Microsoft Software Update Services (SUS) is great for deploying updates to Windows. But can you use SUS to automate patch management for Microsoft Office applications (e.g., Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook) and Microsoft BackOffice servers (e.g., Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SQL Server)?
SUS handles only OS updates, including updates to Microsoft IIS, Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE), and Windows Media Player (WMP). Currently, SUS supports updating only Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. To update other Microsoft products, you need a third-party solution such as St. Bernard Software's UpdateEXPERT or Shavlik Technologies' HFNetChkLT (a free utility that manages a limited number of systems) or HFNetChkPro.
Microsoft plans to release SUS 2.0 in 2004. The new version will support updates for almost all of Microsoft's product line, including Office and BackOffice.