I often receive questions on the patching process of SharePoint.
The following white paper addresses the often-misunderstood subject of SharePoint Products and Technologies patching. It explains the various types of updates that are available, the release cycle for each type of update and how these updates depend on — and interact with — each other. It covers the recommended, tried-and-true process for installing updates. It describes how to dissect a SharePoint Products and Technologies update and the typical components that you will find contained within it; this information is crucial for you to understand how the update mechanism works. The final section of the white paper discusses how to monitor, verify and troubleshoot the application of SharePoint Products and Technologies updates. This white paper is meant to be read in conjunction with TechNet articles, and includes references to these articles where relevant.