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Monitoring and Responding to Events

SQL Server Agent can monitor and automatically respond to events, such as messages from SQL Server, specific performance conditions, and Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) events.

Topic Description

Defining Alerts

Contains information about naming an alert and selecting the events or performance conditions to which alerts respond.

Creating a User-Defined Event

Contains information about how to create events other than those that are predefined by SQL Server.

Viewing, Modifying, and Deleting Alerts

Contains information about viewing the contents of alerts and modifying their properties.

Defining Operators

Contains information about creating aliases for administrators that SQL Server Agent can use to send notifications when jobs fail or succeed.

Viewing and Modifying Operators

Contains information about viewing the users who are associated with defined operators and how to modify who is included in operator aliases.

Alerting Operators

Contains information about setting up notifications to operators in response to alerts.

Copying Operators or Alerts to Other Servers

Contains information about generating a Transact-SQL script to copy alerts and operators from one server to another.

Automated responses to events are called alerts. You can define an alert on one or more events to specify how you want SQL Server Agent to respond to their occurrence. An alert can respond to an event by notifying an administrator or running a job, or both. An alert can also forward an event to the Microsoft Windows application log on a different computer. For example, you can specify that an operator be notified immediately if an event of severity 19 occurs. By defining alerts, database administrators can more effectively monitor and manage SQL Server.

SQL Server Agent only responds to events for which an alert is defined. The method that SQL Server Agent uses to monitor events depends on the type of event.

When a SQL Server Agent alert is defined for a performance counter, SQL Server Agent directly monitors the performance counter. For a WMI event, SQL Server Agent registers an event query for the WMI event.

To respond to messages from SQL Server, SQL Server Agent monitors the Windows application log. SQL Server Agent can only respond to messages that appear in this log. By default, SQL Server logs the following messages in the Windows application log:

  • Severity 19 or higher sysmessages errors.
    If you also want to log specific sysmessages errors that have a severity lower than 19, use the sp_altermessage stored procedure to designate such errors as "always logged".
  • Any RAISERROR statement invoked by using the WITH LOG syntax.
    Using RAISERROR WITH LOG is the recommended way to write to the Windows application log from an instance of SQL Server. For more information about the RAISERROR statement, see Using RAISERROR.
  • Any application event that is logged by using xp_logevent.
    ms191508.note(en-US,SQL.90).gifNote:
    Logging application events consumes log space and can cause the Windows application log to exceed its maximum size. Make sure that the maximum Windows application log size is large enough to avoid loss of SQL Server event information.

When SQL Server logs a message, the SQL Server Agent service compares the message against the alerts defined by the SQL Server administrator.

Regardless of the source of the event, the SQL Server Agent service responds to the event by performing the tasks specified in the alert for the event.

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