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End of Extended Support for Some .NET Framework, SQL Server Versions

Security risks will be a major concern for companies using some versions of .NET Framework and SQL Server after extended support ends some time this year.

Microsoft will be ending extended support for some versions of .NET Framework this month and SQL Server in April, and that introduces security risks for companies who don't upgrade.

The end of extended support means Microsoft will stop issuing security patches or future hotfixes. Microsoft's enterprise software lifecycle product support is a policy with two five-year support phases, namely "mainstream support" and "extended support." At the end of those 10 years, Microsoft essentially considers its software to be "unsupported" and no longer developed.

Microsoft has specified a Jan. 12, 2016 end of extended support deadline for some .NET Framework 4 versions. After that date, .NET Framework 4, 4.5 and 4.5.1 will cease getting hotfixes and security updates.

This deadline, part of a new policy announced in August 2014, may be easier to meet since organizations can install .NET Framework 4.5.2 or newer versions and continue to stay supported. The .NET versions from 4.5.2 are described by Microsoft as "in-place" upgrades, which make the process a bit easier. An in-place upgrade doesn't require that the earlier .NET Framework version be uninstalled.

Microsoft carved out an exception for .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1. Its lifecycle is still based on Microsoft's old policy. That is, the product lifecycle of .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 is still based the underlying Windows product lifecycle and will lose extended support at the same time that Windows does.

The end of extended support for SQL Server 2005 is scheduled for April 12, 2016. It takes several months to plan and execute a SQL Server migration, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft's technical upgrade guide (PDF) suggests that it's possible to perform an in-place upgrade from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2014. The exception is a move from 32-bit SQL Server 2005 to 64-bit SQL Server 2014, where an in-place upgrade can't be performed.

(Editor's Note: A version of this news article includes news on Internet Explorer end of extended support on Redmondmag.com.)

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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