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This article describes the release strategy for Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC).
In the past, each release of Microsoft Data Access Components (MDAC) has been made publicly available as a stand-alone redistributable package (Mdac_typ.exe). MDAC has not always been included with Microsoft Windows operating system releases. Therefore, the stand-alone redistributable packages have been provided as mechanisms for installing the version of MDAC that the customer wanted on the customer's version of the operating system.
MDAC is now included as a core component of all currently supported Windows releases. Therefore, a stand-alone MDAC redistributable package is no longer required. All new versions of MDAC and all service pack releases of MDAC will be included only in Windows releases. We are making this change to improve the customer experience. This release strategy limits the occurrence of DLL conflicts that may occur when a customer has multiple versions of MDAC installed. This release strategy also increases the level of support and of serviceability that we can provide for MDAC releases.
Earlier stand-alone MDAC redistributable packages cannot be installed on later versions of Windows. Also, by default, they cannot be installed on current versions of Windows that already contain a later version of MDAC. For example, the MDAC 2.7 stand-alone redistributable package cannot be installed on a computer that is running Microsoft Windows Server 2003, because MDAC 2.8 is already included as a core component of Windows Server 2003.
MDAC 2.8 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is intended to be the last release of MDAC that will be released to the Web as a stand-alone redistributable package. The MDAC 2.8 SP1 stand-alone redistributable package will contain the same functional binaries that were included with the Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) release. The MDAC 2.8 SP1 redistributable package is currently scheduled to be released in the first half of calendar year 2005. Windows Server 2003 SP1 is the next operating system release that will include an MDAC service pack. Windows Server 2003 SP1 will include MDAC 2.8 SP2.
The next major version release of Windows will include an updated version of MDAC. The updated version will improve reliability, performance, and supportability. Also, the updated version will more fully integrate MDAC into the operating system.
For more information about MDAC, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site: