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What’s in Store for SQL Users after End of SQL Server 2005 Support?

👤 Andrew Jackson | Modified: May 8th, 2023|SQL | 3 Minutes Reading

April 12, 2016 officially marked the end of support to Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Prior to this end-of-life, Microsoft will no longer be providing any feature updates, no fixes and no security patches whatsoever to its product users. Organizations still running SQL Server 2005 will now need to upgrade to the new versions of SQL or migrate to another platform or will have to face the wrath of the bugs if any of the above is not done.

Many changes have occurred since the introduction of SQL Server 2005, almost 10 years back. Not only the data has changed, it now comes in large variants and on a variety of platforms. To add more to this, the persistent illicit activities have also become more orchestrated and prudent.

Since it becomes necessary to emphasize this matter, in this write-up, we are going to focus on risks, which have aroused after the end of life for SQL Server 2005 support and the solvents to ease this problem.

Quick Peek at Microsoft Product Support

Microsoft’s product support is comprised of two phases-Mainstream & Extended

  • Mainstream: This period extends up to 5 years after a product is launched. The features provided from Microsoft during this span are feature updates, bug fixes, free of charge incident support, etc.
  • Extended: The product lifecycle is further elevated by the Extended supports, which lasts up to 5 years. It is during this phase that Microsoft stops making any design changes or any warranty claims, stops providing free of cost incident support and entertaining feature requests. Moreover, the non-security hotfixes are only provided with the purchase agreement.

After the expiration of the extended support, which is the case of SQL Server 2005, Microsoft no longer provided any support to the product. In case, the organization has purchased a three-year custom support contract, the support will be provided but it will be a short-term approach to the issues.

Security Risks Associated With SQL Server 2005 Post End of Life

Owing to the lack of security updates after the end of SQL Server 2005 support, the biggest consequence that the users have to face is the risk of data compromise. Not only the databases, but also the associated applications will be at complete risk in terms of reliability and performance. Since it will no longer receive any security updates, all the associated services and applications are fictile to security threats. This will prove to be an excellent opportunity for the users looking forward to breach the security and hack the server database of a particular organization.


Microsoft’s solution to put an end to this end of life dilemma is to upgrade to Azure SQL Database, SQL Server 2015, or the latest SQL Server 2016. The option has been offered owing to both the performance and security benefits that can be leveraged with the new SQL versions. To get access to more provisions, the users can also opt for hybrid configuration, splitting their database between cloud and on premise SQL Server.

To support this, Microsoft also offers the privilege of cost-saving in addition to the security and other features that the user gets with upgradation. Therefore, the SQL Server 2005 users no longer have the feasibility to work with the server without facing any unmanageable situation and favorable or not will have to upgrade to the newer versions.