Skip to main content

SQL Server 2016 RTM – Is Anyone Still Waiting for the First Service Pack?

Well most of the SQL Server news last week focused around the launch of SQL Server 2016. SQL Server RTM dropped on 1st June and a quick twitter poll, suggests that some  people at least will be deploying SQL Server 2016 in production before the end of the year.


Twitter Poll


These findings, granted on a very small sample, imply that least some people will be deploying SQL Server 2016 in the next six months. I still hear some people say, that they will wait for the first service pack of new SQL Server release  before looking to deploy and migrate their production datatbases to the latest SQL Server release.

Back in the day, probably SQL Server 2000/2005, possibly even later than that with SQL Server 2008,  I generally recommended waiting for the release of the first service pack, mainly because SP1 usually fixed all the bugs that was included in the RTM version, things howver have moved on since then.


These days having the first service pack mentality is probably slightly backward thinking.  Microsoft has the Technology Adoption Program (TAP) and Rapid Deployment Program   (RDP) you can read more about these on James Serra’s blog  but basically these initiatives provide Microsoft with early feedback on new product and the product goes through more rigorious testing than in years past. The RTM version of SQL Server has been thoroughly tested before release and most of the bugs should have been caught before RTM.


Microsoft’s attitude to service packs is changing or maybe has changed already. For example with Windows Server 2012 they introduced the concept of update rollups. Instead of service packs they release regular/frequent updates. These are explained in this blog post so with the old “wait for SP1 mentality” You’ll still be on Windows Server 2008R2.


From a SQL Server perspective the landscape is also changing. Back in March Microsoft announced the SQL Server Incremental Servicing Model (ISM) in the following blog which basically means instead of installing cumulative updates (CU) if they fixed a problem you were experiencing with SQL Server Microsoft  now want you to apply CUs regularly and proactively, the reason for this as quoted from the ISM blog post is “This is because CU’s are certified and tested to the level of SP’s”. With this in mind you have to question how frequently there will be a service pack release for SQL Server 2016, if ever. It might be that service packs are a thing of the past. So if you wait for SP1 before deploying SQL Server 2016 then you might have a long wait.


You can still vote in the twitter poll


If you are thinking of upgrading your version of SQL Server and you need some help  check out of consultancy services and get in touch


  1. We're deploying as we need to move to the new mobile reports but there's a little bleeding that SP1 is supposed to fix. So your SP1 advice is probably still sound.

    1. Thanks for the comment Nigel. I was under the impression that issue like that would now be in CUs and they, CUs, should be applied regularly. What was the issue that you have to wait for a SP1 to to fix?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

SQL Server 2012 and Virtual Service Accounts

This post is written by David Postlethwaite
If you are using SQL Server 2012 you will probably have noticed that the default account for the SQL services has changed from that used in previous versions. With SQL 2005 and 2008 the default account for SQL service and SQL Agent service was “NT Authority\System”. This is one the built in accounts on a Windows machine, managed by the machine and selectable from a dedicated dropdown list

The Network Service account was introduced in Windows 2003 as an alternative to using the LocalSystem account, which has full local system privileges on the local machine, a major security concern.
The Network Service has limited local privileges easing these security concerns but when many services on a machine use the Network Service account it becomes harder to track which service is actually accessing resources and performing actions, because all the services are using the one Network Service account.
Also, this account, by default, has sysadmin per…

Always Encrypted

By David Postlethwaite

Always Encrypted is new features in SQL Server 2016 and it is also available in Azure SQL Database. Here you can encrypt columns in a table with a master key and a certificate so that they will appear as encrypted strings to those who don’t have the required certificate installed on their pc.
Once the certificate is installed on the computer then the unencrypted data can then be seen as normal.

The data passes from database to your application as the encrypted value, only the application with the correct certificate can unencrypt the data so it is secure across the wire. This will go some way to resolving the concern of people worried about putting their sensitive data on a shared server in the cloud such as Microsoft Azure and accessing the data across the Internet.

At the time of writing Always Encrypted is only supported with ADO.NET 4.6, JDBC 6.0 and ODBC 13.1 but expect other driver to become available.

The calling application (including SSMS) must also hav…

New in SQL Server 2017: Graph Databases

David has recorded and published a video of his presentation on SQL Server Graph Database. In his video which you can watch below, David provides an excellent introduction into SQL Server 2017 Graph Databases. In his presentation he looks at Tennis results at tournaments for  his favourite player "The Fed"  Rodger Federer.

David  shows how to set up graph database and work with them in SQL Server 2017.

Graph Database is not new. Other vendors have had graph database capabilities for some time so Microsoft are quite late to the market. In David presentation it appears that Microsoft have done a reasonable job of implementing some of the graph database features but he does point some of the limitations of the Microsoft product too and suggests that it is not ready for production yet but Microsoft seem serious about this feature.

Please watch the video and feel free to leave a comment or feedback - David is delivering a version of this talk on Graph databases in SQL Saturday Ka…