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Keeping all the versions of ArcGIS products installed on your machine up-to-date with the latest service packs and patches lets you access new functionality and avoid conflicts.
Two free utilities, PatchFinder and ServicePackFinder, save you time by helping you figure out which patches and service packs you need for each Esri application you have installed on your machine. Run PatchFinder to find out what software and which version of each are installed on your machine.
ServicePackFinder will tell you which service packs have been applied to each application. To locate copies of these utilities, just search the Esri Web site (www.esri.com) for PatchFinder or ServicePackFinder.
To keep you better informed about software issues, Esri is now posting Service Pack Announcements on the Esri Support site (support.esri.com) prior to release. These will help you better prepare for future upgrades and provide feedback on issues that should be included in future service packs. These announcements list bugs and fixes that will be included in the service pack as well as the technical support incident numbers (i.e., Nimbus numbers) so you can see if an issue you are interested in will be addressed in that service pack. Service Pack Announcements cover ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Server and their extensions, as well as ArcSDE, ArcGIS Engine, and ArcIMS. To view the latest announcements or download patches or service packs, go to support.esri.com and choose Downloads > Patches and Service Packs.
You can give feedback on the listed issues through a dedicated forum available with the Service Pack Announcement.
Development tech leads, who are members of Esri's User Advocacy Group, monitor forum traffic, collect information, and push relevant feedback to the appropriate development teams.