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How to: Create a SQL Trace Collection Set with SQL Server Profiler

In SQL Server 2008 you can exploit the server-side trace capabilities of SQL Server Profiler to export a trace definition that you can use to create a collection set that uses the Generic SQL Trace collector type. There are two parts to this process:

  1. Create and export a SQL Server Profiler trace.

  2. Script a new collection set based on an exported trace.

The scenario for the following procedures involves collecting data about any stored procedure that requires 80 milliseconds or longer to complete. In order to complete these procedures you should be able to:

  • Use SQL Server Profiler to create and configure a trace.

  • Use SQL Server Management Studio to open, edit, and execute a query.

Create and export a SQL Server Profiler trace

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, open SQL Server Profiler. (On the Tools menu, click SQL Server Profiler.)

  2. In the Connect to Server dialog box, click Cancel.

  3. For this scenario, ensure that duration values are configured to display in milliseconds (the default). To do this, follow these steps:

    1. On the Tools menu, click Options.

    2. In the Display Options area, ensure that the Show values in Duration column in microseconds (SQL Server 2005 or later only) check box is cleared.

    3. Click OK to close the General Options dialog box.

  4. On the File menu, click New Trace.

  5. In the Connect to Server dialog box, select the server that you want to connect to, and then click Connect.

    The Trace Properties dialog box appears.

  6. On the General tab, do the following:

    1. In the Trace name box, type the name that you want to use for the trace. For this example, the trace name is SPgt80.

    2. In the Use the template list, select the template to use for the trace. For this example, click TSQL_SPs.

  7. On the Events Selection tab, do the following:

    1. Identify the events to use for the trace. For this example, clear all check boxes in the Events column, except for ExistingConnection and SP:Completed.

    2. In the lower-right corner, select the Show all columns check box.

    3. Click the SP:Completed row.

    4. Scroll across the row to the Duration column, and then select the Duration check box.

  8. In the lower-right corner, click Column Filters to open the Edit Filter dialog box. In the Edit Filter dialog box, do the following:

    1. In the filter list, click Duration.

    2. In the Boolean operator window, expand the Greater than or equal node, type 80 as the value, and then click OK.

  9. Click Run to start the trace.

  10. On the toolbar, click Stop Selected Trace or Pause Selected Trace.

  11. On the File menu, point to Export, point to Script Trace Definition, and then click For SQL Trace Collection Set.

  12. In the Save As dialog box, type the name that you want to use for the trace definition in the File name box, and then save it in the location that you want. For this example, the file name is the same as the trace name (SPgt80).

  13. Click OK when you receive a message that the file was successfully saved, and then close SQL Server Profiler.

Script a new collection set from a SQL Server Profiler trace

  1. In SQL Server Management Studio, on the File menu, point to Open, and then click File.

  2. In the Open File dialog box, locate and then open the file that you created in the previous procedure (SPgt80).

    The trace information that you saved is opened in a Query window and merged into a script that you can run to create the new collection set.

  3. Scroll through the script and make the following replacements, which are noted in the script comment text:

    • Replace SQLTrace Collection Set Name Here with the name that you want to use for the collection set. For this example, name the collection set SPROC_CollectionSet.

    • Replace SQLTrace Collection Item Name Here with the name that you want to use for the collection item. For this example, name the collection item SPROC_Collection_Item.

  4. Click Execute to run the query and to create the collection set.

  5. In Object Explorer, verify that the collection set was created. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Right-click Management, and then click Refresh.

    2. Expand Management, and then expand Data Collection.

    The SPROC_CollectionSet collection set appears at the same level as the System Data Collection Sets node. By default, the collection set is disabled.

  6. Use Object Explorer to edit the properties of SPROC_CollectionSet, such as the collection mode and upload schedule. Follow the same procedures that you would for the System Data collection sets that are provided with the data collector.

The following code sample is the final script resulting from the steps documented in the preceding procedures.

/*************************************************************/
-- SQL Trace collection set generated from SQL Server Profiler
-- Date: 11/19/2007  12:55:31 AM
/*************************************************************/

USE msdb
GO

BEGIN TRANSACTION
BEGIN TRY

-- Define collection set
-- ***
-- *** Replace 'SqlTrace Collection Set Name Here' in the 
-- *** following script with the name you want
-- *** to use for the collection set.
-- ***
DECLARE @collection_set_id int;
EXEC [dbo].[sp_syscollector_create_collection_set]
    @name = N'SPROC_CollectionSet',
    @schedule_name = N'CollectorSchedule_Every_15min',
    @collection_mode = 0, -- cached mode needed for Trace collections
    @logging_level = 0, -- minimum logging
    @days_until_expiration = 5,
    @description = N'Collection set generated by SQL Server Profiler',
    @collection_set_id = @collection_set_id output;
SELECT @collection_set_id;

-- Define input and output variables for the collection item.
DECLARE @trace_definition xml;
DECLARE @collection_item_id int;

-- Define the trace parameters as an XML variable
SELECT @trace_definition = convert(xml, 
N'<ns:SqlTraceCollector xmlns:ns"DataCollectorType" use_default="0">
<Events>
  <EventType name="Sessions">
    <Event id="17" name="ExistingConnection" columnslist="1,2,14,26,3,35,12" />
  </EventType>
  <EventType name="Stored Procedures">
    <Event id="43" name="SP:Completed" columnslist="1,2,26,34,3,35,12,13,14,22" />
  </EventType>
</Events>
<Filters>
  <Filter columnid="13" columnname="Duration" logical_operator="AND" comparison_operator="GE" value="80000L" />
</Filters>
</ns:SqlTraceCollector>
');

-- Retrieve the collector type GUID for the trace collector type.
DECLARE @collector_type_GUID uniqueidentifier;
SELECT @collector_type_GUID = collector_type_uid FROM [dbo].[syscollector_collector_types] WHERE name = N'Generic SQL Trace Collector Type';

-- Create the trace collection item.
-- ***
-- *** Replace 'SqlTrace Collection Item Name Here' in 
-- *** the following script with the name you want to
-- *** use for the collection item.
-- ***
EXEC [dbo].[sp_syscollector_create_collection_item]
   @collection_set_id = @collection_set_id,
   @collector_type_uid = @collector_type_GUID,
   @name = N'SPROC_Collection_Item',
   @frequency = 900, -- specified the frequency for checking to see if trace is still running
   @parameters = @trace_definition,
   @collection_item_id = @collection_item_id output;
SELECT @collection_item_id;

COMMIT TRANSACTION;
END TRY

BEGIN CATCH
ROLLBACK TRANSACTION;
DECLARE @ErrorMessage nvarchar(4000);
DECLARE @ErrorSeverity int;
DECLARE @ErrorState int;
DECLARE @ErrorNumber int;
DECLARE @ErrorLine int;
DECLARE @ErrorProcedure nvarchar(200);
SELECT @ErrorLine = ERROR_LINE(),
       @ErrorSeverity = ERROR_SEVERITY(),
       @ErrorState = ERROR_STATE(),
       @ErrorNumber = ERROR_NUMBER(),
       @ErrorMessage = ERROR_MESSAGE(),
       @ErrorProcedure = ISNULL(ERROR_PROCEDURE(), '-');
RAISERROR (14684, @ErrorSeverity, 1 , @ErrorNumber, @ErrorSeverity, @ErrorState, @ErrorProcedure, @ErrorLine, @ErrorMessage);
END CATCH;
GO

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