Filtering Extended Events Using Actions

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Did you know, you can use Actions to Filter Extended Events? Well, you can. Filtering is one of the greatest ways in which Extended Events differentiates itself from other mechanisms of gathering information about the behavior of SQL Server. You can put Actions to work in your filtering. Best of all, the Actions don't have to be collected in order to put them to work filtering your Extend Events. Using Actions To Filter Extended Events Actions, also called Global Fields, are additional bits of data that you can add to a given Event when you're setting up an Extended Events Session. They are programmatic additions to the Event, as described here. Think of them sort of like triggers. In practice, adding an Action, database_name, to an Event, like the rpc_completed…
Read More

Query Compile Time

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
A question that came up recently was how to track the query compile time. It's actually a pretty interesting question because, there aren't that many ways to tell how long it took to compile the query, and they don't necessarily agree. For most of us, most of the time, compile time for a given query doesn't matter. However, I love telling the story of the query I had on an old system that could run in 90ms, but took 5 minutes to compile. In short, sometimes compile time matters. How To See Query Compile Time If you want to see how long it takes a query to compile, you have, to my knowledge, three options. The first, and possibly easiest, is to look at the plan properties on an execution…
Read More

Using Extended Events Live Data With Azure

Azure, SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
In my last post I showed some shortcomings of Extended Events, however, it is possible to use Live Data with Azure. Let's explore exactly how that works. To get started, you'll need to follow the directions here to get set up with Azure Storage as the output target of your Extended Events session within your Azure SQL Database. There is a little bit of prep work, but it's all laid out in Microsoft's document. I found the Powershell to be a bit sketchy, but it shows you what's needed. The T-SQL just works. Live Data With Azure Once you've created an Extended Events Session that is output to Azure Storage, you've done most of the work. The trick is really simple. Get the Azure Storage account set up with a…
Read More

Extended Events and Azure SQL Database

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
Knowledge of how your system behaves is vital to better control, maintain, and grow the system. While Azure provides all sorts of wonderful assistance within Azure SQL Database, you're still going to need that same knowledge. When it comes to getting detailed information about Azure SQL Database, the tools are a little more limited than with an on-premises instance of SQL Server, or any virtual instance of SQL Server. There are no trace events. To see individual query calls, recompile events, query store behaviors, and so much more, you're going to have to use Extended Events. I'm going to write a series of posts on using Extended Events with Azure SQL Database. Tradition would call for this first post to be an initial how-to. Instead, I want to take a…
Read More

Extended Events: Embrace the XML

SQL Server
While XML is, without a doubt, a giant pain in the bottom, sometimes, the best way to deal with Extended Events is to simply embrace the XML. Now, I know, just last week, I suggested ways to avoid the XML. I will freely admit, that is my default position. If I can avoid the XML, I will certainly do it. However, there are times where just embracing the XML works out nicely. Let's talk about it a little. Copy This Query I have a theory. It goes like this: There has only, ever, been a single XML query written from scratch. All other XML queries are just copied from that one and then edited to do what is necessary OK. Maybe that's not entirely true. In fact, I know it's…
Read More

Extended Events: Avoid the XML

SQL Server, Tools
One story I hear over and over goes like this: I tried setting up Extended Events, but then I saw the output was XML so I stopped. Look, I get it. I don't like XML either. It's a pain to work with. It's actively difficult to write queries against it. If there weren't a ton of ways to avoid the XML, yeah, I would never advocate for Extended Events. However, here we are, I have ten pages of blog posts that at least mention Extended Events. Why? Because I avoid the XML (most of the time). Lots of other people do as well. You can too. Let's see how. Live Data Window I have a video that goes into this in detail right here. But the core concept is simple.…
Read More

Most Costly Statement in a Stored Procedure

SQL Server
A lot of stored procedures have multiple statements and determining the most costly statement in a given proc is a very common task. After all, you want to focus your time and efforts on fixing the things that cause you the most pain. You simply don't have the time to tune every single statement in every single procedure. So, identifying the most costly statement is vital. Happily, Extended Events are here to help. Finding a Costly Statement Query tuning is initially an act of discovery. Which queries, batches, procedures are inflicting the most pain on us. That pain could be measured a bunch of ways. The three most common, in particular order, are: Frequency with with a given query/batch/procedure is called.Resources used by that query.Length of time that it takes…
Read More

Capture Execution Plans Only For Long Running Queries

SQL Server
I love questions. Most of all, I love questions I can answer. I spotted this question recently: How can I use Profiler to capture execution plans for queries over a certain duration? Oh, that's easy. You don't use Profiler. You use Extended Events. Query_post_execution_showplan Extended events are just better than Profiler. Period. One of many things that is superior is the way in which the events are configured. Take for example query_post_execution_showplan. Here are the fields it captures: This event will capture execution plans plus runtime metrics. It can easily be filtered on any of the fields listed, and you can even add the database_name field if you want. So, to filter by duration is pretty simple: CREATE EVENT SESSION ExecPlansDuration ON SERVER ADD EVENT sqlserver.query_post_execution_showplan (WHERE ([duration] > (1000000)))…
Read More

Extended Events: Filter on Stored Procedure Name

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
I just received a question about Extended Events: What about filtering on the stored procedure name. You know I love writing and talking about Extended Events. The answer is, well, sure, we can do that. However, as with all things, there may be wrinkles worth being aware of. Let's examine this. Filter on Stored Procedure Name Let's create an Extended Event session that captures rpc_starting and rpc_completed: CREATE EVENT SESSION StoredProcedureName ON SERVER ADD EVENT sqlserver.rpc_completed (ACTION ( sqlserver.database_name ) WHERE (object_name = N'AddressByCity') ), ADD EVENT sqlserver.rpc_starting (SET collect_statement = (1) ACTION ( sqlserver.database_name ) WHERE (object_name = N'AddressByCity') ); I've added a WHERE clause to the Extended Event to capture only those procedures that have an object_name equal to 'AddressByCity'. If we look at the output from these…
Read More

Extended Events Capturing the T-SQL of Prepared Statements

SQL Server, T-SQL, Tools
I asked this question myself: Is there a way to use Extended Events to capture the T-SQL of a prepared statement? Why would I be concerned with prepared statements? Wouldn't sql_batch_completed and rpc_completed cover us? Well, no. What happens when you use sp_prepare? What happens when you're using an ORM tool that's using prepared statements? You may see queries that look like this: EXEC sp_execute 5, 48766; What the heck code is that executing? Let's find out. sp_statement_completed Here's a set of sample code that I swiped from Microsoft (they don't mind, but, full attribution like a good citizen, you'll find it here): DECLARE @P1 int; EXEC sp_prepare @P1 output, N'@Param int', N'SELECT * FROM Sales.SalesOrderDetail AS sod INNER JOIN Production.Product AS p ON sod.ProductID = p.ProductID WHERE SalesOrderID =…
Read More