Benefits of SharePoint 2007 Service Pack 2

Service Pack 2 contains all the hotfixes, cumulative updates, security updates and public updates put out since the last service pack. It is specifically designed to improve performance and availability of SharePoint server farm. It fixes some of the known issues across SharePoint. SP2 provides enhancements designed to support greater interoperability, improve user experience and reduce administrative task. It also provides the groundwork for an eventual upgrade to the SharePoint 2010.

Performance and Availability Improvements

SP2 includes several fixes and enhancements designed to improve performance, availability, and stability in your server farms; we can check some of them in detail.

Database Integrity: The Database Statistics Job has been modified to now include rebuilds of the content index which will help to reduce database fragmentation. The Database Statistics job uses the online index rebuild feature of SQL Server 2005 and should run without any impact on performance for content databases of up to the recommended size limit of 100 GB.

Read-Only Content Databases: Users are now restricted from performing tasks in a database that have been marked read-only. While performing some maintenance tasks we may encounter some requirements to mark content databases as read-only. On farms that are running Office SharePoint Server 2007 with SP2 or Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 with SP2, the site collection associated with a read-only content database is set to be read-only automatically, and the user interface is modified so that users cannot perform tasks that require writing to the database. Previously, the user interface was not modified, and users received error messages when they attempted to perform operations that wrote information to the content database. This is a very good feature when we deal with maintenance work of SharePoint.

Content Deployment and Site Variations: A new STSADM command will scan variation based sites for errors and fix them if possible and there are improvements to the performance and stability of content deployment and the variations feature. Office SharePoint Server 2007 SP2 adds a new operation to the STSADM command-line tool that enables a SharePoint administrator to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors.

STSADM Enhancements: Remove orphaned objects, tune the search query processing. Other additions include operation that we can use to tune various aspects of search query processing and the preupgradecheck operation.

Excel Services: In addition to a number of bugs being fixed, it's also easier to configure Excel web parts on a site and there have been improvements in performance, security.

InfoPath Forms Services: SP2 also offers a range of improvements for users of InfoPath Forms Services. Performance enhancements in SP2 reduce both the memory requirements and the page load times for large browser-rendered forms. SP2 also improves the browser rendering of various controls, such as the cannot be blank red asterisk and the rich text field.

Improved Interoperability

Better User Experience with Forms Authentication:  SP2 2 updates for Microsoft Office Client applications provide a much flatter user experience and make client integration a feasible option for forms-based authentication.

Browser Support: SharePoint now supports IE8 for Level 1, FireFox 2 and 3 for Level 2 (all basic features). Level 2 Web browsers support all of the basic features of SharePoint Products and Technologies, including read and write functionality and site administration tasks

Preparing for 2010

The STSADM preupgradecheck operation can be used to scan your server farm to establish whether it is ready for upgrade. It will tell us if there are any issues that will prevent us from upgrading to SharePoint 2010.