(It’s been a hectic week. The good news is that I’ve got loads of topics to write about. The bad news is that I’ve got no time to do it! Illustrations will make a return next week too because I’m finally getting that Adobe Illustrator license I’ve had my eye on. Maybe I’ll also include a retroactive Jimmy Fallon illustration).
Aaron Bertrand maintains the definitive list of free SQL Server tools. I want to give a shout out to just a couple of them. Without these tools, this week would have been a lot rougher at work for our team.
Thank you Adam Machanic,
For making a lightweight sproc to help me see at a glance the activity on a SQL Server database. (Also kudos to the parameters @get_plans and @find_block_leaders).
If you’re unfamiliar with this stored procedure, start here.
Thank you SQL Sentry,
For making a tool that helps me understand everything about a query plan is doing. (Also kudos to the Expressions tab and the Parameters tab).
Plan Explorer presents SQL Server query plans just a bit nicer than SQL Server Management Studio does. When looking at a problematic query plan, I want to go from looking at a plan to a solution as quick as possible. For me this week, it would be safe to say that Plan Explorer cut that analysis time in half.
If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, start here.
Dynamic Management Views
Thank you Microsoft (SQL-Server-2005-and-later-DMVs),
For tracking statistics about query executions and making it possible to examine the history of the db activity without having to trace server activity (so extra kudos to dm_exec_query_stats, dm_exec_cached_plans and dm_exec_query_plan).
I don’t know whether to call these views free. They’re available with any database at SQL Server 2005 (or later). So if you’re using SQL Server, then you can use these DMVs.
If you’re unfamiliar with these views, start here.