Microsoft Releases SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1

Microsoft has released SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 with enhancements meant to ease deployment but no brand new features. According to Microsoft, this is a result of an emphasis on ensuring its database is feature complete before its release.

Microsoft has pushed out the first service pack for SQL Server 2008, and to hear company officials tell it, the biggest news is that there is no big news.

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack 1 (SP1) does not contain much when it comes to new features, but it does have enhancements meant to ease deployment. That's no accident, Microsoft's Matthias Berndt told eWEEK. It is the result of the company's strategy to release a feature-complete database.

"The story around Service Pack 1 is that there is no story," said Berndt, principal group program manager at Microsoft. "When we meet vendors, (historically) they're saying out there, -hey you got to wait for SP1 to actually deploy Microsoft's product.' I think we are starting now (to) turn that around...and we are now shipping a Service Pack that is very small, very contained."

That represents a shift from the company's experience with SQL Server 2005 SP1, which saw issues with delays and compatibility.

SQL Server 2008 SP1 contains a handful of enhancements, including Slipstream, Service Pack Uninstall and Report Builder 2.0 Click Once. Slipstream allows administrators to install SQL Server 2008 and Service Pack 1 in a single instance. The feature is designed to decrease the total time for an installation by, for example, requiring a fewer number of reboots, thereby increasing productivity.

Report Builder 2.0 Click Once is likewise meant to ease deployment, while Service Pack Uninstall is designed to allow administrators to uninstall the service pack separately from the database release, Microsoft officials said.

SP1 also includes all the fixes and cumulative updates for SQL Server 2008 issued so far.

Since its release last August, the database has been downloaded more than 3 million times, according to the company.