A few weeks ago I said, "If you haven't already installed Service Pack 3 (SP3), you should upgrade to SP3a, but Microsoft says that no serious security problems require you to deploy SP3a if you're already using SP3." That's still true, but I've since read the full list of bugs fixed by SQL Server 2000 SP3a and I discovered a problem related to memory leaks in the SQL Server ODBC driver that I think will interest you.

The Microsoft article "FIX—Performance Degradation and Memory Leak in the SQL Server ODBC Driver" documents the problem. Apparently, in SP3, Microsoft made changes to the way SQL Server allocates metadata for ODBC statements, causing memory leaks in some cases. The article says, "This is especially noticeable when you execute queries that return a large number of columns in the result set, or when you repeatedly execute prepared queries that have large numbers of columns." Be honest, how many DBAs are familiar enough with their application workloads to know for sure if applications running on their servers fit this behavior profile? Not many. I don't want to open up the question of whether to apply a service pack as soon as it comes out—we've sufficiently covered that question, and people both sides of the argument present good reasons. However, I think I downplayed the need for SP3 users to at least consider upgrading to SP3a, so I wanted to bring this memory-leak problem to your attention.

On a different topic, have you ever thought about working for the SQL Server development team? If so, here's an announcement that Microsoft asked us to share with you that may pique your interest. The company is looking for experienced software development engineers, software test engineers, and program managers to work in its new Business Intelligence Applications Group. Qualified applicants should have at least 5 years of experience in the BI software industry, and a degree in CS or CE is preferred. Read about current BI Applications Group opportunities. From the list of products, select Business Intelligence Applications, then click Search Jobs. You can also find the job list by typing "Business Intelligence Applications" (must be in quotes) in the keyword field. Interested applicants can submit resumes, inquiries, and referrals to Gretchen Ledgard at topjobs@microsoft.com.