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Launching Database Engine Tuning Advisor

To begin, open the Database Engine Tuning Advisor graphical user interface (GUI). On first use, a member of the sysadmin fixed server role must launch Database Engine Tuning Advisor to initialize the application. After initialization, members of the db_owner fixed database role can use Database Engine Tuning Advisor to tune databases that they own. For more information about initializing Database Engine Tuning Advisor, see Initializing Database Engine Tuning Advisor. Use the Back button in your Help browser to return to this tutorial.

Open the Database Engine Tuning Advisor GUI

  1. On the Windows Start menu, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server, point to Performance Tools, and then click Database Engine Tuning Advisor.

  2. In the Connect to Server dialog box, verify the default settings, and then click Connect.

By default, Database Engine Tuning Advisor opens to the configuration in the following illustration:

Database Engine Tuning Advisor default window

Two main panes are displayed in the Database Engine Tuning Advisor GUI when it is first opened.

  • The left pane contains the Session Monitor, which lists all tuning sessions that have been performed on this Microsoft SQL Server instance. When you open Database Engine Tuning Advisor, it displays a new session at the top of the pane. You can name this session in the adjacent pane. Initially, only a default session is listed. This is the default session that Database Engine Tuning Advisor automatically creates for you. After you have tuned databases, all tuning sessions for the SQL Server instance to which you are connected are listed below the new session. You can right-click a tuning session to rename it, close it, delete it, or clone it. If you right-click in the list you can sort the sessions by name, status, or creation time, or create a new session. In the bottom section of this pane, details of the selected tuning session are displayed. You can choose to display the details organized into categories with the Categorized button, or you can display them in an alphabetized list by using the Alphabetical button. You can also hide Session Monitor by dragging the right pane border to the left side of the window. To view it again, drag the pane border back to the right. Session Monitor enables you to view previous tuning sessions, or to use them to create new sessions with similar definitions. You can also use Session Monitor to evaluate tuning recommendations. For more information, see Using Session Monitor to Evaluate Tuning Recommendations. Use the Back button in your help browser to return to this tutorial.

  • The right pane contains the General and the Tuning Options tabs. This is where you can define your Database Engine Tuning session. In the General tab, you type the name for your tuning session, specify the workload file or table to use, and select the databases and tables you want to tune in this session. A workload is a set of Transact-SQL statements that execute against a database or databases that you want to tune. Database Engine Tuning Advisor uses trace files, trace tables, Transact-SQL scripts, or XML files as workload input when tuning databases. On the Tuning Options tab, you can select the physical database design structures (indexes or indexed views) and the partitioning strategy that you want Database Engine Tuning Advisor to consider during its analysis. On this tab you also can specify the maximum time that Database Engine Tuning Advisor takes to tune a workload. By default, Database Engine Tuning Advisor will tune a workload for one hour.

NoteNote

Database Engine Tuning Advisor can take XML files as input when a Transact-SQL script is imported from MicrosoftSQL Server Management Studio Query Editor. For more information, see the Database Engine Tuning Advisor Reference topic Starting Database Engine Tuning Advisor where it discusses launching Database Engine Tuning Advisor from the SQL Server Management Studio Query Editor.

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