The first Sevice Pack for Microsoft's SQL Server 2008 is now available.
Many SQL Server 2000 and 2005 shops have been waiting for the pack before upgrading to the 2008 edition, as it contains all the cumulative updates and fixes issued since SQL Server 2008 was released to manufacturing in August.
Service Pack 1 (SP1) also makes it easier to deploy SQL Server 2008. A feature called Slipstream allows users to install the database and service pack at once, easing the process of loading the software onto hundreds or thousands of servers, says Fausto Ibarra, Microsoft's director of product management for SQL Server.
There isn't much in the way of new features in SP1, but that's a deliberate reflection of Microsoft's strategy to put out initial releases that are feature-complete, with packs only used for fixes, Ibarra says. "We got feedback from customers that they wanted more predictability, service packs that they could deploy without worrying about application compatibility."
Should there be a compatibility problem, users have the ability to uninstall the service pack, he says.
While Microsoft is hoping the service pack's release will entice more SQL 2000 and 2005 users to upgrade, the company claims SQL 2008 has been downloaded more than three million times already.