RedBaronAce on Sun, 24 Feb 2008 13:40:48

It comes as no surprise to us that 2008 will not be supporting notification services.  Several years ago our company developed our product line of alerting applications and gave some long and serious thought into using SQL Notification services. 


Besides the fact that the NS desktop alerting component itself was rather bland/limited, (an acknowledge button, image, hyperlink) at the time it just made no sense to create a core component of the business plan around such a 3rd party dependent widget. 


While a look at this MS page shows only a few companies who have built alerting systems around NS,


….there is actually quite a few companies who have done this and must now consider a total rewrite of their alert system.


Quite frankly, looking forward at MS's new family of Communications servers,


I am not sure that things are changing much.


"Welcome to the Microsoft Office Live Communications Server developers' home on MSDN. Live Communications Server 2005 provides your business with an enterprise-ready instant messaging, presence awareness, and an extensible platform that connects people, information, and business processes—enabling better decisions faster."


Remember this?


MSN Buys MessageCast for Real-Time Alerts


MessageCast was a serious product on the up.  They sold out and poof.  The whole fiasco was a joke.


As it pertains to alerting platforms, the good call just may be having a architecture that is somewhat autonomous ( i.e.  Ok, perhaps Windows OS, .Net Framework and SQL Server as prerequisites is ok) to MS embedded components and not reliant on “Live Server" licenses.  Seems like just a better bet hands down all day long.


I can tell you that about 5% of all alerts our clients create are sent to inform end users “Exchange is Down”.  It’s hard to get a OutLook Desktop Alert when Exchange is down.


So, an alert system designed from scratch in-house (the hard way) may just be the heads up alert your customer needs to see.  If for nothing else, you can control your products destiny….unless of course MS Windows is made obsolete.  <wink>  Unlikely.  Hey....without MS products, we would not be in business.  They make some of the best software in the world.  But that does not mean your campany is not capable of the same.





Joe Webb on Mon, 25 Feb 2008 13:31:29

Yes, this has been discussed in several threads over the past 6 months or so.

Microsoft is quick to point out that support for SSNS 2005 will remain available throughout the lifecycle of the product. However the component has been removed from the 2008 release of the product.

This sudden removal of a component without warning in BOL for 2-3 product revisions has left many of us in a rather difficult predicament. A business decision within the SQL Server product can greatly and adversely impact many other businesses who have developed products that depend on the target of that cost cutting decision.


RedBaronAce on Mon, 25 Feb 2008 21:26:05

Dear Joe,


We agree.  Its really important to know where to draw the line when using any products which will eventually be part of ones software offerings.


The new Live Communications Server seems to want to be the everything service. 


sms, email, alerts, instant messaging, presence awareness etc.


But what to do with an alert when the Live Communications Server goes down?


So thats why we decided to create the product somewhat autonomous from MS core alerting tools.


I cannot see why now NS developers would now make the jump to LIVE.  Who's to say it wont happen again?




Howard Ryan

M.Glenn on Sun, 26 Oct 2008 12:02:30

SQL Server 2005 generated enormous enthusiasm with vastly improved BI and enterprise tools like NS. That enthusiasm will now take a significant hit due to the shockingly short-sighted decision to pull the rug out from under customer investment in NS after only one product cycle. It would have been a lot smarter to leave NS in SS 2008 and even 2011 without any additional enhancements while marketing new functionality in the other platforms they want to migrate to. Deprecation across multiple product and development cycles would have allowed proponents/evangelists of the technology to exit gracefully.

Customers with significant development/reputation invested in NS will not appreciate being stranded. This also creates a disincentive for upgrading to 2008. The trust Microsoft has lost by dropping important functionality so suddenly will probably have negative impact for years to come.

Update: It looks like Microsoft is adding limited (read "grudging") support for NS in 2008--just enough to prevent outright hostility from those getting burned by this sudden change:

Michelle A. _ on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 13:45:31

Does anyone know if Notification Services questions will remain on MCTS exam 70-431? I'm taking the exam in November and would sure love to skip studying the Notification Services concepts since our company doesn't use it and it's going away.

RedBaronAce on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 13:48:10

No idea.  Interesting question now that I think of it.


I would call Microsoft,

Michelle A. _ on Mon, 27 Oct 2008 15:49:45

Actually, it looks like it might not have ever been covered:

I don't even see it in the index of my 'Self-Paced Training Kit'.

Joe Webb on Thu, 30 Oct 2008 12:03:47

I would not expect them to go back and modify an existing exam because of subsequent decisions. For example, when English Query was dropped, I don't think they modified the existing exam. Exams are more a point in time thing that will be obsoleted at some point anyway.



