Extended Events – Events

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Published on: September 10, 2015

db_eventAfter thrilling dives into the XEvent Core Concepts of packages, channels and objects, today we have the core concept of “Event.”

If you recall, an event is some point of interest that may or may not occur within an application. Obviously, if the event is triggered, then that point of interest has occurred.

We have also seen that events are categorized/classified via what are called channels and keywords. This classification can be a big help when trying to find groups of events that may be related.


An event carries with it the payload pertinent to the occurrence of that point of interest – when the event fires. This payload would be called “data” in a more friendly manner.

Before getting into the data too much, let’s take a look at the simplest of approaches to look at the available events within SQL Server.

Very basic query(ies). Knowing these events, what if I now wanted to tie this back to something we have already seen? For example, what if I wanted to see which channel and keyword mapped to the event? I might try something like the following:

Granted, in the previous article I had included the event name in the query. I just simply did not return the event name with the results. What I have added this time around though is the event description to the query. Then I am returning both the event name and description with the results.

Looking closer at the query, you will see that I have set it up in a fashion to allow targeted searching for keywords or channels or both. Or one can provide a NULL value to return all Events regardless of keyword or channel.

This gets us to a spot where we can find the events – basically. But that is one piece of the puzzle. When dealing with extended events, one also needs to understand the components of the payload within the event. In other words, there is a bit of dissecting of the event to figure out the differences in data available within an event.

Stay tuned for the next episode when we perform the event dissection and look into the anatomy of an event (e.g. the data/payload of the event).


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