Dan's Blog

I am Principal Program Manager at Microsoft leading the Business Platform Division's (BPD) community team. BPD includes SQL Server, SQL Azure, BizTalk, AppFabric, and other technologies and services.

Where The Heck is Activity Monitor?

Where The Heck is Activity Monitor?

  • Comments 11

You're sitting at your desk rocking out to great music, you've just installed Management Studio 2008, you expand the Management node and start to click on Activity Monitor... Wait a second, What the %&*$#@, where's Activity Monitor? Did those goofs over at MSFT kill off a perfectly good tool?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, we did kill off Activity Monitor. No, it's not totally gone. Well, the old one is totally gone. But the totally new one is there but we moved the launch point. It's now launched from the toolbar and the context menu off of the server. See the screen shots below:

ActivityMonToolbar

ActivityMonContextMenu

Once you find the launch point and launch Activity Monitor you'll notice it's been redesigned. I'll let you explore it on your own. Oh, I can't help it... I'll let you in on two cool things. Right-click in the graph area and you can set the refresh interval, pause it, and force a refresh. The second cool thing, expand the Recent Expensive Queries area and right-click on a query. You can view the actual query text (it'll open it in a new query window) and you can also view the execution plan. Now how cool is that?

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  • Neat. Don't mean to nitpick of course but there's a bit of effort in formatting that sql query for viewing though each and every time though.

    Tony S.

  • Why oh why can't I resize the panels? I'm forced to scroll through about 8-1/2 (I counted) processes at a time. That is so incredibly cumbersome. 1 step forward, 2 steps back.

  • The new monitor auto-updates which makes it difficult to read since the list will reposition itself.  Furthermore it does not list the current database the connection is made against; less information fits on the screen making it more difficult to read.

  • You can change the refresh interval if you'd like. There are pros and cons to that. Just right-click in the Activity Monitor and you'll get a context menu for setting the refresh interval.

    Remember to use Connect (http://connect.microsoft.com/SQLServer/Feedback) to submit suggestions on making the features better. Items submitted through Connect flow right into our work tracking database.

  • Why can't I see open databases anymore?

  • Still no DBCC INPUTBUFFER unless you right-click / Details each SPID. I have a thousand connections and want to see what sprocs they're all executing at a glance. I wrote code to do this - simple loop on SPIDs pumping DBCC into a table var. Would be a nice enhancement for activity monitor. Drilling straight into the execution plan is nice. Changing the launchpoint seems odd though.

  • yes, why can you resize the process panel already.  i want it FULL SCREEN.

  • Good suggestion Brad. You should submit it through http://connect.microsoft.com/sqlserver.

  • I miss the Locks-perProcess and Locks-per-Object panels.

    Oh, yes, I wrote some scripts with sys.dm_tran_locks, but this was really a good point of the former version.

    Or do I miss some feature?

  • You really lost usefulness under the guise of new and improved features. What was easy in 2005 is poorly formatted in 2008. When you widen a column the effing refresh comes in and you lose focus. Such a beech when you have scrolled down. Been using 2008 for 2 years and still haven't got comfortable. Now that we are getting more and more 2008 db's I can't keep on running back to the 2005 SMS.

    Can't teach an old dog new tricks? Why do they want to? Every time MS sticks some new and improved way to do the same old thing I am ready to re-evaluate why I am using MS at all. You'd think think they'd leave well enough alone.

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