consider thanking me with a coffee. :-)

11 Responses

  1. DL says:

    Hi Aaron, does Microsoft provide notification service whenever there's a new service pack release or CU for sql servers ? Something like Oracle's quarterly critical patch updates.

  2. Michael Abawat says:

    Hi Aaron.  Could you perhaps answer this question for me.  To get to version 10.50.2500 from SQL 2008, is it a service pack update or an upgrade?

  3. AaronBertrand says:

    Okay James, Daniel's comments may be valid (I never suggested they weren't), but I don't have the answers you're looking for. I don't know what other sinister motivation Microsoft may have for providing a separate Management Studio SP except to allow those with SSMS only to patch their client tools without downloading a much bigger engine-and-other-components service pack.What exactly is "your experience"? What is "the norm"? Are you suggesting that as SQL Azure and shared SQL hosting become more popular, that *less* people are going to have Management Studio on their workstations?

  4. James Willmott says:

    Daniel's comments are very valid and I had exactly the same concern when I looked at the download page. Why can't Microsoft provide some guidence about this on the Service Pack download page?
    Previously, all SQL Server Service Packs included the fixes for the Management Studio, and this is no longer the case.
    In my experience the exact opposite of what is suggested in the Blog is the norm – Nobody has SQL Server Management tools on their workstation, and Administrators Remote Desktop to the SQL Server when they need to use it (helps keep patching straight forward). And from a audit perspective all changes are done from a single box.

  5. Daniel says:

    Thanks Aaron!
    I guessed it is so, but had to ask just in case 🙂

  6. AaronBertrand says:

    Daniel, the reason there are separate updates is that more and more people now only have Management Studio on their workstations (think remote management, both on-premise and Azure). Why should they download a file twice the size if they're not going to use half of it? While I agree that their naming scheme is not perfect, but I think it is relatively intuitive that if you have *just* Management Studio, you download the patch that has Management Studio in the name, and if you have more than that, you download the full service pack.

  7. Daniel says:

    I went to the download page and it baffles me that there are 2 downloads. One for management studio and the other for SQL Server. Microsoft leaves us in the dark giving no explanation whatsoever about this. So my question is: do I need to download and apply both files or just SQLServer2008R2SP1-KB2528583-x86-ENU.exe for example?

  8. Glenn Berry says:

    I agree with Aaron's advice about whether to move to SP1 now, or to wait until SP1 CU1 is available.

  9. Glenn Berry says:

    I have heard from at least one reliable source that the June security update is included in SP1

  10. AaronBertrand says:

    Steve, I'm not sure which option you feel more comfortable with. The only advantage in SP1's favor is the new functionality you get. If you are only concerned with fixes, but NOT the CU7 or CU8 fixes, then apply SP1. If you want the CU7 or CU8 fixes, apply CU7 or CU8, and wait to apply SP1 until SP1 CU1 is also available.

  11. Steve says:

    If SP1 does not include the CU7 or CU8 fixes, and you are not currently affected by issues in CU7 or CU8, I assume the recommendation would be to move to SP1? I suppose the alternative is to apply CU6 and wait for SP1 CU1 to be on the safe side.