As discussed in Chapter 3, "SQL Server 2005 Setup and Deployment," SQL Server 2005 setup is based on Windows Installer 3.0 (MSI) technology. Here are some of the benefits offered by the MSI-based setups:
By using Windows Installer technology for the setup, SQL Server 2005 leverages all these features.
SQL Server 2005 setup reduces the likelihood of setup failures by introducing a startup process known as Setup Configuration Checker (SCC). This process ensures that all the prerequisites for the installation are met before the actual process of installation kicks off.
The SQL Server 2000 CD includes separate setups for the relational engine and Analysis Services. In addition, the Notification Services and Reporting Services add-ons for SQL Server 2000 have their own setup interface. SQL Server 2005 changes that by introducing a unified, integrated setup environment that presents all the components in a single feature tree. SQL Server 2005 setup offers granular control over individual components that you can install or uninstall.
SQL Server 2005 setup is enhanced to support up to 50 instances each of SQL Server, Analysis Services, Notification Services, and Reporting Services.
In case of a setup error, the Internet Help feature introduced in SQL Server 2005 allows you to click the Help button on the setup error dialog and browse to the documentation page on the Microsoft website for more details on the error and to get some troubleshooting guidelines.
One of the common causes of setup failure and reboots with SQL Server 2000 has to do with MDAC version incompatibilities. SQL Server 2005 avoids these problems by not installing MDAC on the server. The new data access application programming interface (API), known as SQL Native Client (SNAC) is the key to breaking the dependency on a particular version of MDAC. This is discussed in more detail in Chapter 3.
SQL Server 2005 setup supports scripted cluster installation. It also allows you to selectively install the features in a clustered environment, rather than a canned feature set, as is the case with SQL Server 2000 clustered setup.