In a recent tip (Applying SQL Server Service Packs) you have talked about updates to the server side components of SQL Server as well as the client side components. One item that I have had an issue with is related to updates for SQL Server 2005 Books Online. Can you please confirm that this portion of the product is updated or not as a portion of those processes? I am concerned that I have outdated Books Online and do not even know it.
In some respects you can consider SQL Server 2005 Books Online a separate product because the updates are independent of the SQL Server service pack cycle. Although they are on a different cycle, I would recommend keeping an eye out for the latest releases because they do offer value with new topics and new examples. To me SQL Server 2005 Books Online have always been a great resource and one of the first places to search when you encounter an issue. If you agree, then there is no reason to not keep the product up to date. So let's answer some additional questions and get you on the right track with Books Online.
How can I determine the version of Books Online?
Believe it or not, the version of SQL Server 2005 Books Online is in the title bar of the application. That is the blue bar on the top of the screen. Here are some screen shots to use as a point of reference:
SQL Server 2005 Books Online - RTM Version
SQL Server 2005 Books Online - May 2007 Version
As you can see the RTM version does not have a month and year noted, whereas the updated version has the month and year of the update in parenthesis.
Where can I download the updates?
Here are two URLs to use as point of reference:
- Microsoft TechNet - SQL Server 2005 Books Online
- Microsoft Download Center - SQL Server 2005 Books Online (May 2007)
I am not sure how large past or future updates will be, but the May 2007 SQL Server 2005 Books Online is ~135 MB. So keep this in mind when you download it and store it on your network.
How long does it take to updated SQL Server 2005 Books Online?
It is a quick and painless process. Here are the general steps:
- Download the update
- Run the SqlServer2K5_BOL_May2007.msi file
- Walk through the steps for the wizard
How can I be notified when new updates are available?
As a matter of fact you can. Visit the Microsoft Download Center and sign-up for the Downloads Notification. This is a weekly email notifying you of new downloads, trails, service packs, etc. You can select the types of products you are interested in then be on the lookout for the email.
Are there really significant changes from one version to the next?
Yes - I would recommend staying up to date with the versions of SQL Server Books Online. Each article that is updated is marked, so you have a good idea of all of the changes.
- Check out the version of Books Online that you have on your machines and SQL Servers.
- If the product is out of date, consider updating it and make sure you include the latest version of Books Online in your machine builds for your DBAs\Developers or servers.
- As a checks and balances, when you deploy SQL Server service packs, also look into the version of Books Online and see if you need to deploy the latest version of this product as well.
Last Update: 2007-10-15
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