In today’s world of database administrations, there are a plethora of tools and resources that can be available to utilize to help solve problems, such as performance tuning, configuration, and many others. Some are third party tools, some are free, and some are provided by the vendor themselves. Regardless of which tool or resource you use, discovering new ones that help you is like finding buried treasure.
One that I use quite often is this site: http://sqlserverbuilds.blogspot.com. If you are like myself and can’t quite remember the exact version levels of Microsoft SQL Server as well as what service packs or cumulative updates are available, this site is very handy. You can quickly correlate a version level to which major edition as well service pack levels.
You might notice that SQL Server 2017 does not have any available service packs. Starting with SQL Server 2017 and forward, Microsoft stop releasing service packs in favor of doing cumulative updates. Along with that, the cadence in which the updates will be released is proportional to the age of the product. In other words, as the product gets old, the slower you will see cumulative updates come out.
We can see the cumulative updates for SQL Server 2017 (as well as any other versions) if we simply click on the link under the product name. The site will then jump you to the appropriate section of the page that has the content you seek. Note: clicking on the link within the “KB/Description” column will take you directly to the corresponding web page at Microsoft.
Easy right? All in all, a handy thing for database administrators everywhere.
Through the team here at Denny Cherry & Associates Consulting, I recently discovered a new tool. Well, really, it’s probably not new but new to me.
The Microsoft Update Catalog. Microsoft provides a catalog for products (all of them as far as I can tell) in a nice, simple, and ease to use interface. There aren’t any bells or whistles. In fact, the only draw back that I can find is that the pagination is limited to 25 records per page and is not configurable. In the grand scheme of things, this is very minor and certainly does not prevent me from utilizing this resource.
If we search for SQL Server 2017 (be specific when searching for a product), we can see every update that Microsoft has released:
All of the columns are sortable as well. To sort, just click on the column title and you can choose ascending or descending. This is a handy feature. Furthermore, just like the previous one, it also provides you a quick method to download the update for the product if desired. Simply click on the Download link to obtain the software.
Both tools pretty much offers the same thing. I think the Microsoft catalog is a little cleaner, but the SQL Server Build list provides you with the numeric value that corresponds to each service pack or cumulative update. The Microsoft catalog does not provide that. Moving forward, I will be using both tools when the job calls for it, but now I know that the Microsoft one exists.
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