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Mailbag: SQL Server Here But Not

Readers chime in on the RTM of SQL Server 2008...and why, exactly, it's taking so long to get to customers:

It might be taking so long because it relies on VS 2008 SP1.

You can download from MSDN five different versions of SQL 2008 RTM which I think are pre-pidded to be non-eval/dev type installations (or you can choose the eval install which expires after 180 days, I think). This download typically attract developers first wanting to test things out. However, if you try to install this on a box that already has Visual Studio 2008 installed you can run into some problems until they release Visual Studio 2008 SP1 (the current beta SP1 doesn't seem to help avoid the problem that prevents installation).

In my book, this is not ready for primetime, since you have to wait several days to get a patch. I would have wanted MS to delay the SQL 2008 release until VS 2008 SP1 is ready to help me avoid all the installation issues it presents. Hopefully, SQL 2008 + VS 2008 SP1 patch in a few days will help restore my confidence.

And a few of you try to shed some light into Microsoft acronyms:

I believe an RTM to Microsoft is basically the same as "Gone Gold" is to game developers and manufcaturers. That's how I take it and I believe that's how others take it, as well.

Microsoft "releasing to manufacturing" means sending a master, making DVDs, blah, blah. There is also a RTW (Release to Web) process that requires all of the internal stuff (URLs, GUIDs for the bits, validation of the bits, security, Web content, etc.). This starts as soon as the master is created for the manufacturers and takes some time. This is why there is a lag. As a benefit to Volume License customers, they get it first.

One reader explains why Linux has no place in her much as she wants it to:

According to our head IT guy, SAP only integrates with Microsoft Excel. So if you use SAP, you have to use Excel. Which means you have to run Mac or Win OS. We are an international org and we run desktops on Micro$oft (some of our servers are Linux).

I'd love to use Linux and Open Office, but that tail is not going to wag the dog.


Rich throws in his votes for best and worst OS:

Worst: DOS 4.0/Windows ME. Best: DOS 6.2/Windows XP.

And because today is Patch Tuesday, it's only fitting that readers opine about their favorite thing in the world:

Patches -- more fun than a root canal. Although manageable to a large extent, my biggest complaint is having to restart servers on a constant basis. Servers have become so mission-critical in recent years that a reboot becomes a PITA experience, even for a smaller shop such as mine. With all the advances made in recent times, is there no one that can figure out how the patches can be applied on the fly and not require reboots?

Then again, the better solution would be to develop a secure OS in the first place.

Someday, Microsoft will release patches that don't require a reboot, but I don't expect that in my lifetime!

For Patch Tuesday bulletins, maybe Microsoft could adopt the Deptartment of Homeland Security's methodology of color-coding severity of risk.

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to And don't forget to check in tomorrow for more reader letters.

Posted by Doug Barney on August 12, 2008 at 11:52 AM