Making of a Service Pack

Heath Stewart

In response to a previous post about how large patches can cause problems, reader Zodman asks,

“Would it be fair to say that SP1 is actually ready, and that the only hold up is problems with the install?”

While I can’t comment on any dates or availability, I can tell you we are working hard to provide the best possible customer experience to install Service Pack 1, and to provide as many fixes as possible that meet SP1’s customer-focused bar.

Making a product update as large as a service pack against a product install that already has many files is a long process. Bugs have to be triaged according to many factors.

Our team is responsible for coordinating all the Visual Studio 2005 product units (PUs), which is a major undertaking. Our team also does thorough testing of various – even atypical – installation scenarios, such as installing the product, installing the patch, uninstalling the product, reinstalling the product, installing the patch, and uninstalling just the patch. The test matrix is even larger when considering all the different combinations of editions for all of Visual Studio, Visual Studio Express, and Visual Studio Team Foundation suites; and on all supported Windows platforms.

Our PUs also do some basic setup testing but typically focus their QA on functional, performance, and stress testing to verify that a bug fix actually fixes the bug without causing product functionality or performance regressions within the PU or in other PUs, even within other divisions.

We are all working hard to provide customers a high quality release. For information about availability, please watch Soma’s blog at


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