I am hearing two different rumors. One is that SQL Server 2012 SP3 loses support June 2017. I am also hearing SQL Server 2012 SP4 is due out in June 2017. Is SP4 just a rumor? Or is it true? If true, when does SP4 lose support?

4 Answers 4


SP4 for 2012 was announced recently and is due out next month.

See Microsoft's Support Lifecycle Policy documentation for end-of-support dates. According to that document, SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 3 "mainstream support" ends on July 11, 2017. Extended support for SQL Server 2012, including service pack 4, ends July 12, 2022.


The lifecycle policy for Microsoft products is generally that the support for the previous Service Pack expires 12 months after the new Service Pack was released to the public.

So if the SQL Server 2012 Service Pack 4 is due in June 2017, then the Service Pack 3 will lose its support approx. June 2018.

Microsoft Support Lifecycle Site

If you search for SQL Server 2012 on the Lifecycle Support page you will see the results for the previous service pack Service Pack 2 and the following information for the current Service Pack 3:

                | Life Cycle Start Date | Mainstream Support | Service Pack Support End Date
Service Pack 2: | 10/06/2014            | Not Applicable     | 10/01/2017 
Service Pack 3: | 01/12/2015            | 11/07/2017         |

As you can see the newer Service Pack 3 limits the support of the previous Service Pack 2 to approx. 1 year after the newer Service Pack was introduced.

This is normally what happens with each newer Service Pack. Microsoft gives you a grace period of a year to upgrade to the newer Service Pack.

So you can expect (no guarantees from Microsoft) that the support for the older Service Pack 3 will expire one year after the introduction of Service Pack 4 (which would be June 2018).


As SP3 is the latest SQL Server 2012 "release" it follows the main product's support dates so drops out of its mainstream support on 2017-07-11, but from there it entered extended support so at very least still gets timely updates for security issues and other serious problems. That period ends in 2022, so you are safe to keep using 2012sp3 for some time to come.

With the expected release of SP4, SP3 will no longer be be latest so it may not be supported that long, but of course you will have the option of keeping the 2022 EOL date by installing SP4. The usual policy is "support ends 12 months after the next service pack releases or at the end of the product's support lifecycle, whichever comes first" so if SP4 is released on the 1st of July it is likely that SP3 will be supported until 2018-07-01 - this hopefully gives you plenty of time to verify your applications against the new update and upgrade accordingly.

You can check product lifecycles directly with MS via https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/lifecycle (i.e. https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/lifecycle/search?alpha=sql%20server%202012), with the caveat that this only lists released versions so, for instance, does not yet account for SQL 2012 SP4.


Yes SP4 is coming, here is some info https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/sqlreleaseservices/announcing-sql-server-2012-service-pack-4/

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.