As I know Microsoft release service pack fist for testing environment to get customer feedback and after that customer can use that service pack on production.
I want to know about service pack 3 (MS SQL 2008) that it is in test release or production release?
asked Dec 11, 2011 at 10:14 PM in Default
As noted here SQL Server 2008 SP3 is in production release. You will see service packs released as CTP (Customer Technology Preview) packages/downloads, prior to seeing them released as RTM (Releast To Manufacturing). You will see CTP packages noted as such most of the time. Some instances the download link on Microsoft will show it in the name as an RTM package, and sometimes it won't.
You can keep up with what stage it is at most of the time by checking the SQL Server Release Services Team blog. As well once in RTM it will be added to the "More Information" section of this KB article: How to determine the version and edition of SQL Server and its components.