A. SP1 for SQL 7 underwent extensive beta-testing for release and so should be pretty stable.
However, it contains a LOT of fixes and therefore new or regressed bugs are inevitable. When these are known they are listed at the bottom of the article.
For any new release/servicepack you are advised to apply and test on test systems first, and if at all possible do a stress-test so that any problems with blocking/locks are found before rolling out to a production system.
All service-packs come with problems, however in most cases they fix a lot more problems than they cause. 99% of bugs you may find in SP1 will be present in the gold release and all previous service packs as well - they simply aren't fixed in SP1.
Should you apply it? Yes.
SP1 is available via the downloads option from http://support.microsoft.com/support/sql. Also ftp direct from
Service Pack 1 - Known new Bugs/Regressions
1. A query which uses a like on an indexed unicode column will behave correctly prior to SP1. After SP1 is applied the query will return no records. This is fixed in build 710.
2. SP1+ ODBC driver (Build 690-820) cannot SQLExtFetch() rows with more than one TEXT or BINARY column, when a server cursor is used. MS bug number 56513. Workarounds are :-
(1) Use SQLFetch instead of SQLExtendedFetch
(2) Don't use SQLSetStmtAttr to ask for a keyset cursor. Just take the default.
(3) Use an older version of the driver (even 3.70.0623 and below work fine)
Applies to SQL Server versions : 7.0
Related FAQ articles : sql7differences
Related Microsoft Kb articles : n/a
Other related information : n/a