Executive Summary: You can use SQL Server 2008 Extended Events Manager to quickly and easily create, modify, delete, start, and stop Extended Events sessions and metadata files. Extended Events Manager requires SQL Server 2008 and can run on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP as well.

SQL Server 2008 includes a powerful new troubleshooting and diagnostic feature, Extended Events, that’s designed to support the correlation of SQL Server data, OS data, and database application data using Event Tracing for Windows (ETW). This month’s free tool, SQL Server 2008 Extended Events Manager, which was created by enterprise DBA Jonathan Kehayias, gives you full control over Extended Events. This is no small feat—working with Extended Events is quite difficult without thorough insight into the metadata from applicable SQL Server Dynamic Management Views (DMVs).

Extended Events Manager is an easy to use, multipledocument interface–style utility that you can use to create, modify, and delete all the objects and metadata used by the Extended Events engine in SQL Server 2008. Furthermore, Extended Events Manager can save information in an XML document through a custom library. You can also use the custom library programmatically in development projects and PowerShell scripts to call Extended Events Manager.

Managing Extended Events


To create or modify Extended Events, first connect to a SQL Server 2008 instance using Extended Events Manager, which is shown in Web Figure 1. Once you’re connected to the SQL Server instance, you can create new event sessions or view the XEvent metadata within the Extended Events engine on the server by selecting either the New Event option or the View XEvent Metadata option from the File menu.

Once you’ve selected an Extended Events session on the server, you can drop, start, stop, and script out the session by right-clicking it. Dropping, starting, or stopping a session immediately executes the appropriate Extended Events command against the server. Starting or stopping the session enables or disables Extended Events on the SQL Server instance, respectively. If you want to script a session, you’re provided with a GUI that’s similar to SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) and have the option of scripting to a file, the clipboard, a message box, or directly to a new SSMS window. You can define and alter all the properties of objects used in Extended Events management, including events, sessions, targets, and predicates, via the Event Editor. Extended Events Manager also includes the ability to check for new releases of it.

In addition, you can use Extended Events Manager via PowerShell. You can load it into PowerShell using a command similar to the following:

\[reflection.assembly\]::LoadWithPartialName
  (“ExtendedEventsManager.Library”)

The tool’s documentation describes how to integrate Extended Events Manager into your PowerShell scripts, as well as how to perform several activities using it in PowerShell. The Extended Events Manager library includes a navigational provider that lets you use Extended Events as a drive, similar to how the SQL Server 2008 provider works in PowerShell.

System Configurations


Extended Events Manager runs on all editions of SQL Server 2008 (Extended Events aren’t available in SQL Server 2005 or SQL Server 2000), as well as both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. It also runs on Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP.

SQL Server 2008 Extended Events Manager


Benefits: This tool takes the pain out of creating and managing Extended Events, sessions, and metadata files.

System Requirements and Notes: SQL Server 2008; Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Windows XP

How to Get It: You can download Extended Events Manager from www.codeplex.com/ExtendedEventManager.