Getting notifications on new SQL Server releases like patches, hotfixes, security updates, etc. is a very important and critical task for all IT professionals, responsible for administering SQL Server environments. Actually, this check is one of the few critical ones, that Microsoft is considering when evaluating any given instance on its health and risk status.
So, what are the options out there for notifications:
- Software update management tools – tools, that you use to download/distribute patches, such as WSUS, System Center Configuration Manager and so on, and so on. Those tools are talking directly to Microsoft update catalogues, so if there is something new, related to SQL Server, it pops out in your list of available patches.
- Manual monitoring – there are number of Microsoft supported pages, that can help you find the latest release or get notified via mail or RSS for a new patch:
- KB957826 – here you can find complete list of SQL Server major releases and links towards its latest service pack or cumulative update
- SQL Server Release Services Blog – a blog, that everything, related to new builds, is getting published – service packs, hotfixes, cumulative updates, product previews, etc.
Personally I’ve subscribed to the SQL Server Release Services blog couple of years ago and I do not need any other service to get me notified. Of course, this can get quite tricky when you need to take care for large environments, with different SQL Server versions and patch levels. For that reason, the best solution is to have one of those tools, that help you with your patch management (and they help not only for SQL Server).