Microsoft distributes fixes in service packs. Service packs keep a product current. They include hotfixes and fixes to issues that are reported through the Microsoft SQL Server community. Service packs may also include issues that our support organization feels have to be addressed. The most common metrics that are applied for triage of those items are customer call volume and customer satisfaction scores. These updates and components are conveniently bundled for easy downloading.
Service packs are cumulative. Each new service pack contains all the fixes that are in previous service packs, together with any new fixes. You do not have to install a previous service pack before you install the latest service pack.
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