SQL 2000 End of Life and BizTalk Server 2004
Recently I've noticed that Microsoft has announced the discontinuation of mainstream support for SQL Server 2000, effective April 8, 2008 (assuming you're on SP4).
So, what does this mean for customers running BizTalk Server 2004, since BizTalk 2004 only runs on SQL Server 2000? If you've been thinking of upgrading, there's no time like the present! However, you're not completely out of luck... yet.
Extended Support for SQL 2000 will be available until April 9, 2013. Some important points to consider, from the Microsoft Support Lifecycle web page:
- No more "free" support
- Security updates still provided
- Non-security related hotfix support requires a separate Extended Hotfix Support Agreement to be purchased (per-fix fees also apply)
- Microsoft will not accept requests for warranty support, design changes, or new features during the Extended Support phase
For most of you, that means you can keep running products which require SQL 2000 (older versions of BizTalk and Dynamics GP come to mind), and you'll get your security patches as issues arise.
With all of the very cool advances made in BizTalk 2006 (and R2), especially around ease of maintenance, administration and deployment compared to BizTalk 2004, I strongly encourage you to upgrade to BizTalk Server 2006 R2 when it releases later this year.