The patch is a collection of bug and security fixes with a new feature, the Security Configuration Wizard, which helps administrators define or redefine a specific role for a server or a collection of servers that all perform the same function.
Separately, Microsoft last week released technical developer previews for SQL Server 2005, although the final version of the product is expected next summer, not during the first half of the year, as previously thought.
A spokesman for Microsoft said, "The SQL Server 2005 Community Technical Previews will help developers to test and experiment with new features as they are added to the product without having to wait for the next beta."
He added that Microsoft might provide additional Community Technical Previews before Beta 3 to gather additional feedback.
Microsoft is to release a software developers' kit in November for the high performance computing version of Windows Server.