Joe Webb Blog

Musing and observations about SQL Server, other technogies, and sometimes just life in general

Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!

Late yesterday afternoon, Microsoft posted to their download site a Release Candidate (RC1) for the Notification Services Components Package. This is essentially the same package that was released back in February 2007, with one really major exception - it supports SQL Server 2008!

As one who has worked quite a bit with Notification Services (and still I received calls and emails from around the world regarding Notification Services), I'm very glad to see this. Not only because I'm glad to see a good feature persisted a bit longer, but because Microsoft stepped up and in my opinion made good on an implicit agreement that was entered into when SSNS was incorporated into SQL Server. A feature that some of us, not many I'll freely admit but some of us, used in good faith with the understanding that it would be available in at least one more product revision. And although this component release in no way incorporates SSNS into the SQL Server 2008 product, it does allow SSNS 2005 to be used with 2008.

I downloaded the redistribution late yesterday afternoon and I've read through most of the accompanying documentation, but I haven't had a chance to experiment with it yet. Hopefully I'll carve some time out in the coming few days and I'll post my experiences.

While I understand Microsoft's reasons for not continuing with SSNS in the core product of SQL Server 2008, this component release provides an upgrade path and buys us some time as we look for alternative ways to fulfill similar requirements. Thank you, Microsoft.



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Legacy Comments

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
Can you please explain what you understand of Microsoft's reasons for dropping support for this service in SQL 2008; is it purely a business decision based on usage? Also, is there a migration path that current NS users should pursue on the Microsoft platform given that it seems to be a dying service offering?



Joe Webb
re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
I have no inside knowledge with respect to why Microsoft decided to abruptly remove the components from SQL Server 2008, but I have some suspecions.

Despite being a very good feature, it was not widely adopted. I believe this can be attributed to a number of factors including poor marketing attempts by Microsoft to clearly define to the customer base how Notification Services could be used to solve real business problems and why it's better than creating your own home-grown solution.

As a result of the low adoption rates, it became more effort to keep it going, to support it, etc, than it is worth to Microsoft.

Microsoft states that Reporting Services is the vehicle of choice for sending notification messages. I can see why they would say that. However Reporting Services does not currently support many if not most of the features that NS provides. And I believe that those features will likely continue to be outside the scope of RS.

Again, I have no inside knowledge into this. I'm very disappointed. However, I am glad to see that Microsoft has given us some time to migrate off of this notification platform.

Perhaps I'll devote a longer blog to the subject at some point.

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
Hey Joe
Microsoft Says that Notification Service can be replaced by using SSRS and DMF in SQL Server 2008. Can you give me any idea how can we do so? Or Should we have to rely on some other Products for Notification Services.


Joe Webb
re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
I'm in the process of converting one of my SSNS applications to SSRS.

SSRS is not as robust in its capabilities, yet. Hopefully Microsoft will expand its capabilities in future releases so that it can indeed replace many SSNS installations.

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
That link in the OP is dead now and I can't find even a mention of SSNS on microsoft's site. What happened?

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
I spend my time on vuvvling

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
The link you posted has gone away. Can you tell us how this can be accomplished to have the engine of SQL NS, but have the application databases on SQL 2008 (preferably SQL 2008 R2 now)?

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
I think I may have found the answer, SP3 for SQL 2005 included the components. We will go this route.

Basically release note for SQL 2005 SP3, but specifically for NS.

re: Running SQL Server Notification Services in 2008!
Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Service Pack 3 is located here