SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 CTP3 is available – but there's a catch
Back on July 5th, I somehow missed that the SQL Server team had published a Community Technology Preview (CTP) for SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1. This is the 3rd CTP (I guess I missed the first two as well, but more likely those were simply not made public). However, before you download it, there's a catch:
This early CTP3 version of the SP1 release is intended ONLY for those customers who are testing Business Intelligence capabilities available in Office 2013 and SharePoint 2013 public preview program. DO NOT install this early CTP3 release for general SQL Server 2012 patches and bug fixes.
According to Microsoft, the Service Pack CTP contains *none* of the fixes from Cumulative Update #1 and Cumulative Update #2, even though the build number is a much-newer 11.0.2809.24. This is a code path update only, and is meant only for testing this new functionality. If you are running SQL Server 2012 in production, please do *not* bother deploying this CTP. The RTM service pack, when it is released, will have all of the patches and bug fixes you would expect (though it will still be subject to the leapfrog mechanism that typically locks out fixes from the cumulative update that immediately precedes the service pack). I'd expect the next cumulative update sometime around August 15th, and I do *not* expect the RTM for Service Pack 1 before then. If money were involved, I'd bet that Service Pack 1 will include the features you find in the CTP, and the fixes from CU1 & CU2.
In the meantime, you can download the CTP and read about it on the SSAS blog:
- SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 CTP3 download
- Announcing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) Community Technology Preview 3 (CTP3)
And of course the standard disclaimer for CTPs applies:
The CTP3 release of SP1 is not supported by Microsoft in production environments.