Jargons – GDR and QFE release?

Another quick one for the day – for a frequent query – what is the difference between GDR, QFE and other release terms.

For all such queries I redirect my customers to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/935897 – a nice article on Incremental Servicing Model (ISM).

·         GDRs (General distribution release) are new means of providing support. GDR fixes are reserved for those issues identified by SQL Server support as important enough to install on every instance of SQL Server.

·         QFEs are used for the majority of fixes where the effects of the problem are not widespread or severe enough to warrant a GDR.

Quick notes:

·         GDRs and QFEs are associated with build numbers.

·         Build numbers 3043 through 3149 are reserved for GDR releases.

·         Build numbers 3150+ are reserved for QFEs.

·         By reserving lower build numbers for GDR releases, users can continue to take advantage of GDR fixes, without having to install QFEs, which aggregate all the fixes shipped since the most recent service pack.

·         Once a QFE is installed, GDRs will no longer update your system, because the build number is too low, and you have to install QFEs to pick up new fixes.