Just like they said, Microsoft released the Office Service Pack 2 on April 28. In that service pack are a number of improvements and bug fixes for both SharePoint Server 2007 (news, site) and WSS. We offered the hightlights earlier, now we look a little deeper.

Service Pack 2 contains all the hotfixes, cumulative updates, security updates and public updates put out since the last service pack up until February of this year. In addition to being a rollup of all these updates, there are also a number of new fixes and improvements.

WSS3.0 Service Pack 2

The improvements included in this service pack are the same as those for SharePoint Server 2007 so we'll cover them together in the next section.

You can read a spreadsheet listing all 34 new issues fixed with Service Pack 2, some of which include:

  • Alerts may not be sent correctly on certain installation languages.
  • Migrating data may encounter errors when uniquely secured folders contain draft items.
  • The mergecontentdbs command for Stsadm.exe will not work if the command is executed by a user who is not a site collection administrator.
  • SharePoint uses more memory than necessary for some operations.
  • After a site reaches its quota, the site becomes inaccessible. 

SharePoint Server 2007 Service Pack 2

There are a number of fixes and enhancements applied to different parts of SharePoint Server 2007 including Excel Services, Content Management, , InfoPath, Groove, Project Server, Search Server and SharePoint Server itself.

In total, there are over 150 fixes to the various Office Servers.

As we said in our Highlights article, the main improvements occur in the areas of performance and availability, improved interoperability and a few things to help you get ready for SharePoint 2010:

Improvements in Performance and Availability

  • Database Integrity: The Database Statistics Job has been modified to now include rebuilds of the content index which will help to reduce database fragmentation.
  • Read-Only Content Databases: Users are now restricted from performing tasks in a database that has been marked as read-only.
  • 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.
  • Stsadm Enhancements: Remove orphaned objects, tune the search query processing and a few more.
  • 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, etc.
  • InfoPath Forms Services: Memory requirements for forms have been reduced and page load times have been improved for larger forms.

Improved Interoperability

  • Forms Authentication: Improved user experience when using Client Applications like MS Office (SP2 needs to be applied to the client apps as well). The constant prompting for user credentials has been resolved making Forms based authentication an option when using Office Client applications.
  • Browser Support: SharePoint now supports IE8 for Level 1, FireFox 2 and 3 for Level 2 (all basic features).

Preparing for 2010

The new Stsadm command: preupgradecheck will take you on your path to SharePoint 2010. It will tell you if there are any issues that will prevent you from upgrading when the time comes and provides recommendations for improving your current environment.

Trouble Applying the Service Pack

Since t has been released, some have had problems when applying the service pack. You can view some of these issues on Wictor Wilén's blog, including a workaround for Ninex Workflow 2007.

Anyone who thought the upgrade would be smooth sailing was either dreaming or hasn't customized their implementation too much. But as we pointed out, you need to test these things first in a non-production environment.

You can find the download links and more information on the SharePoint MSDN team blog.