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SQL Performance Tuning Tutorial

SQL Server Profiler (DEPRECATED!)
The SQL Server Profiler has been around for a very long time. It is very useful if you are trying to see in real time what SQL queries are being executed against your database.

NOTE: Microsoft has announced that SQL Server Profiler is being deprecated!

SQL Profiler captures very detailed events about your interaction with SQL Server.

Login connections, disconnections, and failures
RPC batch status calls
Start and end of stored procedures
Start and end of statements within a stored procedure
Start and end of a SQL batch
Errors written to the SQL Server error log
A lock acquired or released on a database object
An opened cursor
Security permission checks
SQL Server Profiler

Tutorial: SQL Server Profiler

Pros: Very detailed data available.
Cons: You have to manually turn it on. This forces you to recreate a scenario you are trying to capture. It is eventually going away in favor of Extended Events.

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  1. SQL Server Extended Events
    The SQL Profiler has been replaced by SQL Server Extended Events. This is sure to anger a lot of people but I can understand why Microsoft is doing it.

Extended Events works via Event Tracing (ETW). This has been the common way for all Microsoft related technologies to expose diagnostic data.

ETW provides much more flexibility. As a developer, I could easily tap into ETW events from SQL Server to collect data for custom uses. That is really cool and really powerful.

Easily tap into ETW events from SQL Server to collect data for custom uses.

MORE: Introducing SQL Server Extended Events

Pros: Easier to enable and leave running. Easier to develop custom solutions with.
Cons: Since it is fairly new, most people may not be aware of it.