News

Microsoft To Release SQL Server 2012 SP2 'Later This Year'

Service Pack 2 (SP2) for SQL Server 2012 will arrive "later this year," Microsoft announced on Thursday.

Microsoft's announcement noted that the earlier generation SQL Server 2008 products will lose "mainstream" product support on July 8, 2014. The end of mainstream support comes about midway in Microsoft's 10-year product lifecycle for business products and signifies the loss of some perks, such as no-charge incident support, warranty claims and responses to feature requests by customers.

Microsoft first released SQL Server 2012 back in April 2012. SP1 arrived in November of that year. That SP1 release coincided with the PASS Summit event. This year's PASS Summit event for SQL server professionals happens during the week of Nov. 4, so that might be when SP2 for SQL Server 2012 might appear.

Microsoft announced a new, faster release pace for its products late last year, and has suggested that service pack releases won't be the weighty events that they have been for IT pros. For instance, on the Exchange side, SP1 for Exchange 2013, which will arrive early this year, will be the equivalent of Cumulative Update 4.

Some technology reporters have claimed that Microsoft has now eliminated service packs altogether. However, Microsoft still appears to be using that service pack nomenclature, at least for 2012 products. Per Microsoft's definition, a service pack can contain new customer-requested design features, along with a collection of updates and security fixes.

Still, organizations updating SQL Server have the unenviable task of trying to figure out what Microsoft has released, and installing service packs has been a shortcut for busy IT pros to get it all wrapped up in a single release. For instance, Microsoft lists all of the Cumulative Update builds that were released after SP1 for SQL Server 2012 at this page.

However, IT pro Kendra Little cautions in an overview article, published by the Brent Ozar Unlimited consultancy, that Cumulative Updates should only be installed if an organization is affected by a particular issue described in the update.

Microsoft also issues hotfixes for problems existing in the interim before the next Cumulative Update release. Little recommends subscribing to RSS feeds of Knowledge Base article releases to find out about those releases.

Microsoft's next relational database management product, SQL Server 2014, is currently released at the Community Technology Preview 2 test stage, but it's due for some form of new release at the end of March.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

Featured

  • Everything Microsoft Announced at Its Surface Event

    Microsoft showed off its updated and expanded line of Surface devices this week, positioning the new Surface Laptop Studio as its flagship Windows 11 laptop.

  • M&A in Microsoft Channel: Progress Acquires Kemp

    Longtime Microsoft partner Progress Software is acquiring another Microsoft partner in Kemp Technologies.

  • The 2021 Microsoft Product Roadmap

    From Windows 10X to the next generation of Microsoft's application server products, here are the product milestones coming down the pipeline in 2021.

  • Microsoft Says System Center 2022 Will Arrive Early Next Year

    Microsoft is planning to release its new System Center product in the first quarter of 2022, with a private preview arriving within months.