Monitor Cardinality Feedback in SQL Server 2022

SQL Server, You Can't Do That In Profiler
It's possible for you to see new technology at work if you use Extended Events to monitor cardinality feedback. To put it simply, cardinality, the number of rows being returned, is estimated by SQL Server. Sometimes, it gets these estimates right. Sometimes, it gets them wrong. New functionality within SQL Server 2022 uses Query Store to see how well those estimates are working. If they're off, the optimizer can actually change plans to get you different behaviors based on this feedback. There's even more than one way to monitor cardinality feedback. Let's talk about it. Extended Events First up, to really see the full set of behaviors in action, we can use Extended Events: CREATE EVENT SESSION [CardinalityFeedback] ON SERVER ADD EVENT sqlserver.query_ce_feedback_telemetry, ADD EVENT sqlserver.query_feedback_analysis, ADD EVENT sqlserver.query_feedback_validation, ADD…
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Check Every Metric

SQL Server
Recently, a person asked about the costs differences in an execution plan, referencing them as if they were performance measures. The key to understanding performance is to check every metric. When it comes to execution plans, I'm sure I've said this before, so please allow me to repeat myself. The cost numbers shown in an execution plan, which, barring a recompile, will be the same for an execution plan or an execution plan with runtime metrics (aka, estimated and actual plans), are not measures of performance. They do not represent actual metrics. Instead, they are calculations of a theoretical actual performance measurement. So, you can't look at two plans, with two costs, and say, "this plan will perform better." Instead, you can say, "this plan has a lower estimated cost."…
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Extended Events for Anything but Query Tuning: bulk_insert_usage

SQL Server
Wouldn't it be great to be able to directly monitor specific behaviors within SQL Server, like, oh, I don't know, knowing exactly when, and how, someone is using BULK INSERT? Well, you can, thanks to Extended Events through the bulk_insert_usage event. Bulk_insert_usage The BULK INSERT command is extremely useful within SQL Server. It's a way to move data into the database and provide some formatting on the way, efficiently, all through T-SQL. Hard to argue with the utility. Obviously, if you're doing traditional data collection through Trace or Extended Events, you'll see BULK INSERT commands within the T-SQL. However, Extended Events provides a specific event that tracks just the behavior of BULK INSERT: bulk_insert_usage. Documentation on this is somewhat sparse. Some of the best is from a standard source, Jason…
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Extended Events for Anything but Query Tuning: Object Changes

SQL Server
I hear this one all the time: How do I find out who implemented object changes? I also get: Can I see the query that caused object changes? Let's take a look at how you might audit who is doing what and how to your databases. Object Changes in Extended Events If you open up the New Session window for Extended Events in SSMS, the easy way to track down events is to simply type into the box. Here, we care about capturing object changes, so I'm going to simply type object, then scroll a bit: There we are object_altered, object_created and object_deleted. These are the same events that you would see in Trace. Let's use the GUI and take a quick look at what fields they capture: That's in…
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Extended Events for Anything But Query Tuning: xml_deadlock_report_filtered

SQL Server
One of my favorite little bits of information about Extended Events is the fact that everyone running a full instance of SQL Server has deadlock information available to them, even if they never enabled Trace Flag 1222 through the system_health session. That captures the xml_deadlock_report which has the full deadlock graph. However, what if you want to capture deadlock info, but, you're dealing the GDPR, and transmitting query values could be problematic? Enter xml_deadlock_report_filtered. xml_deadlock_report_filtered If you do a search for this event, you're not going to find much. Doesn't seem like anyone, including Microsoft, has bothered to document it. This is not going to be a comprehensive definition for all things xml_deadlock_report_filtered. However, I can show you why you might want to use it. This is a port of…
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Extended Events for Anything But Query Tuning: Unique Constraint Violations

SQL Server
Most of the time when I talk about or demo Extended Events, I spend more time talking about query tuning (I have a problem). However, there are tons of things that you can do with Extended Events. Here's a little one that came up, auditing unique constraint violations. Unique Constraint Violations Whether we're talking a primary key or just a constraint, the error you get is number 2627 when you attempt to add a non-unique value. So, the code for a simple way to track this in Extended Events would look like this: CREATE EVENT SESSION [UniqueConstraintViolation] ON SERVER ADD EVENT sqlserver.error_reported (WHERE ([error_number] = (2627))); That's it. That's all you need. Probably, it'd be a good idea to output this to a file (that's usually what I do). However,…
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Extended Events in AWS RDS

AWS, RDS
For the longest time, we didn't have one of the most useful tools for monitoring SQL Server behavior, but I just found out that, indeed, you can use Extended Events in AWS RDS. I'm not waiting around. Let's see it in action. Setup For Extended Events in AWS RDS AWS has posted the documentation on what you have to do in order to enable the collection of Extended Events within RDS. Normallly, I'd follow along with the documentation. However, I'm going to approach this like I knew that Extended Events support was there, but I wasn't aware of the docs. So, I'm starting in SSMS and I'm just going to try plugging in the Extended Events GUI to see what happens. Further, I'm going to use the simplest method for…
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Extended Events Session Properties

SQL Server
I like Extended Events and I regularly use the Session Properties window to create and explore sessions. I'm in the window all the time, noting it's quirks & odd behaviors, even as it helps me get stuff done. However, found a new one. Let me tell you about just a few of them. Session Properties Window When you open the Extended Events session properties window for an existing session, in SSMS 18.1, it should look something like this: See the problem? Well, that is the problem. Here, look after I resize it: There it is. At the bottom. By default, the window isn't sized correctly so you see everything. In fact, I'm in the habit of maximizing the window, just because it makes it easier to work with. However, I…
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Identifying Recompile Causes

SQL Server
Strictly speaking, a recompile isn't really a performance tuning problem. In fact, a lot of time, recompiles are desired because they reflect changes in statistics which are likely to need a new plan. However, you can get really excessive levels of recompiles because of a variety of different issues. So, identifying the causes can be a pain. Here's one way to get it done. Extended Events for Recompile Causes You knew I was going there. Seriously though, we know that, since SQL Server 2005, all recompiles are at the statement level (unless you call for a recompile of a procedure or create that proc with a RECOMPILE hint). So, capturing the recompiles and getting grotty on the details means capturing statements. Understand that this can be expensive, especially in terms…
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Login Timeouts

You Can't Do That In Profiler
I was recently approached at work about a company that was seeing tons of timeouts in SQL Server. I was asked how to troubleshoot this. There are lots of posts by people on this topic, but I found something I didn't see anywhere else, let me share it with you. Extended Events You must have known I was going to bring up Extended Events. Surely. Well, I am. Now, if you search up "timeout" in the events, you find lock timeouts, execution plan timeouts (ooh), and stuff like that. It's not related to the login timeout. So, look up "connection" or "log in". You get a lot of information, but again, none of it is related to timeouts. In fact, the best info is in process_login_finish. It does include login…
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