Thomas B Winans on Wed, 03 Dec 2008 01:48:29

I'm coming to the discussion of the fate of Notification Services a bit late as it is now December. It is my view that Microsoft should rethink its position on Notification Services, and should continue to support and evolve it until such time as it might be migrated to the future "alerting" solution Microsoft devises for at least the following 2 reasons:

(1) Notification Services addresses an enterprise application integration need complementary to Microsoft's web service strategy. This is a place Microsoft has not gone before, but needs to go. Why? EAI vendors won't modify their infrastructure to make them web service oriented ... they can't because it is legacy. Instead, they try to buy something and attach it to legacy ... but that doesn't work too well. Microsoft already has started/built greenfield. Further, Microsoft has commoditized such so that with notification services and its other .NET-based products (at least they evolve to such) a full complement of architectural components is being or has been assembled. Why would Microsoft make such an investment ... across the portfolio of server products ... and then back off of it? Microsoft has not been in the enterprise space before to the degree it has wished. It has intimated, at least, that it will be at the periphery with its variety of services and products. An integration broker is necessary for success at the periphery, and it provides a bridge to the enterprise back office that has the property of loose coupling, which is both good for Microsoft and its clients. 

(2) Microsoft claims to be working to develop a server platform suitable to provision notification services. This server platform could be productized as Microsoft intends, and then notification services could be made to work on that platform and then it could be open sourced. If Microsoft intends to provide a kind of application server foundation that would make it possible for non-Microsoft development teams to build out services on a Microsoft stack that can be hosted with the same set of services as, say, IIS, Biztalk, SQL Server, etc., then it seems that Notification Services could easily be migrated to this server framework once such is ready for prime time. Functional expansion of such could be accomplished by an open source community if Microsoft chooses to not further extend it on its own dime ... maybe even on its own nickel.

I've read some of the reasons justifying Microsoft's rationale to discontinue its Notification Services product line. One was that not many people used it. Blogs have listed a number of companies that have used it. The number may not be to the scale Microsoft would like ... one could look at Biztalk and suggest that Workflow Foundation represents Microsoft's belief that Biztalk too should be deprecated. Maybe so. But the strategy Microsoft is taking with workflow does not drop support for a core architectural capability. Why not keep Notification Services and give people time to learn how to architect in enterprise fashion with Microsoft infrastructure? Why not use it to seed an open source community? It probably costs you little ... and you have an open source community option that could get Microsoft further into an enterprise than it has previously been ... right into the middle ... leveraging Microsoft web service innovations in spades at substantially less cost than traditional EAI vendors, IBM, and other competitors could afford. People have to learn how to use Microsoft products in an enterprise context ... aside from specialized applications and OS vmware, what products have you put out that systematize infrastructure?

I've also heard that Microsoft is considering incorporation of Notification Services as part of Reporting Services. Please pardon me but that seems ack basswards ... events are not reports, but reports could be events if you view reports as correlations over critical business activities instead of some statically produced bit of information to be shoved off into someone's mailbox or file system or even web site. Reports are static. Events are part of a dynamic and learning enterprise platform. Isn't that what you're attempting to build infrastructure for? Isn't that exactly what Microsoft needs to secure its position at the back of an enterprise just as it has the front?

Please reconsider your position. And please contact me at tommy  at zipa dot deedoodah dot com to discuss. I'm as opinionated as everyone else, and I think you have a good product here that you're throwing away. If you don't want it, I will take it ...

Tom Winans

Sach_141 on Thu, 28 Jan 2010 16:10:02

Hi all,
  I'm in the process of migrating database projects (.Net) involved with SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition to SQL Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (on 64 bit Windows Server 2008). Currently we are using Notification services on SQL Server 2005, in the DB installation.

So is there a separate download for NS in SQL Server 2008, as it is removed from the main installation?? If so from where can I get it?


Lukasz Pawlowski -- MS on Fri, 21 May 2010 19:54:29

The last release of Notification Services is SQL Server 2005 SP3.  With SQL Server 2005 SP3 a redist is made available so that customers can continue using SQL Server 2005 Notification Services after upgrading to SQL Server 2008.    The Redis is part of SQL Server 2005 and is supported on the SQL Server 2005 Product Support Lifecycle.


Below are resources for the release:


Redist Readme:

Readme Download Location:

Download the file: ReadmeSQL2005SP3NotificationServices.htm


Obtaining the Redist:

Redist Download Location:

Download the appropriate files under Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Notification Services Client Components

Hope that helps,


Yedda Vauters on Sat, 18 Sep 2010 00:10:25

Yes, this has been discussed i several threads over the past 6 months or so.

Microsoft is quick to point out that support for SSNS 2005 will remain available throughout the lifecycle of the program. However the component has been removed from the 2008 release of the product.

This sudden removal of a component without warning in BOL for 2-3 product revisions has left many of us in a rather difficult predicament. A business decision within the SQL Server product can greatly and adversely impact many other businesses who have developed products that depend on the target of that cost cutting decision.


Why I cannot open the link here? What's the problem?

Steve Frase on Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:10:17

I agree. I have worked on a POS System for over 9 years. I embraced all Microsoft technologies - Windows OS, SQL Server 2005 Enterprise at the CoLo and 2005 Workgroup on the clients.

Each client at a location fires notifications to the other POSs when data changes to tell the POS to get the new "state" of all Tickets.  Infinitely better than polling which was what would have been done prior to SQL Notification Services.  I originally used the lighter-weight SQLDependency but eventually built a .Net component around the lower level notification services.

We have recently upgraded the server to SQL 2012 but, have not upgraded the clients.  There are about 500 of them and growing.  Removing this functionality is going to screw us royally and, as a consequence, MS as well.  That's about 150,000.00 upgrade they'll miss.