SQL Server offers out-of-the-box solution to create a workflow of tasks that can be used to optimize, backup and run consistency checks on your databases. These workflows, commonly known as Maintenance Plans, are actually Integration Services packages that are run either by scheduling them as SQL Server Agent jobs or manually. While I wholeheartedly recommend that you run regular backups and other maintenance routines to your databases, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend using Maintenance Plans for this. In fact, I’d probably never recommend using Maintenance Plans, unless it’s the only thing you have.
This is definitely one of the most used tools in my toolkit. Besides being incredibly useful when you need to figure out issues like blocking and locking and what the transactions are doing, you should take a few long moments to look at the code. The code extensively commented making it easy to follow and to understand what different parameters do. Also Adam has some serious T-SQL skills so going through the code is a great way to improve your own skills as well!
Most DBAs have their own favorite set of tools and utilities they like to use and so do I. In this blog series, I’ll be introducing you to my favorite tools of the trade. Most of these utilities are made by the members of SQL Server community and all of these have one thing in common, they are free. While people often turn to commercial solutions (if they have the budget to do so), I would consider the following free tools essential for anyone working with databases or database servers.