Bug fixes in SQL Server

SQL Server 2016 CU1 has been released and one thing I noticed was: –

FIX: Canceling a backup task crashes SQL Server 2014 or 2016

That’s pretty nasty, when I originally clicked on the link I was expecting to see detailed a pretty precise set of circumstances in which that bug can occur but no no, apparently not. Cancelling any backup task can lead to this happening.

This lead me to thinking about going to RTM versions of SQL when they’re released, there’s always a debate of whether to wait for the first service pack or not. Often people (like myself) are keen to upgrade to take advantage of new features that are available and will push for the upgrade.

Actually I tell a lie, I’ve always installed new versions of SQL Server on my laptop as soon as they’re available but I’ve been firmly in the “wait ’til the first service pack is released before deploying to production” brigade since SQL Server 2012.

The reason for this is that in a previous position, when SQL Server 2012 was released the devs were very keen to implement it immediately for a new project. I did halfheartedly object but in the end it was deployed (I even remember someone telling me, “yeah but it’s been in CTP for aaaaaages, they’ll have picked up most of the bugs”, ha ha ha).

Well, we had no end of problems and it wasn’t until SP2 was released and we patched our instance that things improved. KBs like this one really put me against using RTM versions and stuff like this made me even more cautious.

So when Microsoft announced that they were changing their patching policy and recommending that CUs should be proactively installed as they are released, I wasn’t particularly happy. Should I have been? Surely testing the CUs to the same level as the SPs is a good thing?

Being the pessimist that I am, all I saw with this was just more ways to introduce risk to my systems. If I’m not suffering any issues why would I install all CUs released instead of waiting for the SP?

And to be honest that’s what I’m going to do, unless I’m seeing a specific issue I’m going to wait for the SP and not bother with the CUs. Unless, and I’ve seen this mentioned, Microsoft do away with the SPs and just release CUs periodically.

Then I guess it’ll be a matter of installing on my dev/staging systems and test, test, test.

The new SQL Server Management Studio

Ok, so this is old news I know, but I’ve had a busy couple of months and am only getting around to writing this now. SSMS is now a separate release from SQL itself. The latest release is here.

Monthly releases and no longer having to download GBs to get a client?

SSMS Updates


Has anyone else noticed this?

SSMS Themes

Microsoft! Give us a dark theme, come on! I’ve always been enviously of those Devs with their dark themed Visual Studio.

I am a little annoyed about one thing however (please try to hide your shock). Management Studio since April uses a different add-in model which means all the old plugins that I had no longer worked.

Thankfully it seems that vendors have been working hard and there are a number of plugins out there now that support the newest version of management studio. A couple of my favourites are:-

SQL Sentry’s Plan Explorer (who doesn’t use this)

ApexSQL Refactor (the best of the free formatters that I could find)

Another couple of cool developments in the community are:-

The SQL Server Management Studio Enhancements Trello Board

This allows people who use SSMS to suggest ideas (bug fixes?) to Microsoft and if a “card” gets enough votes, it’ll become a Connect item. Nice to see but let’s watch that space and see what happens (says the cynic in me).

The SQL Community on Slack

I have mixed feelings towards Slack if I’m honest. On one hand it is a really good collaboration tool for teams and one the other, it’s another way for me to be interrupted at work. I now have email, Skype, Skype for frickin’ business and now Slack…grrr
Anyway, at the very least it’s going to allow me to keep in touch with other members of the SQL community out there.

Thanks for reading!