In this blog post, I would like to introduce all of you to a very cool and concise Free tool from Idera.
Note: I Do not work for Idera. Idera has nothing to do with this blog post. Am expressing just my opinion with my experiences with this free tool.
Okay, so….what is this tool al about?
If you are a SQL Server DBA, you might have already been in a situation where you had to run SQL Server trace on your SQL Server(s) per a developer request or for investigation purposes or some thing else. Profiler, which comes with SQL Server installtion is a very heavy tool, especially if you are not filtering out your events when running your trace. To avoid any overhead this graphical tool(profiler) causes, we could use “Server Side tracing” which basically runs the trace server side and stores the results either in a file or a table without the need for using profiler(Which constantly displays the results, which is very resource intensive). Impressive…But not as impressive as “Extended Events”. MSFT introduced “Extended Events” in SQL Server 2008 which is the low level/High performance eventing solution. Slowly and steadily…I am seeing people moving away from traces and Profiler which is nice. If you are a SQL Server Profiler person, I’ve got a sad news for you, Profiler is depricated in SQL Server 2014(Instead, microsoft is asking you to use Extended events session(s) which is embedded in your SSMS under management Node). You might not like this initially, especially the way how you’ve to interact with XEvents from SSMS. This is where this free tool from Idera comes handy. This is very similar to how you would interact with Profiler(Selecting templates, events, filtering columns etc), but instead of starting a trace, it pulls info from Extended events which are very light weight and has significantly less over head on your SQL Server.
See below Screenshots on what am talking about…If you are already familiar with Profiler, this doesn’t need any further explanation on how to get started with this free tool.
Once connected, choose your template
Filter out columns as needed…
As you can see this could be very helpful tool to track down few things on your SQL Server without hindering it’s performance. Once you’ve got what you are lookin for, you can export the results as well. This is a free tool, you can download it from idera and play with it and see if it meets your requirements.
PS Discussing the true power of Extended events which microsoft introduced for us is way beyond scope of this blog post.