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T-SQL Tuesday – Extended Events in SQL Server 2012

April 9, 2012 Leave a comment

I started as a SQL Server DBA in November of 2007 and attended my first PASS Summit in 2008. While there, I saw Jerome Halmans present on Advanced Troubleshooting with SQL Server Extended Events. It was one of my favorite presentations of the summit and I wanted to start using Extended Events in my environment. However, every time I tried to use them, the overhead of getting them set up was greater than their usefulness. I found myself using other troubleshooting tools that I was more familiar with.

Despite these difficulties, I remained interested in using Extended Events. Several months ago, I downloaded Jonathan Kehayias’ ( blog | twitter) SQL Server 2008 Extended Events SSMS Addin but couldn’t get any momentum going.

That brings me to my most useful feature in SQL Server 2012. This week’s Brent Ozar PLF newsletter contained a link to Bob Dorr’s article on SQL Server 2012: RML, XEvent Viewer and Distributed Replay. I just started playing with Extended Events in 2012 today and I am really excited about it.

They are now integrated into Management Studio, removing the manual scripting that was necessary to use them previously. The interface looks and feels a lot like SQL Profiler, but Extended Events has much less overhead than a Profiler trace. And they are one of Thomas LaRock’s ( blog | twitter ) top 3 things you should learn in SQL Server 2012.

I will be at the SQL Skills immersion event on internals and performance next week, but Extended Events is on the top of my list when I get back.