Last October, we announced the upcoming release of the 2nd service pack for the 2007 Microsoft Office System and the 2007 Microsoft Office servers. Today, we’re happy to provide both a formal release date, and more details on what you should expect to see in SP2.
A fair amount has been said about SP2 already, but there is a lot more to share. We’ll cover the highlights here, but please check back on April 28th when all of our documentation will be published. It is important to remember that the information provided today is by no means a comprehensive list. We worked with the individual teams in Office to come up with a list of changes that they were most proud of and felt would be most beneficial to you, our valued customers.
In addition to the numerous product improvements introduced by SP2, you may also notice that our SP2 documentation has been overhauled. Gone are the days of the long-winded or too sparse knowledge base articles that do little to describe what’s included in the actual service pack or that include details that may not be what you are looking for. In their place are what we hope are more user-friendly and informative KB’s. The technical information still exists, but it has been pulled from the main KB articles and now will live on TechNet. And, back by popular demand, is the spreadsheet listing individual bugs that were fixed across all of our products.
The Service Pack team would like to express our sincere thanks to the many beta testers who took the time to download, install, test, and provide feedback to us. This was the largest beta we’ve done to date for an Office service pack with thousands of beta testers from over 60 countries. We know your time is extremely valuable, and we very much appreciate all you’ve done. Your efforts have helped to make this a great release!
Don’t forget to come back on April 28th. We’ll have a comprehensive list of everything we’ve released, where you can find it, and links to additional information. A brief note, some of the information posted earlier needed clarification. We have made slight modifications to the information below.
The Office Service Pack team
We’ll start with updates that pertain to multiple products, highlight fixes to the individual desktop applications, and then discuss fixes to the server products.
Changes that impact desktop applications
Service Pack 2 adds the ability to open, edit and save documents in version 1.1 of the OpenDocument Format for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These applications now let users save, open, and edit files as OpenDocument Text (*.odt), OpenDocument Spreadsheet (*.ods), and OpenDocument Presentations (*.odp).
The 2007 Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 is the first service pack to support uninstall of client updates through the Microsoft Service Pack Uninstall Tool for the 2007 Microsoft Office Suite as well as via Windows Installer command line. The Service Pack Uninstall Tool will be available as a separate download.
The Microsoft Save As PDF or XPS add-in has been built into Office applications in SP2. Users no longer have to download and install the add-in separately.
When many graphic objects are present performance has been improved.
In many scenarios, expect increased print fidelity of graphical objects.
Improved interoperability using standard DrawingML markup to describe the visual properties of the SmartArt graphic.
Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SPD.
The 2007 Office Suite SP2 has been tested and is supported for Internet Explorer 8. Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows 7 and Windows Server R2 will all be supported upon their release.
The ability to export reports to Excel has been added.
Fixes for issues with the import data wizards, report printing and previewing, macros, Excel integration, and date filters.
Updates to Access Developer Extensions are now included in SP2.
The charting mechanism has improved robustness and targeted performance improvements.
A chart object model has been added to Word and PowerPoint.
Improved printing of graphical content, especially on PCL printers.
Improved form tools.
Synchronization reliability has been improved.
Increased compatibility between InfoPath forms and other Microsoft products, such as Groove and Outlook.
SharePoint synchronization has been improved which helps reduce the load on SharePoint servers and produce fewer errors.
- Performance in startup, shutdown, view rendering, and folder switch has been improved.
- Calendar updates, search, and RSS are more reliable.
- The object model has been improved.
Resaving of files is faster. Several printer-specific problems have been fixed.
The Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object Model has been more fully integrated.
The scheduling engine, Active Cache, and Gantt charts all have improvements.
There is additional reliability with earlier versions of the .mpp format.
Fixes have been made in the following areas: print preview, compatibility with Internet Explorer 8, e-mail on Windows Vista, and saving to the Content library.
Improved compatibility with other Microsoft products in several key scenarios, such as inserting Visio drawings as linked objects in PowerPoint or Word, exporting reports to Excel, and saving drawings as Web pages for browsing in Internet Explorer 8.
Fidelity of PDF and XPS output has been enhanced compared to the output created through the use of the download.
Better integration of the Microsoft Office Excel Chart Object Model.
Changes that impact the server products
Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server SP2 include fixes and enhancements designed to improve performance, availability, and stability in your server farms. SP2 provides the groundwork for future major releases of SharePoint Products and Technologies.
An STSADM command line that scans your server farm to establish whether it is ready for upgrade to the next version of SharePoint and provides feedback and best practice recommendations on your current environment.
SP2 offers support for a broader range of Web browsers.
Windows Server 2008 SP2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 will be supported on their release.
Enterprise Content Management (ECM)
The performance and stability of content deployment and variations feature has been improved.
A new tool has been added to the STSADM command-line utility that enables a SharePoint administrator to scan sites that use the variations feature for errors.
SP2 makes it easier to configure Excel Web Access Web Parts on new sites.
Several rendering, calculation, and security issues have been resolved.
Some display issues have been addressed.
Improved compatibility with Mozilla Firefox browsers.
Improved synchronization reliability.
Groove Server 2007 Manager will install and run with SQL 2008.
Groove’s LDAP connectivity and auto-activation functionality have been improved.
Error reporting in the Groove Relay Server has improved significantly.
Groove Relay Server has improved robustness.
Memory requirements and the page load times for large browser-rendered forms have been reduced.
Browser rendering of various controls, such as the ‘cannot be blank’ asterisk and the rich text field has been improved.
Better memory management in the queue service.
Performance to certain database table indexes is improved.
Resource plans, build team, cost resources, and the server scheduling engine have improved.
Improvements to the reliability and stability of very large corpus crawls.
Backup-restore has been improved.
A new command has been introduced to the stsadm.exe tool that lets a SharePoint Administrator to tune the Query processor multiplier parameter.
Improved accuracy in searches involving numbers.
Note: Two minor changes were made on April 22, 2009 to the original post of this blog. The changes were: Substantial improvements to Forms-based authentication was moved to the desktop section and support in Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePointDesigner was added to the sentence. Windows Server R2 was changed to Windows Server 2008 R2.