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SQL Server 2005 Hits End of Support on April 12

In just three months, customers still running SQL Server 2005 will no longer be able to enjoy Mainstream Support from Microsoft.

This because on April 12, 2011, SQL Server 2005 is scheduled to enter the Extended Support phase, which automatically involves a number of changes when it comes down to the assistance that the Redmond company offers for the aging data platform.

But even though the software giant will be pulling the Mainstream Support plug, Extended Support means that SQL Server 2005 will continue to be supported.

It’s critical to note that customers will continue to receive security updates for their versions of SQL Server 2005.

At the same time, Microsoft’s David Bennie explains that Extended Support involves:

  • “Paid support (charged on an hourly basis per incident). Customers will no longer receive no-charge incident support and warranty claims, and won’t be able to request design changes or features.
  • Non-security related hotfix support will require a separate Extended Hotfix Support Agreement to be purchased within 90 days of the end of Mainstream Support – July 11th, 2011.”

Fact is that the best course of action for customers still on SQL Server 2005 is to upgrade to one of the more recent releases of SQL Server as soon as possible, or at least start planning for the jump.

Of course, as far as Microsoft is concerned, the best choice for customers is SQL Server 2008 R2. But this doesn’t mean that those wanting to stick with SQL Server 2005 won’t be able to do so.

Here are their options, according to Bennie:

  • “Remain on SQL Server 2005 with Extended Support. You can still open support incidents and receive support, however you will not be able to request specific fixes.
  • Remain on SQL Server 2005 with Extended Support and purchase Extended Hotfix Support, which must be purchased within 90 days of the end of Mainstream Support – July 11th, 2011.”

News source: Softpedia