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SQL Server specialists

Build Patches

Patch information for the below versions are available on this site:
SQL Server 2016

SQL Server 2014

SQL Server 2012

SQL Server 2008 R2

SQL Server 2008

SQL Server 2005

SQL Server Express Edition
 
Microsoft currently releases 3 main types of SQL Server patches and these are:

  • Service Packs
  • GDRs
  • QFEs

Update 2016 Mar.

Service Packs are typically applied to all instances of SQL Server, if supported by the application and if testing in a non-Production environment reveals no issues. From SQL Server 2008 onwards, the SQL Server Service Packs can be uninstalled, unlike previous versions where re-installs of SQL Server were required if an issue occurred.
 
GDRs (General Distribution Release) are typically released between Service Packs to address issues of importance e.g. a security vulnerability.  As with Service Packs, GDRs are typically applied to all instances of SQL Server, if supported by the application and if testing in a non-Production environment reveals no issues.
 
QFEs (Quick Fix Engineering) are hotfixes which address specific SQL Server build issues. QFEs typically get consolidated and released as CUs (Cumulative Updates) and the CUs in-turn get consolidated and released as a Service Pack. The key difference between QFEs/CUs and Service Packs is the amount of testing performed by Microsoft. Service Packs  are more rigorously tested and therefore it is recommended that QFEs/CUs should not be applied unless they address a specific issue being experienced.