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CloudTip #14 - Can I Get Profile Information from SQL Azure?

SQL Azure Management and Tuning Tools

Your application is running slow. You need to find out what’s going on. If you’ve used SQL Profiler on a local database you might be familiar with how you can capture a trace of database activity and use it to figure out where your resources are going. The visibility makes it MUCH easier to tune a database than sorting thru a bunch of code. The question is, what do you do when you’re moving an app to the cloud?

If you’ve wondered how you can get Profile information from SQL Azure, the new online management portal for SQL Azure has been updated with design, deployment, administration and tuning features built in. The Overview screen provides quick links to the different areas of the portal, as well as easy links to help information from msdn online. You can get to the portal either by going to the Windows Azure management portal on http://windows.azure.com and after signing in going to the database section and clicking Manage, or simply browsing to your database name – https://<myserver>.database.windows.net where you substitute your database server’s name for <myserver>.

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When I log in I can see my databases and get information about size, usage as well as the ability dive into specific usage. From there I can go into designing the schema, functions and code around my database. If I swap over to the admin page though, I have visibility into not just database size and usage, but also a link to query performance. Clicking this takes me to where I can see profile data from queries.

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I can sort and see which calls to the database are most frequent as well as most expensive in terms of resource usage. Further I can select one and dive even deeper to see the execution plan and statistics around the calls. This information is key to making decisions on indexes and design of a well performing database.

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In the query plan I can look for table scans or other expensive operations and if it make sense determine whether additional indexes would be useful.

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Nice!

More Stories By Mike Benkovich

Since entering the technology scene with his Vic 20, writing math games, and sharing code with friends, Mike Benkovich is all in for developers. As a developer evangelist at Microsoft, you’ll find him on the road presenting technical information at seminars, conferences, and corporate boardrooms across America. Mike’s professional roles have included business owner, architect, project manager, developer, and technical writer. He authored two books—Beginning SQL Server 2000 DBA: From Novice to Professional and Professional SQL Server 2000 Data Warehousing with Analysis Services—that show developers how to get the most from their technology investments. Follow Mike on Twitter at @mbenko and download sample code at www.benkotips.com.

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